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Hips: Heated words over energy performance certificates

They are a key component of home information packs (Hips) – which are compulsory for every home put on the market in England and Wales – and have been hailed by ministers as a vital tool in the battle against carbon emissions. But questions are being asked about the quality of energy performance certificates (EPCs) in a row that pits former newspaper tycoon Eddy Shah against the government.


Home Information Packs Estate Agent Rip Off

According to recent research conducted by Which? Money, Home Information Packs (HIPS) provided by estate agents can cost significantly more than the ones that can be obtained directly from HIP providers – some of them can cost a staggering 50% more.


MP is calling for the controversial Home Information Pack HIP to be scrapped.

An MP is calling for the controversial Home Information Pack (HIP) to be scrapped.

North East Hampshire MP James Arbuthnot warns the already fragile housing market will only get worse following the introduction of complex and expensive new HIP rules.


HIPs are selling sellers short

So the day has finally arrived and passed - April 6 2009. It wasn't only a landmark because it was my birthday (thanks for all the cards) but because now anyone selling a house must possess a Home Information Pack prior to marketing.

You may well think, as I did, that this isn't such a hardship. HIPs usually take about a week to come through and, though they cost about £300, potential buyers won't give it a second glance (less than 8 per cent ask to see a HIP, apparently). Consider it a bureaucratic annoyance, rather than something that could affect the sale.


Home information packs (HIPs) are deterring homeowners

Home information packs (HIPs) are deterring homeowners from putting their property up for sale, stunting market recovery, estate agents believe.

A survey of members by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) revealed that one in ten agents believed that the number of people selling would DOUBLE if HIPs were taken off the market.


Hips for listed homes

I live in a listed building that is more than 200 years old. My property has been continuously marketed since April 2007, before the legal requirement for a home information pack was introduced. I was exempt from the need for a Hip, and remained so at each convoluted change of government regulations, although I have had to produce an energy performance certificate.

Are sellers in my position still exempt from having to produce a full pack? The cost associated with the preparation of a Hip for an historic building is considerable, and will make such properties even harder to sell than they have been thus far.


Home information packs now required before a sale

The requirement for sellers to have a home information pack (Hip) in place when selling their home risks disrupting the property market at a sensitive time, estate agents have warned.

Until now, sellers have been allowed to market their properties without a Hip to show potential buyers, provided one has been commissioned. But from today all sellers, including those selling leasehold properties, must have a Hip from the outset.

Charles Wasdell, head of research at propertyfinder.com, said: "Sellers are already cautious in the current market and this will prevent people from testing the waters, and risks a drought of good saleable properties. The government should be trying to stimulate housing transactions, not tie the process up in more red tape."

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