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Government reveals HIP reforms

The Government has revealed a series of new measures which it says will improve the current Home Information Pack.

Housing Minister Margaret Beckett revealed that a new Property Information Questionnaire will be included in the pack, and will provide a summary of information about their property.

More information will be included in the new PIQ, including flood risk information, gas and electricity safety, service charges, structural damage, and parking arrangements.

HIPs will also become available from the first day that the property is marketed – currently 28 days are allowed before a HIP is created.

Beckett says: “It is essential that all buyers are able to see the HIP as early as possible to ensure they are benefiting from this important information, and that sellers are getting to see the pack they are paying for.”

Beckett says greater competition in the property searches as a result of HIPs have led to some local authorities reducing their search fees by up to £120.

These changes will be enacted from April 6, when sellers will need to have the basic HIP before their home is marketed, which is expected to take 3 to 5 days to compile.

These changes have been announced as the Office of Fair Trading revealed it will be making a full investigation into the whole property buying and selling process, in which HIPs will be included.

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