Changes to home information packs HIPs to include new property info questionnaire

04 April 2009

Row of terraced houses

By keeping your policy details in a safe place, all the information will be to hand if you need to claim

From 6 April, you'll be able to get a copy of a home information pack (HIP) for any property you are interested in as soon as it comes on to the market.

In addition, the HIP will now contain a new property information questionnaire (PIQ). 

The PIQ will contain useful information on structural changes / damage, flood risk, gas and electrical safety, parking arrangements and, for leasehold properties, additional information such as the current service charge. 

First time buyers

The government says it will ensure that common questions are answered at the beginning of the process and before prospective buyers incur any costs, and hence avoid surprises later on.

It's hoped the questionnaire will be particularly helpful to first-time buyers with little experience of buying a home.

Which? welcomes these changes as a step in the right direction by the government.

HIP guide

Although it's unclear whether or not HIPs have made the home-buying process easier or less stressful, the HIP can help inform your decision and make the home buying process more transparent. 

As a buyer, you can get a copy of the HIP free on any property you're interested in although you may be asked to pay copying and postage costs.

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