HIPs come under spotlight

By on 01/09/2009 in News

A compliance check on the content and accuracy of information contained within Home Information Packs is set to be carried out by Birmingham City Council.

The survey will aim to identify whether estate agents are making packs available at the appropriate time and whether the packs contain all the required documents, including the Energy Performance Certificate. Particular attention will be paid to the accuracy of local search information.

Trading Standards officers hope to visit around 25 per cent of the city's estate agents in Birmingham and will concentrate efforts where it is already suspected that agents are marketing properties without HIPs.

The visits will not be done covertly, with officers announcing themselves and asking to see the HIPs relating to properties that are advertised.

Any obvious breaches of the HIP Regulations will be dealt with by way of on-the-spot Penalty Charge Notices.

More serious cases involving inaccurate information in HIPs will be considered under the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations.

Cllr Neil Eustace, the Chairman of Birmingham's Public Protection Committee said: “The aim is to ensure that estate agents are competing fairly with each other and that consumers can have confidence in the quality of HIPs.”

Chris Neville, Head of Birmingham Trading Standards, added: “We are pleased to be working closely on this survey with the Property Codes Compliance Board and the Association of Home Information Pack Providers.”

ENDS

For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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  1. Mary Buckle says:

    I welcome this review. I am buying a house in Erdington. The HIP document produced in June this year shows that environmentally the property is sound. My solicitor has picked up a problem in the local searches which was not identified which could make the property unsellable. I have already paid out hundreds for solicitors fees and will now have to pay out for further environmental searches. Why wasn’t this picked up in the HIP document which in my view is a total waste of money.

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