The governments trial of Home Information Packs has started today, across six areas in the country.
The government in partnership with the industry, is piloting the packs in Bath, Cambridge, Huddersfield, Newcastle, Northampton and Southampton.
The trial is designed to test both the HIPs and full Home Condition Reports, however as part of the trail, sellers will not have to pay for the packs.
In September 2006, the Department for Communities and Local Government pledged 4m of funding to support the six area trials.
Under the present home-buying process, a lot of the information needed by a buyer only becomes available after an offer has been accepted. This means that any problems with the property may only come to light, once buyers and sellers have incurred costs. This can then cause the terms to be re-negotiated, delays in the exchange of contracts, and even result in transactions failing altogether.
From June 1, 2007, it will be compulsory for sellers to make a HIP available to a potential buyer that contains information they need about the property. It will include information such as terms of sale, title deeds, local searches, warranties, and an Energy Performance Certificate.