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Government scraps need for HIPS

The much-maligned Home Information Packs have been scrapped with effect from today.
HIPs were introduced in 2007 in England and Wales and the government is following up on the promises made by housing minister Grant Shapps whilst in opposition.

“Today the new government is ensuring that home information packs are history,” he said.

“By suspending home information packs today, it means that home sellers will be able to get on with marketing their home without having to shell out hundreds of pounds upfront.

“We are committed to greener housing so from now on all that will be required will be a simple energy performance certificate.”

The aim of the Home Information Pack was to speed up the house selling process by making sellers provide much of the conveyancing information when properties are put up for sale. The packs contain property information, title deeds, and local searches. Originally, they were supposed to also contain a structural survey, but this was dropped as a requirement. Many solicitors have refused to rely on the information contained anyway.

The energy performance certificate, which ranks the energy efficiency of a home with A to G ratings, will be retained and must be produced by the seller within 28 days of putting a home on the market.

The cost of the elements such as Land Registry and local authority searches will now revert to the buyer.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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