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for FAQ's for Energy Performance Certificates

When do I have to provide a HIP?

If you are marketing a property that falls within the scope of the scheme (initially those with 4 or more bedrooms) during the temporary period, which runs from 1 August until the 31 December, then the HIP must be commissioned before marketing can begin. During this period the EPC must be provided before contracts are exchanged, although there is no set time limit on when the rest of the HIP should be provided.

If you are marketing a property that falls within the scope of the scheme from 1 January 2008 onwards, the HIP including the EPC must be available to anyone interested in the property from the time it is first placed on the market.

How is a 4-bedroom property defined?

A 4-bedroom property is defined as any property being marketed as having 4 bedrooms.

When will my 3/2/1 bedroom property require a HIP?

The phased implementation of HIPs is intended to ensure that there are enough Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) to produce EPCs, which form a compulsory part of the pack. The Government anticipates needing 2000 accredited DEAs to incorporate 3-bedroom properties and 3000 to cover the whole market. These numbers however, are subject to there being an appropriate regional spread of DEAs and on the data collected from the implementation from 1 August onwards.

What do I do if my house was on the market before the 1 August?

Properties that are genuinely on the market before the commencement date (i.e. I August for sales of homes with four or more bedrooms) will not need a Pack. This exemption will apply for as long as marketing continues but the Government may appoint a date at which all properties on the market will be subject to the HIP duties, regardless of when they were first marketed.
defined in the regulations.

Who compiles HIPs?

Sellers can hire estate agents, solicitors, separate pack providers, or do it themselves.

Are HIPs required across the UK?

No - only in England and Wales

I'm selling my house privately - do I need a Home Information Pack?

If you are marketing your property, even if it's just by putting a 'for sale' sign in the window, you need a Pack. Sales where no marketing takes place (e.g. to a member of the family) won't need a Pack.

Who pays for the Pack?

The seller is responsible for the cost of a Home Information Pack. The cost of the Pack is down to the market, but sellers will often be able to defer costs until late in the sale.

How will I pay for the Pack?

This depends on the agreement between the seller and the compiler of the Pack. Some examples of the ways that Packs might be paid for are as follows:

* Seller pays for the Pack upfront from estate agent, solicitor or Pack provider
* Seller compiles the Pack and pays each organisation for the relevant component (e.g. the Land Registry for the title document)
* Estate agent offers the Pack to the seller on a 'no sale, no fee' basis, where the cost of the Pack could be included in the estate agent's commission
* Estate agent offers the Pack to the seller on a 'buy now, pay on completion' basis, which is usually a credit agreement for three or six months between the seller and the organisation compiling the pack.
* These are only indications of payment models; the Pack regulations do not prescribe any particular payment method.

Do I have to put electrical certificates in my Pack?

Electrical certificates (past or present) are not a required component of the Pack, but can be included if the seller has them.

I've lost guarantees of work I have had done - what do I do?

Don't worry - guarantees aren't a required component of the Pack, but can be included if you have them.

Should the pack include a Home Condition Report?

A Home Condition Report could help you sell your property more quickly if it shows that it is in good condition, or if it highlights any problems straight away for potential buyers, it can avoid nasty surprises for buyers later in the process.

Frequently asked questions for Energy Performance Certificates

What happens to Energy Performance Certificates once they're complete?

All domestic Energy Performance Certificates are lodged in a central database. Energy Assessors (through their Accreditation Schemes) lodge them as they produce them, and each is given a unique reference number. Access to the database is restricted, so only those who have the unique reference number can access the certificate for a particular property.

Not all buildings are used in the same way. However, energy ratings use 'standard occupancy' assumptions, which might be different from the specific way you use your building.

What different methods of calculation are used for homes and for other buildings?

All the methodologies used to produce Energy Performance Certificates consider factors such as the size, age, location of a building, and how it's heated, lit and insulated.

* For domestic homes, the method used is called Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure.
* For commercial properties, the method is called Simplified Building Energy Model.
* For operational ratings for display certificates, a new methodology is being developed. More details will be available on this from Communities and Local Government soon.

How can I get an Energy Performance Certificate?

An Energy Performance Certificate can be commissioned as a standalone document or, more commonly, as part of a Home Information Pack.

For more information visit: http://www.homeinformationpacks.gov.uk