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Selling a house in England and Wales

The Home Information Pack

The Home Information Pack (or HIP, aka Seller's Logbook, Seller's Pack) is a set of documents provided by a seller giving key information about the property for sale.

From 1 June 2007 homeowners in England and Wales will not be allowed to start marketing their property until an HIP has been prepared. The HIP must be updated every six months if a property takes longer than that to sell.

The HIP is likely to contain:

  • the terms of sale
  • evidence of title
  • replies to standard searches
  • copies of any planning consents, agreements and directions, and building control certificates
  • seller's property information form
  • warranties and guarantees
  • report on the physical condition of the property (Home Condition Report – HCR) including an energy efficiency assessment (Energy Performance Certificate, graded A-G)

Additionally for leasehold properties:

  • a copy of the lease
  • recent service charge accounts and receipts
  • current and planned future works
  • building insurance policy details and payment receipts
  • regulations made by the landlord or management company
  • memorandum and articles of the landlord or management company

Home Condition Report (HCR)

Roughly equivalent to the current mid-range survey, the HCR contains information about the condition of a property. The HCR will be completed by a qualified Home Inspector who will carry out an on-site assessment. The HCR will be an optional part of the HIP in the beginning but will eventually become mandatory.


Non-residential properties, or mixed-use properties, such as shops with flats above them, tenanted properties (where a tenant is to remain in residence), and properties with a lease of less than 21 years, can be sold without an HIP.

Sellers will be able to market their homes with an incomplete HIP after 14 days if they cannot obtain certain "required" documents within that time.

If you're selling your house privately, e.g. to a neighbour or family member, you won't need an HIP by law.


The HIP is expected to cost the seller between £600 and £1,000, of which around £300 will be the price of the Home Condition Report. It will be free to the buyer (though the cost will probably be reflected in the asking price).

Fines for not having an HIP

The penalty charge for breach of the HIP requirement is initially set at only £200. However, the Office of Fair Trading could issue a banning order preventing estate agents who flout the rules from trading.

Where can I get an HIP?

Most estate agents are intending to offer HIPs as part of their inclusive fee package. The Law Society is testing one this year, available through solicitors. The magazine Which? has predicted that banks, building societies and even utility companies and supermarkets will start offering them.

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