Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

HIP Is the Latest Thing! Property Advice

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

HIP Is the Latest Thing! Property Advice

Article excerpt

FROM June 1 anyone selling a property will have to produce a Home Information Pack - HIP - before it can go on the market. We asked Richard Vaux, partner at Freers Solicitors and Estate Agents in Middlesbrough for some advice.

What is the current situation when selling and buying a house?

A seller markets their home with an estate agent, when an offer is accepted both parties instruct their solicitor to act. If the buyer requires a mortgage the buyer's solicitor is also asked to act on behalf of the mortgage lender to ensure their interests are protected in a legally sound property.

The buyer's solicitor will make enquiries, searches and checks to ensure the legal 'title' is as it should be and there are no problems which will effect future use, enjoyment and value of the property to the detriment of either the buyer or the mortgage lender. The buyer pays for this service.

The surveyor values the property for the purpose of the mortgage lender. The buyer might also pay for a more detailed structural survey.

If all is in order the sale usually proceeds through exchange of contracts to completion.

If either the solicitor or surveyor find any problems that cannot be rectified and a compromise cannot be achieved then the sale can fall through.

What will be included in a HIP?

The pack will include an index, a sale statement, evidence of title, legal searches, an Energy Performance Certificate stating energy efficiency, an NHBC certificate if the property is less than 10 years old, building consents, planning permissions, and leasehold details for flats.

What will the energy performance certificate contain?

It will rate the energy efficiency of your home on a scale of A to G. A Domestic Energy Assessor will visit your home and rate it by looking at various factors such as your windows, insulation, draught proofing, whether you have thermostatic control on your radiators and the energy efficiency of your boiler.

It appears the current procedure works well for many so why introduce HIPs?

HIPs are designed to prevent a break down in sales at a late stage. It would do this by compelling the seller to prepare a pack before a home could be marketed for sale. In this way it is hoped any defects could be spotted and rectified early.

The energy certificate is designed to reduce carbon emissions.

What will it cost and who pays?

Sellers will be required to pay for the HIP. There are likely to be schemes to postpone payment until sale but sellers will be expected to pay if they remove the property from the market.

There is no agreed fixed price. HIPs are expected to be priced from about pounds 350 and rise with the size of the home with the average home paying about pounds 500.

Sellers who already have their house on the market before June 1 will not be required to provide a HIP if they sell before the end of the year. …

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