Government makes changes to HIP regulations

The government has changed the date sellers must have a Home Information Pack if their property is on the market before June 1 2007 for a third time.

The Home Information Pack Regulations were laid before Parliament today and represent the culmination of a significant amount of discussion with stakeholders to fine tune the policy.

Following the consultation in January, the government has made a small number of changes, taking on board the comments received.

This includes ammending the final date for properties that are on the market prior to June 1 2007 to have a HIP.

In the original regulations, sellers had until the end of October 2007 to get a HIP on their property if they were already on the market prior to June 1.

However, in the consultation document issued on January 25 of this year, the government suggested pushing this date back to March 31 2008.

Groups such as the Association of Home Information Pack Providers argued against this ammendment, because they felt that seven months was ample time for sellers to get a HIP.

They also protested that creating a demand for HIPs prior to the busy Spring period was asking for trouble.

The government has now ammended the date to December 31 2007.

Mike Ockenden, director general of AHIPP, says: “March 31 was a dumb time to do it. We suggested December 31 instead and are delighted that the government has chosen this date.”

Other ammendments to the regulations include a clause that sellers can market their homes with a HIP that includes the Energy Performance Certificate, sale statement, evidence of title and index, with evidence that other documents have been commissioned and will be included in the pack as soon as practicable and certainly within 28 days.

They can also market their homes with a HIP that includes the EPC as the first document in the pack, following the index.

And for those properties that cannot have an EPC, they can be marketed as long as a separate energy assessment is included in the HIP.

The duty to refresh time-sensitive parts of the HIP will not arise where the property is re-marketed by the same seller within one year of the original marketing date.

Finally personal search companies will be allowed to use insurance immediately for those parts of the search where they cannot gain access to data. This will only apply for a transitional period until April 2008.