From 1st June 2007, it will be mandatory for owners of residential property within England and Wales to commission Home Information Packs (HIPs) if they wish to sell their property. A similar scheme is also planned for Scotland, which has a different system for buying and selling property.
The Government has defined the mandatory parts of a HIP.
While this is not the place to debate the merits or otherwise of the concept, it is interesting to note that for the first time, English and Welsh home owners will be given the actual floor area of their property (in square metres). The floor area will eventually appear twice in the HIP – once in the Home Condition Report* Summary
and once in the Energy Performance Certificate
It remains to be seen how long it will be before estate agents start quoting the floor area, and if so, whether they will use square metres (which is mandatory within the report) or whether they will convert to square feet (which will not appear in the report).
Further information on HIPs, including a proposal for a “homelabel” can be found on UKMA’s website at http://www.ukma.org.uk/press/releases/pr030630.htm
* Editorial Note: the Government has postponed the Home Condition Report, which for the time being will be voluntary.