Home Information Packs (HIPS)
From today 1 August HIPs start…
Under Part 5 of the Housing Act 2004 a Home Information Pack (HIP), sometimes called a Seller's Pack, was to be provided before a property in England and Wales could be put on the open market for sale with vacant possession. The pack is a set of documents about the property: an Energy Performance Certificate, local authority searches, title documents, guarantees, etc. The introduction of HIPs was subject to delays and reduced requirements, but they became mandatory for homes with four or more bedrooms on 1 August 2007 and were extended to three-bedroomed properties from 10 September 2007.
The Government had suggested that Home Information Packs would lead to a reduction in the number of abortive sales as their justification for introducing the scheme, reducing gazumping and gazundering. They were introduced despite very strong opposition from some factions in the building industry (although very many were in favours of them) and estate agents, as well as some chartered surveyors. There were claims that the packs contributed to the 2007-09 housing crisis by deterring vendors from marketing their houses due to the extra costs involved in the survey.
Requirement for the Home Information Pack for property sales was suspended with effect from 21 May 2010 by the incoming government. An exception is that the Energy Performance Certificate is still required. The Localism Act 2011 will formally repeal the Home Information Pack legislation on 15 January 2012. Information from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Information_Pack