Homesellers and estate agents dodge HIPs

Homesellers and estate agents dodge HIPs

It has come to light that not all homes being offered for sale have Home Information Packs (HIPs).

According to the president of the Law Society, Paul Marsh, some estate agents and vendors, worried about the slowdown in the property market, are delaying the completion of HIPs until a sale has been agreed.

The packs cost between £300 and £400 for the average property and under current regulations a home can be marketed before a HIP has been completed, as long as one has been commissioned.

The Law Society has reported that conveyancing professionals across the country are seeing cases where HIPs have not be made available until a few weeks after a sale has been agreed, or even until exchange of contracts.

Meanwhile, the Department for Communities and Local Government, which has oversight of HIPs, says the packs should be available no later than 28 days after a home has been put up for sale.

HIPs are intended to give prospective purchasers vital information about a property and the Government is convinced that the packs are speeding up transaction times and have reduced the cost of property searches.

There are plans to expand the packs by including a questionnaire that can be completed by the vendor and will cover such items as recent building work, energy and utility suppliers, parking arrangements and Council Tax banding.

HIPs are due to be introduced in Scotland from 1st December.

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