The HIPs pack is out of date – what shall I do?

Since HIPs have now been abolished the buyer cannot force the seller to complete a fresh one, so if there is any information in the PIQ that is not covered in any other forms then it can be raised as a pre-contract enquiry.

Sellers

As a Seller, you should send the HIPs pack to the Buyer and wait to receive enquiries on the information contained in the pack. If the local searches are 6 months old then the buyer will usually insist on a new set of searches being carried out. The Official Copies of the Title Register will have to be supplied again since Conveyancin Solicitors will generally not accept them if they are over 3 months old. Seller’s solicitors will usually supply fresh official copies at the start of the matter, without being asked to.

Buyers

Searches

As a Buyer, it is very important that the dates on all the documents are checked carefully by your conveyancer or solicitor. The local search results should not be older than 6 months and if they are, your conveyancer should insist that new ones are produced. This is also a lender’s requirement, i.e. for searches to be no older than 6 months. If buying, it is a matter of common sense – you would want to know whether there had been any changes over the last 6 months or so ( e.g. road works, planning matters etc. ).

Official Copies

The official copies should also be provided again by the Seller so you can check to see if anything has been registered against the property in the last few months. A new legal charge could have been registered, for example. All charges must be discharged by the seller on completion and both solicitors would need to know what these are.

Energy Performance Certificate

The EPC is valid for 10 years so it is unlikely this would have to be applied for again, however, your conveyancer will advise you on this.

Property Information Questionnaire

The information in the Property Information Questionnaire may also be out of date so it should not be relied upon. Most of the information contained in the PIQ is duplicated in the seller's property information and seller's leasehold property information forms (SPIF and SLIF).

Indemnity Insurance

You can take out indemnity insurance where searches have not been carried out. Some lenders will accept this.

HIPs packs were suspended by the new coalition government on 20 May 2010, however, the EPC part of the pack has remained. If you are marketing your property you are under a legal requirement to commission an EPC. The EPC must be produced within 28 days of the property being put on the market. Which have just confirmed, in their July issue,  that Fridaysmove are the cheapest EPC providers. Click here for a quote on an EPC.