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What is a HIP?
In August 2007, the Government introduced recent legislation aimed at facilitating the home-buying process for both Vendors and Buyers. The legislation led to the introduction of the Home Information Pack or HIP for all properties over 4 bedrooms marketed after 1st August 2007. However, as from 14th December 2007, this has been extended to all properties marketed after this date. What this effectively means is that, in order to market your property, you will require a Home Information Pack.

Who is responsible for providing an HIP?
This is down to the individual responsible for marketing the property which will be, in most cases, the Estate Agent instructed by the Vendor; but can actually be the Vendor themselves. The HIP must have been commissioned by the responsible party by the time the property is placed on the market and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) together with any other relevant documents must be provided upon request.

When is a HIP/EPC not required?
If the property is sold before the HIP is received, then this is no longer required but the Vendor is still legally obliged to provide an EPC to the Buyer at exchange of contracts or as soon as available.

How long does an HIP last?
There is no need to update the HIP whilst the property is on the market but in instances where the Vendor withdraws the property and it is later remarketed, a new pack will normally be required with the necessary updating of the documents in accordance with HIP regulations.

If the property is withdrawn as a result of acceptance of an offer by the Vendor and that offer subsequently falls through, the property can then be remarketed with the original HIP, provided that this is recommenced within one year from the date of the initial marketing date or, if later, then within 28 days of the sale falling through.

In the event that the sale stops for any other reason, provided that the property is remarketed within one year, the existing HIP may be used.
 
What documents are required in the HIP?
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – this is a compulsory document provided by a Domestic Energy Assessor or Home Inspector (who should be registered or approved) usually a member of the HIP Code and signed up to the Property Codes Compliance Board.

The EPC gives details of the energy efficiency of the property and will also offer advice on how to improving energy efficiency, cutting emissions and fuel bills - *MORE INFO LINK TO EPC CHART

Index of Contents – this should also include explanations for any missing documents.

Sales Statement
– a summary of the terms of sale, usually drawn up by a solicitor or conveyancer instructed by the Vendor.

Evidence of Title
– If the property is registered, this will take the form of official copies of the register or title plan (copies of which are available from the Land Registry Office and usually subject to a fee. LINK LAND REGISTRY OFFICE. If the property is not registered, the documents required will be the official result of a search of the index map (SIM), again available at the Land Registry Office for a fee. In some instances, it may be necessary to also include whatever documents are relied on to show that the Vendor has title or the right to sell.

Local search
– conducted either through the local Land Charges Department of the Local Authority or the National Land Information Service (NLIS) or a personal search company.

Drainage and water searches
– through the local water supplier or NLIS or personal search company.
Leasehold or Common hold documents – where appropriate.

Home condition Report
– this is an optional report conducted by a Home Inspector which gives details of the condition of the property.
Any guarantees or warranties

Home Contents or Uses forms
– again these are an optional extra which the Vendor may wish to provide.
Additional searches - i.e. mining, environmental or flood risk required in particular areas.

How do I organise/obtain an HIP?
As a Vendor – most Estate Agents will provide you with an HIP either through their own in-house legal department or via an approved or recommended third party. *Delete paragraph as appropriate

*Para 1: Our in-house legal department are on hand to provide you with every assistance in order to produce your Home Information Pack (HIP) and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in accordance with HIP Regulations. We will advise you on what documents are required and assist in the appointment of your DEA/Home Inspector as recommended by us, thus taking the stress out of marketing your home.

The cost of providing your HIP is included in our charges.

*Para 2: Through our long-standing and well-established connections with local solicitors/specialist pack provider, we are able to assist you, as the Vendor, in providing your Home Information Pack and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in accordance with HIP Regulations. NAME will advise you on what documents are required and will assist with the appointment of your DEA/Home Inspector thus taking the stress out of marketing your home. The cost of providing the HIP will be advised by and payable to the third party.

