Home Information Packs (HIP’s) were first introduced in August 2007; they were originally for houses with four bedrooms or more and were eventually required for houses with three bedrooms or more as of September 2007. The reason home information packs were brought in was to show clearly how energy efficient a property is, all previous planning permissions for changes made to the home, searches on the property i.e. sewerage and water. The idea was to show buyers a short summary of the property before committing themselves to buying a property.
Although this was introduced in 2007, not many people have actually ever seen a home information pack for a home they have bought or a home they have sold. In fact when I bought my property the estate agent said it was unnecessary to see it as my own solicitor would be making the same searches before I purchase the house. A home information pack was supposed to cost as little as £350 but in most places they are selling them from £500 – £1000 which is just another added expense homeowners do not need. At the beginning of the recession, many people were put off by the legal requirement to purchase a home information pack and as a result of this the amount of homes being put on the market was less. So due to the competition of too many buyers and not enough sellers, the housing market was booming and prices were rocketing to ridiculous asking prices. Estate agents then began to include a HIP for free as an incentive for homeowners to start selling again, but this was only short lived.
HIP’s suspended May 2010
Thankfully as of May 21st 2010 the legal requirement for home information packs have been suspended. So this means that all homeowners will now save an estimated £700 when they come to sell their home as they no longer need a home information pack. They will however need to have an energy performance certificate. An energy performance certificate is basically a report that shows how energy efficient a property is on a rate of A to G, things like age; size and location of the property are taken into consideration. There are also recommendations that are given so you can improve the energy efficiency of a home. If a house has very poor energy efficiency certificate, then this can give the buyer ground to further renegotiate the cost of the property to include the work that needs to be carried out to make it more energy friendly.