HIPs are History – 20 May 2010

The Government has announced the immediate suspension of Home Information Packs (HIPs), which were introduced just 3 years ago by the previous government. Grimsby Energy Performance Certificate provider Colin Childs from says: "Whilst visiting Lincolnshire homes to produce Energy Performance Certificates, it was abundantly clear just how unpopular HIPs were. Many Lincolnshire homeowners saw them as expensive and bureaucratic, costing them hundreds of pounds just to be able to put their house on the market."

"With the change of government, many homeowners were putting off marketing their properties while they waited to see what the Government would do about HIPs. This announcement sends a clear message of encouragement to people thinking of selling their home that they can put it on the market with less cost and less hassle."

Sellers will still be required to commission, but won’t need to have received, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before marketing their property. However, there will be a duty on both the seller and a person acting on their behalf to make reasonable efforts to secure an EPC within 28 days.

"Homeowners generally recognise the benefits of the EPC," says Colin "because it offers practical energy-saving, and hence money-saving, advice. The EPC was just one element of the HIP but will now be a stand-alone document, much the same as it is for a rental property when a tenant changes. An EPC is considerably cheaper than a HIP and will require typically a one-hour visit to the property by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor. The EPC is usually available within one or two working days of the visit."