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Home Information Packs suspended

by David Parton

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The new coalition government has removed the need for a Home Information Pack to be prepared when a property is put up for sale.

'The packs have courted controversy ever since their implementation in late 2007' David Parton, Partner

As of Friday 21 May they will no longer be required.

HIPs were introduced in August 2007 aimed at reducing the time it took to buy a home, by providing more up front information to buyers to better inform their purchase decision.

David Parton, partner in Access Legal from Shoosmiths' Conveyancing Department, said: 'The packs have courted controversy ever since their implementation in late 2007.

'The majority of property professionals, including estate agents, lenders, surveyors and solicitors, have consistently criticised their benefit, stating that the timing of ordering conveyancing searches is premature when a property is marketed, and that if a property doesn't sell, the information has been ordered unnecessarily.

'Some people selling a house have been reluctant to pay £300 or more up front to place their homes on the market, which some agents blame for reducing levels of property on the market. Buyers have rarely looked at the packs before making a decision to purchase.'

The challenge following their suspension will be the return to the responsibilities of ordering information before HIPs were introduced and to deal with the transition period.

This may reduce up front marketing costs for sellers, but may increase the purchase cost for those buying a house who'll now have to pay for the necessary conveyancing searches for their purchase.

The requirement for a seller to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating a property's energy efficiency will also change, with sellers needing to have commissioned one before marketing their home, but without having to actually have it available. An EPC is a requirement of EU law.

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