Love them or hate them, there is one thing that every­one will agree about Home Infor­ma­tion Packs. Every­one is just about get­ting used to them.

How­ev­er, all is about to change as of 6th April 2009.

Sell­ers can cur­rent­ly mar­ket their prop­er­ty as soon as they have instruct­ed a HIP to be pro­duced, and they have up to 28 days to do so while they wait to receive it.

The 6th April is sig­nif­i­cant because ven­dors can­not put up those For Sale” signs until all of the key doc­u­ments for their HIP are in place (although they will still be giv­en 28-days grace for a few items includ­ing prop­er­ty searches).

Sean Bar­row, a solic­i­tor with 30 years expe­ri­ence, said This real­ly puts the cat among the pigeons. There is already a vast range of HIPs in terms of qual­i­ty, most of which are includ­ing the bare min­i­mum of infor­ma­tion required.

We have also seen sev­er­al HIPs miss­ing vital doc­u­ments such as leas­es. The pres­sure of prepar­ing HIPs pri­or to mar­ket­ing a prop­er­ty is sure­ly going to lead to fur­ther cor­ners being cut.”

The packs are also set to be made big­ger, with the inclu­sion of a Prop­er­ty Infor­ma­tion Ques­tion­naire (PIQ). This will require infor­ma­tion on the risk of flood­ing, gas and elec­tric­i­ty safe­ty, ser­vice charges, park­ing arrange­ments and details of any struc­tur­al damage.

Sean com­ments The above sounds great in an ide­al world. How­ev­er, we have seen peo­ple assume’ things on EPCs to again save time. As most HIP providers have no con­tact with their clients’, I severe­ly doubt they are going to take the time to gath­er all the required information.”

The 6th April could also become a date that prop­er­ty own­ers fear for those who mar­ket­ed their prop­er­ties pri­or to the orig­i­nal HIP intro­duc­tion, and who still haven’t sold their prop­er­ties. The so-called Drop Dead Date’ will see Estate Agents have to check their stock for miss­ing doc­u­ments, for which the agents and ven­dor face a fine for not providing.

How­ev­er, the above is still yet to be offi­cial­ly con­firmed and as three Drop Dead Dates have been post­poned due to the hous­ing mar­ket slow­down, it is like­ly that a fourth one will be announced.

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 05/03/09