Investment Property Accountants - WARR & CO

Investment Property Accountants

Government Announce Overhaul of Home Information Packs (HIPs)

The Government’s Housing Minister, Margaret Beckett, has announced changes to Home Information Packs (HIPs) that will require property sellers to prepare a HIP before the property is marketed.

Sellers can currently commission and pay for a HIP and then start marketing their property for up to 28 days before the pack is available. However, with effect from 6th April 2009, sellers will no longer be permitted to market the property without the fully compiled HIP.

Furthermore, a new Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) will also be introduced. The new questionnaire will include flood risk information, gas and electricity safety, service charges, structural damage, and parking arrangements to help buyers make decisions on whether to view and purchase a property. The new PIQ will go alongside other information in the pack, such as energy performance certificates.

Beckett says: "The government fully expects the changes being made today will mean no extra burdens for estate agents, and for example they will still be able to advise potential clients about properties they expect to be coming onto the market. Under the changes made today, from 6th April 2009 sellers will need to have the basic HIP before their home is marketed, which is expected to take three to five days to compile.”

However, Chris Brown, president of the National Association of Estate Agents says the government should have grasped the opportunity to suspend HIPs and restore some confidence to the market.

He says: “As it is, the NAEA recommendation’s that the production of local searches is delayed until a purchaser is found has been ignored. This has resulted in an ongoing need for updating property search information, adding further cost to the consumer.

“On the basis that local searches were moved back in the process, we did agree that consideration should be given to the introduction of a PIQ.

"This was on the assumption that it was easy to produce and of use to the consumer. We look forward to ongoing consultation as to the final version of the questionnaire to ensure that it is not just another added burden to the process.

“NAEA Members’ biggest concern will be the proposal to end the first day marketing proposal from 6th April 2009. Consumers have made it abundantly clear to us that they believe that they should have the right to market their house from day one rather than having to wait until the HIP is prepared.”

"The government has suggested that certain information can be added at a later time of up to 28 days and we look forward to hearing the exact nature of this."

For more information, visit the Governments Home Information Packs website.

Date of Article: 10th December 2008

Investment Property Accountants
Property Investment
Core Services – Sole Trader & Partnership
Core Services – Limited Company
Additional Services
Fee Structure
Frequently Asked Questions
Useful Links
Office Directions
Contact Us
This domain is owned by Warr & Co Chartered Accountants which is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW). Whilst the information detailed here is updated regularly to ensure it remains factually correct, it does not in any way constitute specific advice and no responsibility shall be accepted for any actions taken directly as a consequence of reading it. If you would like to discuss any of the points raised and / or engage our services in providing advice specific to your personal circumstances, please feel free to contact Peter Edwards on 0161 477 6789 or email us at