Hip requirement extended to all homes
The Government has announced that the requirement for Home information packs (Hips) is being extended to cover all properties being sold in England and Wales, from 14 December.
The packs, which include local searches and an energy efficiency report, have been introduced in stages, having been required for all properties with three bedrooms or more since September of this year.
The scheme has been severely criticised by estate agents and professional bodies, such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
It has also been at the centre of legal arguments about the validity of the local searches contained in the packs.
Some lenders have refused to accept searches provided by companies specialising in the provision of Hips.
In addition, the introduction of Hips is one factor that has contributed to the slowdown in the property market, as large numbers of homes came onto the market prior to Hip requirement dates.
The government is insistent that the packs are of benefit to consumers and will shorten and simplify the house buying/selling process.
At a cost of between £300 and £500, they will certainly keep specultative vendors off the market.