Home Information Pack

home information pack

Home Information Packs have been introduced very recently by the government. Since 14 December 2007, every property placed on the market must have a Home Information Pack. The idea is to help simplify the process for buyers by providing all essential information about the property in one single, standardised document.

What is a Home Information Pack

A home information pack (also known as a 'HIP' or Home Buyer's Report) is a collection of documents that provide the purchaser with key information regarding a property and are now a compulsory requirement for all properties placed on the market in England & Wales. A property cannot be marketed without one.

The Home Information Pack allows the buyer to see key information on the property from the outset at no cost to them. An example of what a home information pack will look like can be downloaded from the following link:

Home information packs consist of two types of documentation, compulsory and optional. The documents that are compulsory requirements include:

  • Home Information Pack Index - this contains a list of all documents contained in the HIP and also acts as a checklist. If a compulsory document is missing from the pack, it must be stated in the index along with the reasons for non-inclusion and how this is being resolved.
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) - this rates the building for standard energy and carbon emission efficiency using grades 'A' to 'G' ('A' being the highest grade). It will also contain advice on improvements that can be made to improve the current rating and how cost effective it would be to do so.
  • Sustainability information (required for newly built homes only) - There will be a certificate that measures the environmental impact of a new home against nine categories ranging from CO2 emissions to the amount of waste generated when building and using the home.
  • Statement of sale - This gives basic information about the property such as the address, whether the property is freehold, leasehold or commonhold, whether it is being sold with vacant possession, the capacity in which the seller is selling (e.g. on behalf of a deceased owner).
  • Evidence of title - This provides information as to who owns the land. It will comprise of official copies of the individual register (including property and charges register) and an official copy of the title plan. If the land is currently unregistered, the HIP must include copies of a certificate of an official search of the index map (obtained from the Land Registry) and any documents showing the seller's right to sell.
  • Standard searches (local authority and drainage and water) - the HIP must include a search of the local land charges register which will show any finance associated with the property, a local authority register search which will show details of planning permissions and road building proposals and details of the provision of drainage and water services to the property.
  • A copy of the lease (for leasehold properties only) - which contains details of the freeholder, term of the lease, charges such as ground rent and any conditions pertaining to the upkeep of the property.

There are also optional documents that you may find included within the pack such as:

  • Home Condition Report - similar to a Homebuyer Survey, it lets the seller and buyer know of any works or repairs that are needed to the property.
  • Legal summary - because the legal terminology can sometimes be difficult to understand, this is a summary of the legal aspects of the pack stated in plain English .
  • Home use/contents form - this provides other information concerning the property such as boundaries, notices, services, sharing with neighbours and planning permission.
  • Other documents - such as specialised search reports (for example,┬áthe seller may choose to include a mining search in a mining area)

For buyers, the Home Information Pack of a property can be obtained by contacting whoever is advertising it for sale. This is typically an estate agent but could also be another business or individual. The seller must provide a copy of the pack free of charge (not including reasonable charges for the cost of copying and postage if necessary).

For sellers, you are responsible for the cost of producing a Home Information Pack. It can either be compiled yourself or you can hire an estate agent, solicitor or HIP provider to do it on your behalf.

Additional information regarding Home Information Packs can be found at http://www.direct.gov.uk/.

Advantages of Home Information Packs

  • All key information about a property is in one clear and concise document
  • The HIP is in a standard format so it is easy to make comparisons between properties
  • It is a legal requirement that all property on the market must have this document and must be available at no charge

Disadvantages of Home Information Packs

  • From a seller's point of view, a HIP must be compiled before you can sell the property and there are costs for generating this document

For more information about 'Home Information Packs', you can call us on 020 8783 1337 or submit an online quote.