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Thursday 20th of November 2008
August 1, 2007

Home Information Packs make their entry


by Gill Montia
”Home

Home Information Packs (Hips) are now a legal requirement for anyone selling a property with four or more bedrooms.

The packs, which cost between £400 and £700 to compile, contain title deeds, local searches and an energy performance certificate.

The Government plans to extend the scheme to cover all homes being sold, despite widespread opposition to the scheme from bodies including The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Law Society, the National Association of Estate Agents and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

A major criticism from the CML is that the local searches contained in the packs could be out of date by the time a property is sold and mortgage companies may require the buyer to commission new searches to supplement those in the pack.

The delay in introducing Hips across the board has been caused by a shortage of qualified inspectors needed to produce energy performance certificates.

Those in support of Hips believe that the introduction of energy certificates will reduce carbon emissions by millions of tonnes a year, whilst also lowering family fuel bills.

Anyone selling their home without a Hip will face a fine, and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has warned estate agents that if they fail to comply with Hip rules they could be out of business.

The OFT has the power to assess whether an estate agent is fit to practise and can impose a ban on any firms found to be in breach of the new Act.

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