Benefit Consumers: The Government is seeking to extend measures, to help ensure consumers are seeing the vital information in Home Information Packs and to make sure they are receiving a higher standard of service from HIP and other service providers.
The new measures include: developing a new set of standards with industry on what consumers should expect from property professionals in the home buying and selling process; further building on the quality of information in the packs; working with industry to ensure that consumers are fully seeing and benefiting from the HIP, including the EPC, early in the process; extending until the end of the year the provisions enabling consumers to market their home as long as they have ordered and committed to pay for a HIP, and the provision requiring the lease to be included in the HIP for leasehold properties.
The latest figures on HIPs show that consumers are already benefiting from the introduction of Home Information Packs. More than 700,000 homes now have energy ratings as a result of HIPs, helping home owners to save money on their fuel bills and cut carbon emissions. Greater competition in the property searches market is also leading to reductions in costs with some local authorities reducing their search fees by up to £120.
Housing Minister, Caroline Flint said,
“Home Information Packs are already bringing benefits to consumers. Property search costs are falling and new information on energy efficiency can help cut carbon emissions and enable prospective purchasers to get a better idea of the likely costs of energy bills.
“But we want to do more to improve the HIP and the home buying and selling process for consumers. Developing a new set of standards for industry is an important next step in further ensuring all consumers get the highest quality of service when buying or selling a home. We also want to ensure all consumers are seeing the vital information in a HIP early in the process so they can fully benefit.
“Alongside the wanted development of a new industry code, we will continue to work with the industry to promote higher and consistent standards of practice on the delivery of HIPs.”