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Glossary
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Home Information Packs
Home Information Packs:
A Guide

Since 14 December 2007, all properties for sale in England and Wales will require a Home Information Pack (HIP).

They contain essential information that buyers and sellers need to know.

The purpose of a Home Information Pack is to simplify the process of buying and selling properties—making it easier, faster, more informed, and more transparent for all parties.


What is inside a Home Information Pack (HIP)?

Compulsory documents include:

  • Home Information Pack Index

  • Energy performance certificate

  • Sale statement

  • Standard searches

  • Evidence of title

  • Additional information for leasehold and commonhold sales, if relevant

Optional Home Information Pack items include:

  • Home condition report

  • Legal summary

  • Home use/contents forms

  • Other documents

  • Additional information for leasehold and commonhold sales, where relevant

What is a home condition report?

At present, home condition reports are optional. They are produced by qualified home inspectors. They contain accurate information about the physical condition of a property. They offer significant benefits:

  • Sellers can carry out or obtain quotes for any necessary repairs.

  • Buyers can feel reassured that they will not encounter any large and unexpected repair bills.

  • Lenders can make informed valuations without having to conduct a repeat survey at the buyer's expense.

Essential information about Home Information Packs for buyers

  • You can obtain an HIP usually through an estate agent.

  • HIPs are free from estate agents although you may have to pay a minimum administrative cost. If an estate agent isn't involved, you can obtain a HIP directly from the seller. 

  • Home Information Packs do not have to follow a particular design.

  • On receipt of your HIP, make sure all the compulsory documents are in place.

  • Be aware that key documents including land registry, evidence of title, and searches must not be more than three months old.

  • Make sure the home inspectors and domestic energy assessors involved in your purchase are properly accredited.

Essential information about Home Information Packs for sellers

  • As soon as your property is on the market, your Home Information Pack or HIP must be ready and complete to provide to potential buyers, usually within 14 days.

  • The cost of Home Information Packs will be set by the market. You must not charge any potential buyers for the HIP although you may ask for payment to cover copying and postage. 

  • You are solely responsible for the cost of the energy performance certificate. The benefits for the future include more energy-efficient homes and lower utility bills for all.

  • You can obtain an HIP by using the services of an estate agent, a solicitor, specialist HIP provider or a financial adviser.  It is also possible to compile your own HIP, but this requires considerable research and effort. If you are intent on self-compilation, there are useful guidelines on www.homeinformationpacks.gov.uk

  • For your safety, only permit domestic energy assessors and home inspectors if they have made an appointment and carry appropriate identification.

  • If you are commissioning an HIP, only use companies that are members of the HIP Code. If you are commissioning searches or self-compiling, use a company that has signed up to the Search Code.

  • As long as your property remains on the market, you need not update the Home Information Pack. If, however, the sale comes to a halt but re-starts at a later stage, you are usually required to update your HIP.

  • If you are selling a new-build or an “off-plan” property, you are still required to produce a Home Information Pack. You may not need to include a full energy performance certificate (EPC). However, you will need to include a predicted energy assessment.

Generally, the total costs of buying and selling a home will be similar to prior the launch of Home Information Packs (HIPs). However, now, with the advent of Home Information Packs (HIPs), the costs will be distributed more fairly between buyers and sellers.

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