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Sellers will get extra time for home packs

The Government has given sellers an extra two months’ leeway on home information packs.

The final regulations were confirmed last week and allow sellers until December 31 to produce a Hip for their property if it is on the market before June 1 when the regime comes into force.

Originally, properties on the market before June 1 could continue to be marketed only until October 31 without the need to produce a pack. The aim is to ensure the market is not disrupted by a massive demand for Hips immediately before June 1.

The Ombudsman for Estate Agents says that all agents must be signed up to the redress scheme at a cost of 100 a year.

Chairman Bill McClintock says: “The Government has started its consumer-awareness marketing campaign. The public are becoming more informed about the packs and the need for sellers to have one before they start the sale of their homes.”

The Hip must contain an index of contents, sale statement, evidence of title, standard searches, an energy performance certificate, commonhold or leasehold information, plus options to include a home condition report, guarantees and warranties and other searches relevant to the area such as mining or flooding.

The Association of Home Information Pack Providers is warning estate agents to be prepared for a wave of consumer enquiries about Hips as the Government launches its national consumer awareness campaign this month.

Ahipp director general Mike Ockenden says: “There are a series of courses on offer, not just for agents but also for lenders and solicitors, too, and I would advise those who are not up to date on Hips to get informed fast.”

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