Home Information Packs for Three-Bed Houses

From today anyone marketing a property with three-bedrooms must now provide a [tag]Home Information Pack[/tag] (HIPs).  This follows the introduction of Home Information Packs for four-bedroom houses from the beginning of August.

The packs were intended to speed up and simplify the house buying system in England and Wales, however their introduction has been opposed by many industry professionals including estate agents and surveyors.

The [tag]HIP’s[/tag] pack includes several items which have always been required to complete the house buying transfer, but they also introduce some new elements too.  The full home information pack should contain:

  • Evidence of title
  • Copies of planning, building regulations or listed building consent
  • Guarantees for any work carried out on the property
  • A local search
  • An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

The initial introduction of the Hips was delayed by the government at very short notice, officially because of a lack of trained inspectors.  However many believe that the delay was due to the intense opposition to HIPs from within the industry.

The reports that are now required are very different to the ones originally proposed, amongst other items the Home condition Report (HCR) was dropped.  The HCR was meant to substitute the valuation report normally required by the mortgage company. This had to be dropped when the lenders all refused to accept the report as security for the mortgage.

The energy certificate is a required element of the HIP, and is supposed to grade houses and flats in a similar way to how home appliances are graded.  The report will indicate how much money can be saved by installing better insulation or a new boiler.

Whether or not the introduction of home information packs has had any impact on the market is difficult to say, there are conflicting sets of figures which can be used to illustrate either point of view.  But there can be no doubt that Home Information Packs will continue to cause controversy long after their initial introduction.

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