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