HIP change will hit downsizers

Sellers looking to downsize from four-bedroom properties could be left hundreds of pounds out of pocket following the government’s decision to alter Home Information Packs’ criteria.

After August 1 and for the foreseeable future, HIPs will only be required on homes with four bedrooms or more.

This means home owners looking to downsize from four-bedroom properties will have to pay for a HIP, plus the additional costs of local searches on the smaller homes they are buying.

Kevin Mitchell, a broker at Blue Print Mortgages, says: “Downsizing is common once the kids leave home but these people will be hit by unnecessary charges. The four-bedroom rule is farcical – people will have to pay twice.”

Paul Broadhead, deputy directorgeneral of the Association of Home In-formation Pack Providers, says: “If the government acts now it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If energy assessors and home inspectors can be acc-redited quickly, HIPs will soon be rolled out to smaller properties too.”

l See Letters, pages 46-47