Home Information Packs (HIP)
Home information Packs have been a compulsory requirement when marketing a property for sale within England and Wales since December 2007. New build properties also require a HIP. A HIP is a collection of useful background information relating to the property when offered for sale. Its purpose is to inform potential home buyers upon a number of specific areas, including energy efficiency and associated running costs, to ensure that the buyer grains key information on the property prior to purchase.
Situations where a HIP does not have to be provided are when marketing;
- non-residential properties
- mixed use properties (e.g. shop with a flat)
- properties where there is no marketing, for example if you are selling to a member of your family
- properties limited by law to use as holiday accommodation or occupation for less than 11 months per year
- sales of portfolios of properties (e.g. selling two properties together)
- properties being sold without vacant possession i.e. with a sitting tenant
- unsafe or properties due for demolition
- properties sold through the 'Right to Buy', 'Right to Acquire' and 'Social HomeBuy' home ownership schemes
A HIP can be compiled by an estate agent, solicitor, HIP provider or by yourself. If undertaken personally all necessary mandatory information sources must be consulted and the services of either a Domestic Energy Assessor or a Home Inspector must be sort to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The HIP is made up of mandatory and optional information and follows a general standard* format which must include:
- An index page
- Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ)
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or Predicted Energy Assessment (PEA) (for new homes placed on market prior to completion)
- Sustainability information (newly built homes only - where the Local Authority received the building notice, initial notice or full plans after 1st May 2008). The new property must be assessed under the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) and either a nil-rated certificate or a final code certificate included. An interim code certificate can be included if the property is being marketed prior to completion.
- Sale statement*: comprising property address, property status (freehold, leasehold, commonhold), if the property is registered or unregistered, whether the property is being solid with vacant possession (e.g. with a sitting tenant) and what capacity the seller is selling the property (e.g. selling may be for a deceased owner).
- Evidence of title (copies of official land registry documents)
- Standard searches (enquires relating to drainage and water services at the property, a search of local authority information held on the property and a search of the local land charges register).
- Lease (for leasehold properties only)
- Common hold information - official copy of the individual register and title plan for the common parts and the commonhold community statement.
- Home Condition Report: A report compiled by a certified Home Inspector, giving information on any repairs or work needed on the property. Provides good information to mortgage lenders and potential buyers that can be legally relied upon.
- Legal Summary Documents: A solicitor can provide a summary of any complex documents relating to the property contained within the HIP.
- Home Contents Forms: Can be compiled to indicate what fixtures and fittings are excluded or included in the sale of the property.
- Non Standard Searches: Searches relating to contamination, ground stability hazards, coal mining and other locality specific information can be included.
- Guarantees and Warranties: Any guarantees and warranties relating to work carried out on the property e.g. roof repairs and damp proofing can be included.
Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ)
The PIQ includes information relating to gas and electricity safety, flood risk, any previous structural damage, parking arrangements and a leasehold summary and should be completed by the seller. A separate PIQ is available for newly built homes.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
An EPC must be obtained if a residential or business property is to be rented or marketed for sale. Generally business properties requiring an EPC will have heating, mechanical ventilation or air conditioning installations. They are valid for 10 years and if included within a HIP must be no older than 3 years old at the time the property is first marketed. An EPC is issued following an energy performance assessment and gives tenants and home buyers information on the energy efficiency, fuel costs and related carbon dioxide emissions of the property. A report detailing improvements which could be made to the property, in order to cut emissions and increase energy efficiency, is also included. Associated projected costs for any recommended improvements are given. Energy efficiency ratings within the report are given on a scale of A to G, with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least energy efficient. Example EPC*
An EPC can be provided by either a Domestic Energy Assessor or a Home Inspector.
Buildings exempt form an EPC include:
- Places of worship
- Temporary buildings that will be used for less than two years
- Standalone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50 metres squared that aren't used to provide living accommodation for a single household
- Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don't use a lot of energy. This is inclusive of forges, heavy engineering works, warehouses and the like in which the air is not fully heated or cooled, however individual plaque heaters or air conditioners may be present to heat workstations or areas not separated from the industrial activities.
Information regarding EPCs for Non Residential Properties can be found in the Communities and Local Government publication 'Improving the Energy Efficiency of Our Buildings, (July 2008, 2nd Edition)' (pdf).
Predicted Energy Assessment (PEA)
A PEA is issued in place of an EPC, when newly built homes are marketed prior to completion, and gives tenants and home buyers information on the energy performance of the home. Once completed an EPC should be included within the HIP in place of the PEA.