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Home Information Packs (HIPs) and the Law


A law came into force on 14th December 2007 stating that every home put on the market in England and Wales, no matter what its size, must have a Home Information Pack (HIP). Maguire Jackson will always provide potential buyers with the HIP relating to a property for sale they are interested in buying as soon as you notify your interest.

HIP is the acronym for Home Information Pack. This pack is a compilation of all the documents required by law prior to the exchange of contracts on a property for sale.

HIPs provide information about a property to potential purchasers, up-front and in an easy-to-follow format.

The information that HIPs contain is now available at the first point of marketing, thus speeding up the process of buying a home. This is the information that used to be compiled by a solicitor only at the final, conveyancing stage of the house sale. Potential buyers can, therefore, now make an informed decision before they put in an offer on a house for sale.


What goes in HIPs?

A HIP includes documents that are required when homes are bought and sold. Some documents are compulsory and others optional.


Compulsory Documents

The compulsory HIPs documents are:

  • An index (ie a list of the contents of the HIP)
  • A sale statement (summarising the terms of sale)
  • Evidence of title (which prove that the seller really owns the property)
  • Standard searches (ie local authority enquiries and a drainage and water search)
  • An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • A copy of the lease (where appropriate)

    Optional Documents

    HIPs documents that are optional include:

  • A Home Condition Report (HCR)
  • Legal Summary (some basic legal advice)
  • Additional leasehold, information
  • Guarantees and warranties

  • Any other searches relevant to the particular area in which the house is located.


    Who pays for the Pack?

    The seller is responsible for the cost of a HIP. The cost of the Pack is down to the market, but sellers will often be able to defer costs until late in the sale.


    Benefits for sellers

    For sellers, providing a HIP upfront should reduce the likelihood of any snags in the selling process that could delay the sale, as buyers will be able to make more informed decisions about purchasing their home.


    Benefits for buyers

    The HIP is a free of charge resource to buyers, providing essential information about properties they are considering buying.

    More information about HIPs is available on the Government’s HIP information website.



    Philip Jackson

    This forthcoming year ahead promises undoubted uncertainty in abundance early in the year, yet surprisingly increased opportunities for those taking a medium or longer term view on Birmingham, being a key UK City for the future.