Hips extended to three-bedroom homes

| August 20, 2007 | 0 Comments

The Government is moving ahead with its controversial plans to make Home Information Packs (Hips) obligatory for anyone selling their house.

The packs have been a requirement for four bed-room properties since the beginning of August and as from 10th September, they will also be required for three-bedroom homes.

Hips cost between £400 and £600 and contain local search information and an energy performance certificate (EPC), amongst other things.

The scheme, which has attracted strong criticism from estate agents and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, is being introduced piecemeal because insufficient energy assessors, who prepare the EPCs, have been trained to cover the entire housing market.

The Department of Communities and Local Government administers the scheme and intends to extend it to all other homes as soon as the numbers of trained energy assessors reaches a sustainable level.

According to Government statistics, the average time taken to prepare a pack is five days and figures in the press indicate that there are currently 4,000 individuals who are qualified to complete EPCs but only 2,969 accredited inspectors.

This has led to concerns that there will be a shortage of inspectors in property hotspots, such as London and the South East, where the figures for accredited inspectors are 237 and 495 respectively.

Approximately one million three-bedroom properties are put on the market in the UK each year.

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