A key objective of
HiPs is to provide information at an
early stage in a transaction so that buyers can make informed choices.
The ideal is that
sellers can have packs prepared in 3-5 days and that they are available when marketing
starts. However, the experience in the area trials is that packs can take between
4 days and 4 weeks to be produced.
Delays have been caused by the time taken to
obtain searches and difficulties in obtaining leasehold documents where the seller
has not retained these and they need to be obtained from the landlord or the managing
search providers suggests that 30-40 local authorities can take
more than 10 days to return searches and that 7 of these take over 30 days.
expect to see improvements made rapidly but it is not realistic
to expect these to be put in place by June. We need to put in place transitional
arrangements to avoid large numbers of sales being delayed whilst packs are produced.
Enabling homes to be marketed quickly
To avoid significant delays until the current difficulties
with obtaining searches in certain areas are resolved, we propose that, for a transitional
period, sellers should be allowed to market their homes if a pack is produced containing:
Performance Certificate, sale statement, evidence of title and index.
evidence that the other
documents have been commissioned – for
example a letter from a HIP provider or other providers confirming that
an agreement has been entered into to provide the missing documents as soon as
practicable and within 28 days except in exceptional circumstances. If this
takes longer than 28 days providers will be expected to demonstrate that they have
made all reasonable efforts and enquiries to obtain them.
We expect all concerned to do all that they can to ensure
that packs are complete as soon as possible. Whilst we are sure that reputable estate
agents and pack providers will comply fully with the letter and the spirit of the
legislation we will be consulting with LACORs (the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory
Services) in drafting the regulations to ensure that the provisions are as easy to
enforce as possible.