It is two months since the con­tro­ver­sial home infor­ma­tion packs (HIPs) became manda­to­ry for all res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties, and six months since their ini­tial introduction.

Many saw mer­it in the orig­i­nal pro­pos­al, but most have been crit­i­cal in how they have been intro­duced. The mer­it seen, was the ben­e­fit to the pur­chas­er, as it would pro­vide key infor­ma­tion about the pro­posed pur­chase prop­er­ty. HIPs were also pro­posed to be pro­duced before a ven­dor placed their prop­er­ty on the mar­ket, with the inten­tion of speed­ing up Conveyancing.

They have in fact achieved the oppo­site, as HIPs are actu­al­ly main­ly being pro­duced after prop­er­ties are being placed on the mar­ket, and more wor­ry­ing­ly for all con­cerned, after prop­er­ties are being sold! Also, most HIP pro­duc­ers include per­son­al search­es on grounds of price, even though these are not accept­ed by most pur­chasers Solicitors.

This will all change from 1st June 2008, when sell­ers will only be able to put their prop­er­ty on the mar­ket, if they have a HIP with title doc­u­ments and an Ener­gy Per­for­mance Cer­tifi­cate (EPC), in addi­tion to the cur­rent manda­to­ry items. Anti-HIP cam­paign­ers argue that, because HIPs take time to pro­duce, there will be delays for sell­ers, with poten­tial to fur­ther dam­age an already frag­ile market.

Fur­ther prob­lems have been caused by the con­tent of HIPs. HIPs now only need to con­tain the index, evi­dence of title, sale state­ment, search­es, an ener­gy per­for­mance cer­tifi­cate and, where appro­pri­ate, a copy of the lease or com­mon­hold information.

Often providers will pro­vide HIPs that are incom­plete and miss­ing vital and use­ful infor­ma­tion to pur­chasers, as a result of cost and time cut­ting. How­ev­er, this often leads to delays in the Con­veyanc­ing process.

Jack­son Bar­rett & Gass take the oppor­tu­ni­ty to add val­ue to the packs by adding extra doc­u­ments ear­li­er on in the process such as plan­ning per­mis­sions, guar­an­tees and court pro­ceed­ings, thus ensur­ing the sell­er and pur­chas­er have all the infor­ma­tion required from the outset.

Jack­son Bar­rett & Gass also charge no fee for the cre­ation of HIPs. Clients mere­ly pay for the manda­to­ry items that are required.


This arti­cle appeared in Wilm­slow Express Home­search 06/03/08

Also, the link below is the Law Soci­ety’s lat­est HIP release, which reit­er­ates the need to get your HIPs from legal professionals