British Home Information Packs mandatory from June 2007

Home Information Packs (HIPS), which are being introduced by the British Government to reform the home buying and selling process in the United Kingdom, will become mandatory from 1 June 2007, according to a November 17 press release issued by the Office of the Depuity Prime Minister.

Currently, according to the release, one million pounds a day is wasted on failed transactions as buyers often spend hundreds of pounds on valuations, legal advice and searches on transactions that ultimately break down. “By providing key information at the beginning of the process, Home Information Packs will prevent waste and significantly cut the number of sales that fall through. The Packs are expected to cost around £600 +VAT for the average home. Most of those costs are currently paid by the buyer.

British Housing Minister, Yvette Cooper said: “Too many sales fall through because of delays and late information, wasting money and causing great stress for buyers and sellers, that’s why we are introducing the Packs. We have been working with all parts of industry on the detail and this timetable will give them time to fully prepare”.

The British Government expects that confirmation of an implementation date will act as a trigger to others who are waiting to begin their training as Home Inspectors as well as provide certainty to organisations who are already preparing to offer Home Information Packs to consumers on a voluntary basis.

To date, seven assessment centres have been established and 1 700 people from the surveying and property industry and from other professions are undergoing training for the Home Inspector qualification, with hundreds in the pipeline, waiting for the implementation date to be announced. Research shortly to be published by ODPM will confirm the number of home inspectors expected to be required for June 2007 is between 5000 and 7400.

The next steps for the programme is to establish a certification scheme which is required to provide quality assurance and manage the Home Condition Report and Home Inspector registers. It is expected this scheme will be operating by the summer of 2006. A ‘dry run’ will follow later in the year designed to provide assurance to the industry and the public in advance of mandatory introduction on 1June 2007.
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