OneSearch direct considers ‘HIP replacement’ options

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3 February 2014

Ronnie Park, Managing Director of OneSearch Direct, the largest local authority data search company in the UK, today issued the following statement following the recent RICS-commissioned report which calls for Home Reports.

“Estate agents are now covered by the Consumer Protection Regulations (CPRs), which replaces the Property Mis-descriptions Act as the key legislative framework for them to work within. This is presenting them with a much wider set of parameters to consider when listing a property for sale and principally in the area of non-declaration of material things which should be pointed out to prospective buyers at the point of sale. A recent court case led to an estate agent being sued by the trading standards officers for not disclosing that the property had a dis-used mine shaft in the garden grounds.

“Many estate agents tell us they miss HIPs from a pre-declaration point of view. E.g. having a boundary plan as shown on the Land Registry plan was a tremendous asset in solving any later arguments over this aspect. The problem with delays to completions due to late  local searches in places like Leicester would not have happened during HIPs.

“Our point is that Home Reports as per the Scottish system would be good but the English have just got rid of HIPS and would be skeptical of their re-imposition so soon. There are possible solutions to putting in place more pre-sale diligence information such as local searches and land registry plans and OneSearch are looking at this market and in discussion with estate agents about ‘HIP Replacement‘ options.”

OneSearch Direct is the largest local authority data search company in the UK. Ronnie Park, Managing Director of OneSearch Direct, is also a founding Executive Member of CoPSO, the Council of Property Search Organisations.

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