Home Information Packs

From 10 September 2007, all homes in England and Wales with 3 or more bedrooms will need a Home Information Pack (HIP), which includes a home energy rating.

The Pack includes an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), containing advice on how to cut carbon emissions and fuel bills. Also included are documents such as a sale statement, searches and evidence of title.

A Home Information Pack Index lists the documents contained in the Pack. The Index provides a checklist for sellers, buyers, estate agents and enforcement authorities.

Energy Performance Certificates tell you how energy efficient a home is on a scale of A-G. The most efficient homes - which should have the lowest fuel bills - are in band A. The Certificate also tells you, on a scale of A-G, about the impact the home has on the environment. The average property in the UK is in bands D-E for both ratings. The Certificate includes recommendations on ways to improve the home's energy efficiency.

The sale statement should provide some basic information about the property, including:
The address of the property being sold
Whether the property is freehold or leasehold
Whether the property is registered or unregistered
Whether or not the property is being sold with vacant possession.
Standard Searches

The local land charges register relating to the property being sold - which can be carried out by a personal search company or a local authority.

Other records held by the local authority on matters of interest to buyers, such as planning decisions and road building proposals. These are referred to as local enquiries in the Home Information Pack regulations. A local authority or a personal search company can be used.

The provision of drainage and water services to the property. The local water company or a personal search company can be used (however, the search must comply with the HIP Regulations).

Evidence of Title

These documents prove that the seller owns the property and therefore has the right to sell it. Where the property being sold is registered, certain documents that are available on request from the Land Registry must be included in the Pack. These provide an up-to-date official record of who owns the land, and consist of:
Official copies of the individual register (made up of a property register, proprietorship register and, typically, a charges register)
An official copy of the title plan.
For sales of unregistered land, the Pack must include copies of a certificate of an official search of the index map (obtained from the Land Registry), and those documents that the seller intends to rely on to provide evidence of title to the property, and thus the right to sell it.
Leasehold Properties
A copy of the lease
Any regulations or rules that apply to the property that aren't mentioned in the lease and any proposed amendments to same
Statements or summaries of service charges covering the previous 36 months
Where appropriate, the most recent requests for payment of service charges, ground rent, insurance against damage for the building in which the property is situated, and insurance in respect of personal injury caused by or within the building during the 12-month period before marketing began.

The name and address of the current or proposed lessor, and details of any managing agent that has been appointed or proposed by the lessor to manage the property

A summary of any works being undertaken or proposed that will affect the property or the building in which it's situated.