Q. Having just agreed to purchase a two bedroom apartment here in canary wharf and now arranging the legal formalities of the purchase, my solicitor has asked the agent for a copy of the Home Information Pack (HIPS). The agents however have said that the property does not have one as it was on the market before the new legislation came into force. Surely this cant be right, I am understandably concerned as I hear it’s illegal to market a property with out the pack?
A. From December 14th 2007 the government made it a legal requirement for all properties marketed for sales to have a Home Information Pack produced for the property. However, if the property was already on the market prior to this date they would be exempt from this requirement, and as long as it has remained on the market continuously since then the property would not require a pack. Of course in usual market conditions a property in canary wharf would never be on the market for that length of time but given the current climate it is not unusual at all to see properties sitting on the market for several months whilst trying to secure a buyer. As you rightly stated, property coming to the market following that date does 100% require a pack and it is illegal to market a property without it, it’s worth noting though that the responsibility for this rests with the seller not the buyer.