Homing in on the pack facts

IT is very important to clarify some of the misconceptions surrounding Home Information Packs (The Hunts Post, February 28). There were a number of points in the article that could be misleading and, since there is a lot of speculation and rumour in the

IT is very important to clarify some of the misconceptions surrounding Home Information Packs (The Hunts Post, February 28).

There were a number of points in the article that could be misleading and, since there is a lot of speculation and rumour in the market regarding HIPs, we would welcome the opportunity to explain why this is an important development for home buyers and sellers alike.

Your article asserts that "rather than some of the information being mandatory, it will be sufficient for the vendor to prove that he has applied for the information." The fact remains that before marketing a property all the contents of an HIP, except the home condition report, remain mandatory.

Moreover, the energy performance certificate (EPC) has taken on more importance following the publication of the Government's latest consultation paper.


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It is expected that, once an EPC has been lodged in an HIP, that property can be put on the market without having to wait for searches - although they must prove that they have been applied for.

The off-hand suggestion that EPCs are "supposed to tell potential buyers how much it is likely to cost to keep the place lit and warm" is somewhat misleading. It is very important for home-movers to be fully aware that the EPCs have a vital and clearly delineated role, namely to provide an energy efficiency rating and an environmental impact rating (which focuses on carbon dioxide emissions).

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It also outlines the fuel costs to run the property and suggests improvements that might be carried out. Buildings are the biggest user of energy and emitter of associated greenhouse gas emissions, and domestic dwellings contribute more greenhouse gases than other buildings. EPCs represent highly important Government action to tackle efficient energy generation and distribution.

It is the responsibility of the property industry at large to educate the relevant parties so that building owners can make informed decisions about using energy efficiently.

Finally, regarding the statement that "the biggest problem for purchasers will be finding someone to carry out an EPC" - the problem is not for a purchaser: the responsibility is that of the vendor's estate agent.

Rather than using a third party domestic energy assessor panel, which could potentially lead to delays in getting an EPC, we are encouraging and training our member agents to qualify as a DEA, ensuring that their vendors' properties hit the market at the earliest opportunity because they can produce the EPC at the valuation.

SYLVIA GILES, Head of HIP, movewithus, St Ives

* I NOTED with interest your article (February 28) on how tree fellers and ink manufactures will be rubbing their hands with glee at the new Home Improvement Packs legislation bringing them lots of work, and look out the environment.

Our company FSP, based in Fareham, Hampshire, is a dedicated HIP publisher.

The company was set up more than six years ago and is very conscious about the environment, insofar as FSP is driven to make as little impact on the environment as possible.

FSP is a carbon-neutral company: all the HIPs printed are produced on part-recycled paper, the inks are produced from completely non-toxic edible vegetable dyes, and all waste paper is collected and re-manufactured into packaging for the HIPs to be despatched in.

While there is no doubt that a lot of work from the legislation will come for new and existing companies, if we all do our bit, the effect on the environment can be kept to a minimum.

MIKE MOORE, (Head of Global Sales, GSP), Garden Close, St Ives

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