Some Information about Hips – (Home Information Packs)
Hips or home information packs are required for most properties on the market in the UK from April 2009. The packs contain key information about the property and are used to inform the buyer of these details. Hips were mainly designed to inform buyers of key information about the property so that any problems can be brought to the attention of the buyer prior to them submitting an offer. They are intended to smooth the buying process for faster transactions.
Hips are made up of compulsory and optional items. Compulsory items for freehold properties at the date of this post are made up of:
- A home information pack index – this acts as a checklist for the seller to make sure that all the documents are in order.
- A property information questionnaire – this is a simple questionnaire that provides buyers with general information about the property.
- An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – this provides information to the buyer about the energy efficiency of the property. Homes sold off-plan will require a Predicted Energy Assesment (PEA) and once completed they will need to upgrade to an EPC.
- Sustainability information – for new homes only
- Sale statement
- Evidence of title
- Standard searches – local authority and drainage/water
Leasehold properties require all of the above information plus a copy of the lease.
Other optional items may be included in the pack, however they may speed up the buying process if included. These include a home condition report, a legal summary, a home use/contents form and other specialist forms such as mining searches in mining areas.
From April 2009 no property will be allowed to be marketed in the UK without a HIP. This is the responsibility of the person selling the house if the property is being sold privately or the estate agent, if being sold through an estate agency. In both cases the seller is responsible for paying the cost of the HIP.
Sellers on Sell My Property Online must have a HIP in place prior to marketing the property.
Certain homes do not require a HIPs. These include:
- Properties where there is no marketing ie a home that is sold to a member of the family
- Non residential properties
- Properties limited by law to use as holiday homes or occupation for less than 11 months of the year
- Mixed sales – ie a shop with a flat above it
- Sales of portfolios of property ie several houses sold together as a lot
- Properties that are not being sold as empty ie a property with a sitting tenant
- Unsafe properties or properties intended to be demolished
- Properties sold through the “Right to Buy”, “Right to Acquire” and “Social Homebuy Schemes
Some items may be omitted from the HIP if they are unavailable when the property is marketed, as long as they included within 28 days from the commencement of marketing. These items include:
- Standard searches ie Local authority and drainage/water
- A copy of the lease for leasehold properties
- Commonhold documents where applicable
HIPs may be purchased from a solicitor, estate agent, specialist HIPs provider or you can compile it yourself. Remember to shop around to get the best deal.
More information can be found at http://www.direct.gov.uk