Housing Minister Caroline Flint has put back the date when it will be compulsory to be in possession of a Home Information Pack (HIP) before a house can be marketed to the end of the year, while announcing new provisions to look at how HIPs are working for both vendors and buyers.

At the present time a vendor only has to be in possession of a HIP on completion of a sale, but originally from June 1 you would need one before you could do any marketing for your house at all. Many industry figures privately feel that the introduction of such a rule would only serve to slowdown the already slowing market more and this decision seems to come in response to what is happening in the market.

Ms Flint also promised to consult with industry bodies to ‘bring together best practice within the industry,’ and develop in partnership with the property professionals, way to capture the most useful information to those who wish to view a property. She said: ‘Home Information Packs are already bringing benefits to consumers. Property search costs are falling and new information on energy efficiency can help cut carbon emissions and enable prospective purchasers to get a better idea of the likely costs of energy bills.

‘But we want to do more to improve the HIP and the home buying and selling process for consumers. Developing a new set of standards for industry is an important next step in further ensuring all consumers get the highest quality of service when buying or selling a home. We also want to ensure all consumers are seeing the vital information in a HIP early in the process so they can fully benefit,’ she added.