14 February, 2008
"Prospective house sellers should watch their step with the new Home Information Packs (HIPs)," warns Michelle Spensley, Head of Conveyancing at Forbes Solicitors Blackburn office.
The Home Information Pack team of the Department for Communities and Local Government has warned that some HIP providers are using what are called 'register views' of the property plan in their HIPs, instead of the 'official copy'. The Department warns that the register view is not sufficient evidence of the plan of the property shown in the documents of title. Including it in the HIP instead of the official copy is a breach of the regulations relating to HIPs.
They warn that official copies are required as these are encrypted documents that the Land Registry will stand by - for example if there are any errors in the register - and are therefore acceptable during the conveyancing process. Although the information they contain is similar, register views have no such status. The official copy is required under the HIP regulations.
"The important issue is that if there is an error in the plan contained in the register view, there is likely to be a dispute, with potentially substantial costs required to resolve the matter." adds Susan Piela, Conveyancing solicitor specialist at the firm's Preston office.
Make sure that your HIP has the right content! Forbes offer a competitive HIP package starting from £275 inclusive of VAT and are able to provide additional advice on whether or not a HIP is needed and what they contain. Unlike some specialist HIP providers there are no hidden costs and they do not charge extra for unregistered or leasehold houses.