What HIPs mean for you as the Vendor
The Home Information Pack provides key information needed by a potential buyer prior to commencement of the home-buying process and is designed to ensure a much smoother and quicker process. It allows the potential buyer to view all relevant documents before making an offer and provides answers to several key questions. A HIP ensures that your sale will not be hampered or delayed by local searches or the obtaining of crucial documents necessary for exchange of contracts.

Cost for the Vendor
The cost of an HIP is set by the market and, whilst the overall costs of buying and selling are similar to those prior to the introduction of the HIP, these costs are more evenly distributed.

The EPC is compulsory and will be paid for by the Vendor at extra cost, though a small fraction of the total cost of selling your home.

The Vendor is obliged to provide an HIP free of charge to any potential buyer but the regulations to allow the Vendor/Estate Agent to charge reasonable costs for copying and postage.

Do I have to provide an HIP to ALL potential buyers?
There are exceptions where you or NAME as your Estate Agent will be entitled to turn down a request for an HIP without incurring any penalty:

  • Where it is felt that the buyer cannot afford the property in question, we will request evidence of a financial arrangement or “in principle” agreed mortgage.
  • Where the potential buyer is uninterested
  • Where you, as the Vendor, simply do not wish to provide a HIP to a particular individual as you have no intention of selling to them (current regulations allow this to be refused without any reason).
  • Other circumstances where an HIP is NOT required
  • No marketing is involved i.e. a private sale
  • Non-residential property
  • Seasonal/holiday accommodation
  • A mixed sale (i.e. shop and flat)
  • Right to buy or similar sale
  • Sale of a portfolio of properties
  • Complete vacant possession
  • Unsafe/demolished properties
  • Properties on the market prior to the requirements i.e. before 1/8/07 for 4 bedrooms and before 10/9/07 for properties with 3 bedrooms.
  • New Builds under Part L Building Regulations 2006.
What HIP means for the Buyer
The Home Information Pack (HIP) provided important information crucial to assisting the buyer in the decision of whether to proceed with the purchase of a new property.

You should ask us for a copy of the HIP for any property you are interested in and check that this is complete and that a satisfactory reason is given in the Index for any missing documents. We will obviously also assist in ensuring that any such documents are provided to you upon request as soon as possible.

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) provides information in respect of the energy efficiency of the property and may include further details regarding recommended improvements relating to cutting of carbon emissions or fuel bills.

The HIP may also contain a Home Condition report which is an objective report voluntarily commissioned by the Vendor on the condition of the property.

Other documents included in the HIP are the results of searches and evidence of title, usually things which can impede the smooth running of the sale process.

Cost for the Buyer
The Home Information Pack will be provided by NAME/the Estate Agent acting for the Vendor or, in some cases, the Vendor directly free of charge to the Buyer but you are likely to be charged the reasonable costs of copying and postage as allowed under the Regulations. This is particularly beneficial if you are a First Time buyer.

Leasehold/Commonhold documents required for HIPs
Leasehold – a copy of the lease or any property charges obtained when the property was purchased. If this information has been lost, the Vendor may obtain a further copy from the Land Registry Office, though it is likely that you will be charged a fee.

Other documents required Include:

  • Information regarding service charges
  • Details of the current lessor/whoever responsible for managing the property
  • Management rules
  • Details of any proposed works to the property or building in which it is located and the amount of any service charge required as a result
  • NB: The above documents are usually available from the Landlord or Building Manager but copies may incur a charge.
  • Commonhold – official copies of the individual register or title plan relating to the common parts and commonhold community statement referred to in the register. Again, copies of such documents may be obtained from the appropriate Land Registry Office for a fee.
  • Other documents required include:
  • Any other regulations made for the purpose of managing the commonhold and any property charges to them
  • Recent regulations for financial contributions in respect of the property
  • Details of the managing agent/other party responsible for managing the commonhold
  • Details of any proposed works to the property or common parts. 

 




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