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Issue Date:- 18 February 2008

Law Society fear for homeowners after rogue HIPs emerge

THE Law Society is warning home sellers and buyers to be vigilant with Home Information Packs (HIPs) after the government raised the alarm that some rogue HIP providers are putting the wrong documents in the packs.

Communities and Local Government (CLG) have expressed concern that some HIP providers were using Register Views – photocopies of Land Register records, as evidence of title. CLG point out the HIPs Regulations 2007 require the inclusion of an official copyfrom the Land Registry of the individual register and title plan and that Register Views were insufficient.

Law Society Vice-President, Paul Marsh, says:- “This is further proof that some HIPs providers do not understand, or choose not to understand, the regulations.

The result is that sellers and buyers are being short-changed with sub-standard HIPs that will be quite rightly thrown in the dustbin by the buyer’s solicitor. 

If you are selling up, choose a solicitor to compile your HIP. Solicitors understand the regulations and can therefore ensure the HIP meets the required standard.”

The Law Society point out that evidence of title is one of the compulsory documents required in a HIP. Copies of the official documents are available from the Land Registry. If there are errors in the register the Land Registry will take responsibility for it. Register Views do not provide such a safety net for consumers.

Paul Marsh says:- “Buyers as well as sellers need to make sure the property’s HIP contains the correct documents.

If it later emerges that there was an error and the property’s HIP contains nothing more than a Register View, there is no recompense available from the Land Registry.”


NATIONWIDE Autocentres, the leading chain of independent car servicing and MOT test centres, has launched a 19 point Duty of Care inspection service ahead of the new Corporate Manslaughter Act due to come into effect in April 2008.  Alarmingly, a recent study found that 60% of privately owned vehicles that are used for company business were not safe to be on the road. In addition, 52% of companies have no policy to check the insurance details of these vehicles, which have now been labelled as the Grey fleet.

Companies that fail to implement a Duty of Care process to ensure Grey fleet vehicles are fit for purpose could be liable for prosecution should a Grey vehicle be involved in a fatal road traffic accident.  Nationwide Autocentres’ new Duty of Care 19 point inspection has been launched in response to this and the fully documented process includes inspection of brakes, steering, shock absorbers and wheel cylinders.

Commenting on the new service, Jason Gill, Fleet Development Manager at Nationwide Autocentres said:- “The Department of Transport estimates that up to a third of road traffic accidents involve somebody who is working at the time. That equates to about 20 fatalities and 250 serious injuries every week. The impending new legislation means that companies which operate Grey fleet vehicles, need to become more diligent and our Duty of Care inspection package can help with this.  We have a network in excess of 200 centres across the UK which means we can work with companies on a local or national basis and can help them to develop a bespoke programme that best suits their needs. Because we own the centres, it also means we can standardise the process and ensure consistency and quality throughout. Taking a proactive approach to risk management in this way could help companies reduce their accident rate and ultimately their insurance premiums.  We make it easy and cost effective for companies to have checks made and documented in a way that is extremely convenient for drivers”

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