New measures for HIPs to benefit consumers
In a move aimed at improving the accessibility and usefulness of the much-maligned home information packs (HIPs) to buyers, new rules are to take effect in April that require vendors to have a HIP in place before putting their property on the market.
[UKPRwire, Fri Mar 20 2009] In a move aimed at improving the accessibility and usefulness of the much-maligned home information packs (HIPs) to buyers, new rules are to take effect in April that require vendors to have a HIP in place before putting their property on the market.
Currently, vendors have a 28-day grace period to provide a HIP once they have put their property on the market, but from 6 April 2009 this will no longer be allowed, except for the more complicated processes such as property searches.
Additionally, vendors will also be required to provide a completed property information questionnaire (PIQ), which will give the prospective buyer important extra information, such as parking arrangements, flood risk, structural damage or alterations, and gas and electricity safety, all of which are vital factors in a buyer’s decision to make an offer.
The new requirements have been welcomed by the Association of Home Information Pack Providers (AHIPP), whose director general Mike Ockenden commented: "Finally we will see HIPs getting into buyers' hands. There is already evidence that HIPs have helped to speed up the conveyancing process.” He pointed out that so far only around 40% of buyers saw the HIP for the home they were purchasing, but that this figure should increase significantly following the launch of the PIQ.
As vendors become increasingly involved in the HIP process, they need to ensure they have the right information and take the required steps before they can put their home on the market. As a HIP can be turned around in just a few days, the new legislation is unlikely to hold up the selling process, and vendors should make use of a PIQ completion service to help ensure the marketing and sale of their home runs as smoothly and speedily as possible.
Another requirement of a HIP is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which is carried out by Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs), and this too should be undertaken by the vendor as soon as possible in the marketing process. This too will be of benefit to the buyer as the energy rating can help them assess the likely running costs of a property before they buy and can help them save money on their fuel bills, as well as cut carbon emissions.
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