The Home Information Pack (HIP) that was brought in by the Labour Government in 2007 is a clear indication that the standards within the millennium were still inadequate. The HIP formed part 5 of the Housing Act 2004. The government advised that the HIP had to be completed before a property went up for sale. A similar model to this was first used in the USA.
The HIP pack was set of documents that included; local authority searches, title documents, guarantees and Energy performance certificates (EPC). The advantage of this legislation was to speed the sales progression up for the buyer’s solicitors, as this has proven to be time consuming in the past where the process took up to twelve weeks. This was received positively by new buyers and estate agents.
As for the former, they now only needed an accepted mortgage offer and solicitors to act for them, as all legal documents had already been acquired by the seller. For estate agents the exchanging and completion was intended to be faster. However this scheme was also viewed negatively as not all sellers had the money to pay the HIP costs before placing their property on the market.
At the time the Guardian newspaper report that the HIP; “was unnecessary and costly” and it was also reported in the same article from The Guardian from another interviewee that worked as an estate agent;
“Estate agents have long complained they add red tape to the selling process, while sellers have grumbled about the £200-£400 price tag attached to the HIP packs”. (The Guardian, 2010)
After this legislation was brought into power in August 2007 as a three year mandatory regulation from sellers to produce. This HIP then come to its demise in May 2010.
The only remainder from HIP legislation is the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), and sellers do have to arrange one of these prior to marketing their home for sale and an EPC usually costs between £60 and £150 dependent on the estate agent you use.