HIPS: HOW THEY AFFECT YOU
If you are about to put your property on the Manchester property market, you are probably aware that as of August 1st you must have a Home Information Pack (HIP). But since the scheme was first mooted in 1998, what this actually means has changed dramatically. So how will they actually affect you, the seller?
CHANGES TO HOME INFORMATION PACKS
The first major change from the initial plans is that you are no longer required to provide a Home Condition Report. The final HIP comes in just two sections – the legal documentation relating to the property (deeds, evidence of title etc) and the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The EPC details how energy efficient your home is, as well as changes you could make and how they are likely to affect your annual bills and your energy rating.
It was planned that from August 1st you wouldn't be allowed to market your home unless you were in possession of your HIP. However, since the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors took the government to court over the issue, a grace period has been instated. Until December 31st, you can still market your house as long as you have commissioned the HIP – however, you won't be able to exchange contracts until you can give the buyer the EPC.
Finally, at the moment only properties with four or more bedrooms are required to provide a HIP. There will be a phased introduction of HIPS across smaller properties over the coming months as more energy assessors and surveyors become qualified.
You are exempt from HIPS if you are conducting a private sale or, in some cases, an Internet sale. However, if you are not exempt and don't provide the pack, you can be fined £200. Buying your HIP will probably cost between £400 and £700 and it is important that you use a provider who has signed up to the HIP code.
For more information, log onto www.homeinformationpacks.gov.uk