What is a Home Information Pack (HIP)?

A HIP is a set of documents that provides the buyer with key information on the property and must be provided by the seller or the seller's agent. It is a legal requirement to have a HIP and you can't market your property without one. Whoever is marketing the property is responsible for ensuring a valid Pack is available. This will either be the seller or their estate agent.

From 6th April 2009 marketing of a property should not start until the HIP is available and all the required HIP documents are commissioned and paid for, or arrangements for payment have been made. The following documents are a minimum requirement in the HIP before marketing can begin:

All HIPs must contain:

  • Index
  • Property Information Questionnaire
  • Energy Performance Certificate or Predicted Energy Assessment
  • Sustainability Certificate (New Homes Only)
  • Sale Statement
  • Land Registry Documents

All other required documents e.g. local property searches, lease (where applicable) should be added to the HIP as soon as they are available and must be included in the Pack within 28 days of the first point of marketing.

For further information on what needs to be included in a HIP, and how this legislation affects you, we recommend that you consult the Government's dedicated HIPs website www.homeinformationpacks.gov.uk/consumer/.

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

Sellers of residential property in England & Wales, and the estate agents acting on their behalf in marketing the property, will also be required to provide prospective buyers with a copy of a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

This document forms a key part of the HIP and can only be produced by a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor. The EPC provides detailed analysis about the energy efficiency of the property, along with information about its CO2 impact. It also contains information regarding improvements and measures that could be taken to improve the energy efficiency of the property. The EPC contains coloured energy information graphs, rather like those found on the front of new fridges and other domestic appliances.

Domestic Energy Assessors will award the property an energy rating based on current energy performance together with the potential rating the property could achieve if it were to be improved to current best standards. More information about EPC graphs that you will find displayed on Rightmove by estate agents is given below.

Free energy efficiency report

To find out how energy efficient your home is, the Energy Saving Trust can provide you with a free, personalised report showing you how much energy and money you can save in your home. It has been shown that an average household could save up to £300 per year on energy bills and reduce around two tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by making energy improvements.

Please note that the report from the Energy Saving Trust is NOT an EPC. Results may differ from the actual rating given to your home by a Domestic Energy Assessor.

Want to make your home more energy efficient?

The Energy Saving Trust has plenty of suggestions for quick and easy changes you can make to your home today! You can visit their website or check out the useful guide below to see how these changes can save you money on your energy bills.

Preview of EPC Graph

EPC Graphs

Estate Agents are generally required to make available to prospective buyers the Energy Performance rating graphs that are contained within the EPC, at the point that the agent provides the buyer with detailed property particulars.

These graphs offer valuable information as to the current and potential energy efficiency of the home. The graphs comprise two elements; an Energy Efficiency Rating and an Environmental Impact (CO2) Rating.

The graphs will look similar to those below (actual image may vary).

When printing out information about properties which you have found on Rightmove, you are advised to make sure that you also print the graphs where these are available.

Sample Energy Performance Graph Sample Energy Performance Graph