What Will Be In Your Home Information Pack?

Local councils work together to deliver fast electronic searches

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With the introduction of Home Information Packs (HIPs) on 1st August, three local councils - Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Hounslow - will be holding a seminar on 3rd July to promote an electronic search service that allows home buyers and their agents fast access to official local authority searches.

When someone buys or sells a property, one of the processes they have to complete is a local land charges search from the records held by the local council. The three councils will implement a national search service called NLIS (National Land Information Service), which enables them to reduce the time it takes to process searches. Using NLIS, the average turnaround time for searches is just three days.

The availability of council searches in a HIP will help home buyers make informed decisions about whether or not to choose a property by revealing any restrictions or planned developments affecting a property.

From 1st August all properties with four or more bedrooms will require the home information pack. The government then plans a phased implementation to all properties.

Stephen Pratt, Local Land Charges Manager at Hammersmith & Fulham Council said, “These three councils in West London have risen to the HIPs challenge. Many home movers are not aware that they have a choice between different searches. You should ask your solicitor to look carefully at the search in your future HIP to ensure that it provides the level of protection you need.

"If you ask your solicitor to ensure you have a full council search, you will be able to find out about any restrictions that affect the value or desirability of your property up-front. Home movers will not have to choose between the guaranteed quality of an official council search and speed of search turnaround time to enable fast marketing of their property – they can have both.”

The seminar will take place on 3rd July at Ealing Town Hall at which solicitors and estate agents will find out how the electronic service will help them complete the search element of HIPs quickly, and how to provide access to follow-up searches for home buyers, whilst saving them time and money.

Invitations to attend the seminar have been sent out by the local authorities.

June 27, 2007