On 8 December 2008, the Minister for Housing, Margaret Beckett, announced proposals to improve and simplify the consumer content of the Home Information Pack (HIP). From April 2009 consumers will now receive more helpful information about their future home. From this date onwards, a Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) must be in Home Information Packs as a compulsory document and will provide a summary of information about their property.
The aim of the Property Information Questionnaire is to help buyers make decisions about whether to view a property, and ultimately whether to make an offer.
Gas and Electricity Safety information (central heating, wiring, phone, cable etc - when installed and last checked)
Flood Risk information (any previous damage and insurance claims)
Details of previous structural damage (including dry rot and subsequent treatment, extensions, alterations, additions (and whether all the relevant building and planning permissions were obtained, as well as glass window and door replacement)
Information about parking arrangements (including access rights)
A leasehold summary (length of lease, ground rent, maintenance charges, insurance premiums, ongoing works, pets, parking, sub-lets and gardens)
There are two types of questionnaire: one for newly built properties and another for all other types of property.
As the seller, you should complete the PIQ yourself and the answers you give should be honest and accurate to the best of your knowledge. The seller may be the owner or owners; a representative with the necessary authority to sell the property for an owner who has died; a representative with the necessary authority to sell the property for a living owner (e.g. a power of attorney) or be selling in some other capacity. The form should be completed and read as though the questions were being answered by the owner.
If you are the seller, you should be aware -
Answers given in the form should be reliable and correct to the best of your knowledge. The questions have been designed to facilitate the easy sale of your home. Deceptive or ambiguous answers will most likely be uncovered later in the conveyancing process and may jeopardise the sale.
Information included in the form does not replace official documents or legal information. You should be prepared to provide such documents on request to support the answers provided in the form.
If you hold any guarantees for work on your property, your buyers conveyancer is likely to ask for evidence. It is in your interests to make this available as soon as possible.
If anything changes to affect the information given in this form prior to the sale of your home, you should inform your conveyancer or estate agent immediately
Users of the form cannot add, remove or amend questions in the PIQ. The questions and the order of the questions are prescribed in law
by the Home Information Pack (No.2) Regulations 2007 (as amended). They are also prohibited from including advertising material in the
PIQ, or anywhere else in the Home Information Pack.
The author is a specialist in house survey, house conveyancing and moving house.