Government Announces Changes To HIPs

The Government has announced changes to Home Information Packs, to take effect from 6th April next year. The new measures are designed to ensure consumers receive more helpful information at an earlier stage in the home buying and selling process.

A new Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) will be included in the pack, which will provide a summary of information about the property in one place. The summary, to include flood risk information, gas and electricity safety, details of any structural damage, and parking arrangements, should help buyers decide whether to view and ultimately purchase a property.

The new PIQ will go alongside the existing contents such as energy performance certificates.

From April, HIPs will have to be made available from the first day of marketing. The current temporary measure allows sellers to market their property for up to 28 days before the pack is available, as long as it has been commissioned, and arrangements have been made to pay for it.

Housing Minister Margaret Beckett said:

"Home Information Packs are potentially a vital aid to consumers who are seeking to purchase a home, and I am firmly committed to ensuring they work as well as possible. That is why the changes made today will make sure consumers are better protected, better informed and better assisted when buying a home.”

A basic HIP is expected to take 3 to 5 days to compile.

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