Hips were introduced with the objective of making buying a house easier. Many sales fall through because of nasty surprises in surveys, but the government hope that Hips will make the process more transparent for buyers. Additionally, energy ratings for properties will make it easier for vendors to predict how much their household bills might be, and how environmentally sound a property is.
Who needs one?
Properties marketed for sale from 14 December 2007 in England and Wales will need a Hip, which includes a home energy rating. It is the responsibility of the seller to compile the pack, but they might wish to get their estate agent or one of the businesses devoted to providing Hips to do it for them. The estimated cost is between £400 and £700. Scotland is due to get its own version in 2008, which will be slightly different to the Scheme in England and Wales. It will be known as the Single Survey Scheme or Purchasers Information Pack (PIP).
The Hips debate
There's been a lot of discussion about the benefits of this new law. Where sellers now have the extra expense and hassle of compiling a Hip, buyers may win out by having more information at their finger tips when making decisions about buying a property. Use the links below to read the latest news stories about Hips:
D-day for home information packs
HIP assessors waiting by the phone
Q&A: Home Information Packs
More about Hips
If you are selling your home, speak to your estate agent about Hips. Another good source of information is the government's official Hips website.