The many changes that Home Information Packs (HIPs) have undergone since their introduction has lead to a certain amount of confusion This is the current position:
From 6th April 2009 the following documents are required before the marketing of any property may commence:
- Evidence of title
- Energy Performance Certificate
- Property Information Questionnaire
- Sale Statement
Searches and leasehold information must also be obtained within 28 days but it does not prevent marketing.
Local Authority Searches
Most HIPs contain personal local authority searches, obtained by private companies rather than directly from the local authority. They often do not contain the detail required by solicitors and lenders, and so are backed by insurance.
From April 6th 2009 this insurance will not be legal, so companies must provide complete information, often costing more.
All residential properties need a HIP, unless they are exempted, primarily for commercial or mixed use or have large extents of land that are in commercial use.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
All properties need an EPC irrespective of whether they are exempted from having a HIP. This includes commercial property.
Expiry of HIPs
HIPs do not expire and there is no legal obligation on either the seller or the agent to keep them updated if a property is continuously marketed.
However, if a property is taken off the market a year after it was first marketed, then when it is remarketed, the following documents must be updated:
It should be noted that the EPC lasts for 10 years.