What is a Home Information Pack?
Since December 2007 it is law for all houses that are put up for sale, regardless of size, to have what is known as a Home Information Pack (HIP). Here we look at Home Information Packs (HIPs) and why they are important to the process of buying and selling a house.
What is a Home Information Pack?A Home Information Pack (HIP) is a pack containing all relevant information on your home if you are selling it. The law now states that you must have such a pack before you can enter into the sale of your property and that no property can be sold without one. Each Home Information Pack produced contains information on the size of the property, a sale statement, evidence of title (i.e.: who owns the property currently) and all relevant searches such as those carried out by the Land Registry.
The Home Information Pack (HIP) also contains what is known as an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which gives information and advice on how best to reduce CO2 output and subsequent fuel costs. It can also be referred to as a Home Condition Report (HCR).
Sale StatementContained within your Home Information Pack (HIP) is what is known as a Sale Statement; this document contains information on the individual who is selling the property. Such information will include the seller's name as well as the address of the property being sold. You will also find details of whether the property is freehold or leasehold and evidence of title (whether or not it is registered or unregistered).
It is important to note at this stage that any Home Information Pack (HIP) without this sale statement is incomplete and cannot be used for the purposes of selling a property.
Energy Performance CertificateAgain no Home Information Pack (HIP) is complete without this document. As we have already mentioned the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) gives details to any prospective buyer as to how energy efficient the property is and also details how much carbon dioxide is being emitted.
Each property is graded from A to G, with A being the lowest and best in terms of running costs and carbon dioxide emissions.
Home Condition ReportAs the name might suggest this report contained within the Home Information Pack (HIP) is designed to give up to date information on the condition of the property at the time the Home Inspector carried out his or her checks. This report gives an indication as to whether or not there is a lot of work to be carried out, whether the property suffers from damp etc, and whether or not it is habitable upon completion of a sale.
The Property RegisterThis part of the Home Information Pack (HIP) is designed to give information on the property in terms of ownership and also if it is freehold or leasehold. The Property Register will give an indication as to how long - in years - there is left on a lease and also gives details of the boundaries surrounding the property.
Again it is worth noting that if any of the aforementioned is missing from the Home Information Pack (HIP) then it is not complete and therefore the sale of the property may be delayed whilst a new Home Information Pack (HIP) is produced.
Who Pays for a Home Information Pack?The cost of a Home Information Pack (HIP) is incurred by the individual selling the property. In other words the owner of the property must foot the bill for a Home Information Packs (HIPs) produced during the sale period. He or she may also be liable for any additional searches that are required to complete a Home Information Pack (HIP).
For further information on Home Information Packs (HIPs) and how to go about having one drawn up you should contact your local estate agent - or agent in charge of the sale of your property - and a solicitor, who will be able to give you help and advice on how to best go about producing a Home Information Pack.