Time is Of the Essence with Regard to Government’s H.I.P.s Scheme

“Sell now before chaos ensues” advises Chiswick Agent Faron Sutaria

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The government’s initiative to introduce Home Information Packs (HIPs) has been met with trepidation from vendors, buyers and estate agents alike.

Estate Agent Christine Fox of Chiswick’s Faron Sutaria said “Inevitably the advent of the H.I.P.S scheme will impact the property market.”

She continued “The government did a huge u-turn in terms of what will be included in the pack but it is still determined that every homeowner will have to pay for and produce an energy report for their home.

“The confusion surrounding the introduction of an energy report for every single householder will lead to buyers and sellers being unsure of what the new regulations mean to them and will probably cause a short term hiatus in the market.”

“If you do want to sell this year, better to do it before the summer and be moved into your new home before the chaos ensues.” She added.

The idea is that Home Information Packs will speed up the home buying process by making sure the seller has information about their property ready before starting to market the property for sale. This means that under Part 5 of the Housing Act 2004 a legal responsibility will fall on the person selling the property (the vendor) or their marketing agent to ensure all relevant documents are ready to present to prospective buyers on request.

Each pack is likely to include the following documents, most of which are currently provided later in the sale:

• terms of sale
• evidence of title
• replies to standard preliminary enquiries made on behalf of buyers
• copies of any planning, listed building and building regulations consents and approvals
• for new properties, copies of warranties and guarantees
• any guarantees for work carried out on the property
• replies to local searches
• a home condition report based on a professional survey of the property, including an energy efficiency assessment

Also, for leasehold properties:

• a copy of the lease
• most recent service charge accounts and receipts
• building insurance policy details and payment receipts
• regulations made by the landlord or management company
• memorandum and articles of the landlord or management company

April 5, 2007