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Home Information Packs

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2008, Official Report, column 1047W, on home information packs, if she will make gas safety certificates a mandatory part of home information packs where a gas supply is present. (249571)

No. A gas safety certificate is authorised for inclusion in the HIP where one exists and the seller wishes to include it. The new property information questionnaire (PIQ) includes information on the service history of heating systems. The PIQ will be completed by sellers and will become a required HIP document from 6 April 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer from the Minister for Housing in the Communities and Local Government Committee on 23 October 2008, Q16, on home information packs, what recent discussions the Minister has had on (a) the updating of home information packs and (b) the period of validity of home information packs from the date of commission; with which authorities she has had discussions; what conclusions she has reached; and if she will make a statement. (250818)

The stakeholder panel, which I chair, meets regularly to consider how to improve the home buying and selling process, including home information packs. My announcement of 8 December sets out, and makes clear how we plan to improve the content of HIPs to help realise their full potential for consumers. In particular, I have asked Ted Beardsall to convene a working group to consider local property searches. The group will consist of industry and consumer representatives and will consider consumers’ needs, utility and presentation of existing searches information. We will also be working with RICS and other key stakeholders to look at how to ensure consumers receive appropriate information about a property’s condition.