Government survey finds limited understanding of home information packs among general public

Consumers have a limited understanding of HIPs and found them full of jargon, a government-sponsored survey into the legislation has found.

A report by the Communities and Local Government (CLG) department released on Friday also claimed that:

  • estate agents were fairly negative and apathetic about HIPs
  • energy performance certificates were perceived as positive aspects of HIPs “which many participants felt was a good way of raising awareness about more wide-spread environmental issues”
  • none of those surveyed had acted on advice from the EPC or negotiated with the buyer or seller over its contents.

The survey found a “a general lack of interest amongst buyers with regards to the HIP and they recalled that few buyers actually requested to see the HIP for their property. This fed into a general apathy amongst sellers who struggled to see the purpose of paying for something that received low levels of interest from buyers"

The RICS said it was not surprised at the findings of the report. Director of regulation Steven Gould said: "RICS has been warning the government for months that the HIP is unfit for purpose. Consumers have a right to expect a product in which they can have confidence. We hope this damming indictment from their own consumer market research leads to a swift review of policy."