Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hips for Movers and Shakers

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hips for Movers and Shakers

Article excerpt

Byline: By Richard Freeman-Wallace

Get Hip if you're a house mover from 2007. The House of Lords endorsed the Housing Bill this week and, as a result, Home Information Packs (Hips) will be compulsory in England and Wales from 2007.

As soon as a property is put on the market, house-buyers will be able to access a pack that contains all the information required to make an informed decision.

According to the Government, it should spell the end of gazumping because the Hip will require the seller to provide the buyer, at the beginning of the transaction, with all the searches and property information he or she wants.

Pack it in

The HIP will consist of the terms of sale, evidence of title, replies to questions buyers might ask about the property, searches, and copies of any planning, listed building and building regulation consents and approvals. For new properties the pack will need to have copies of any warranties and guarantees.

The pack will also include a home- condition report, which will replace the homebuyer's survey and valuation, but which will not include a valuation. This will cover the physical condition of the property and will also include an energy efficiency report.

For leasehold properties, such as flats, it will also include a copy of the lease, most recent service charge accounts and receipts, buildings insurance policy details, and additional regulations made by the landlord or management company.

Who pays?

The seller will pay for the cost of the home information pack. At present the buyer has to pay for the searches. The Government estimates the pack will cost between pounds 600 to pounds 700 to put together, slightly more in London.

Presently, a great deal of information required by buyers and sellers about a property is only sought after an offer has been made and accepted. …

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