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Written by rosalind renshaw

Vendors who have been unable to put their house on the market should finally be able to do so today.

Mrs Donna Wainman and her husband ordered their HIP on August 30 but had been told by the suppliers, Fridays Property Lawyers, that they might have to wait up to 28 days.

This was despite the fact that all the legally required elements of the HIP were apparently already in place.

Fridays were singled out in last month’s Which? report for being the cheapest HIP supplier.

Mrs Wainman said she went to Fridays for a HIP only, paying £188.60, although she was repeatedly offered their conveyancing services as well.

She said: “We only wanted a HIP, because we were keen to use a local conveyancer. That way, if any problems arise, it is easy to pop into their office.”

In Friday’s terms and conditions, the firm says that it will deliver a marketable HIP within 48 hours of the EPC being done, if the customer has also ordered conveyancing.

But for customers who have not ordered conveyancing, the firm warns that it could take up to four weeks, “depending on your local authority’s search turnaround times”.

It does not offer HIP-only customers the option of a marketable or mini HIP – ie, one which is not complete but does have what is necessary to be able to start marketing. Searches must have been ordered but are not needed to be in place before marketing.

Mrs Wainman said: “When the HIP didn’t arrive, I rang Fridays to chase it up. I was told it was going to take up to 28 days to produce, ‘because you have not gone with us for conveyancing’.”

She said the firm refused to release the elements of the HIP it already had, to allow her agents, Harrison Murray, in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, to start selling her house.

Branch manager Mandy Digoia confirmed that Harrison Murray had been instructed on the Wainmans’ property but had been unable to market it.

Mrs Wainman said: “Selling a house is stressful enough anyway, but losing 28 days at this time of the year makes it much worse. I am on maternity leave, but due back at work in January, so we do need to get the house on the market quickly.

“We are also concerned that the delay could mean that we will be caught by Stamp Duty returning to its old rate in the New Year.

“I was told that Fridays had everything except the local authority searches, but they wouldn’t release anything they already had. It is extremely frustrating.”

She added: “I do not like their tactics at all. It is as if they are trying to bribe people into using their conveyancing.”

After Mrs Wainman told Estate Agent Today about the case, we contacted Fridays for a statement, telling them we would be running a news story.

A spokesman did not deny the company’s practice of offering a full HIP which could take up to 28 days to HIP-only customers, but said that clients were told of the option to have a mini HIP produced quickly if they also bought conveyancing, on at least three occasions.

He said: “They are told that if they want to sell their property quickly, they should go for the conveyancing solution. Clients are aware.”

But shortly after first speaking to us, the spokesman rang EAT back and said that the Wainmans would be receiving their full HIP today.

Nick Salmon, commercial director of Harrison Murray, said: “What I do not understand is how Fridays can effectively ‘withhold’ the completed documents that comprise the mini HIP. If they are in Fridays’ possession they should be made available to the client – or anyone else.”


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    Don't know what the fuss is about. The terms clearly say that if the client dosent use them for the conveyancing they will only recieve on hip. This is the complete and is supplied as soon as the local search is ready. I've had a few clients use Fridays and even the clients that havent instructed them for conveyancing have still rcieved a mini hip via email. £164 for a hip is cheap If fridays paid agents commision I would probably refer them. The don't so i send them to a company that does. Please dont pick me up on my spelling I have better things to do than debate grammar. I've got houses to sell

    • 15 September 2009 14:09 PM
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    spelling difficulty - I had indeed noted Alan's post. I simply had no wish to criticise his spelling or grammar. Alan made a point pertaining to the thread content, not relating to another's writing style. The post from headteacher was a criticism of someone's grasp of English - but if you are going to do so, you should ensure your own is up to inspection or you leave yourself wide open. I do not profess to be a scholar - but I know a smarta*se when I see one...

    • 14 September 2009 17:48 PM
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    I suggest that neither of you read Alan's last post then....

    • 14 September 2009 14:18 PM
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    Headteacher - in order to be grammatically correct, you should have a capital 'S' at the start of your second sentence (Your exclamation mark clearly ended a sentence); also the word I is spelt as a capital. I, too, dislike errors ('hate' is such a juvenile word...) - and surely you should have thought twice before challenging someone's grammar when yours is clearly not up to the task!

    • 12 September 2009 17:38 PM
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    Couple is spelt "COUPLE" not "CCOUPLE" as in your heading! sorry to be like a schoolteacher but i hate errors....

    • 12 September 2009 08:56 AM
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    Ray - whilst I do agree with you that T&C's should always be read before entering into an agreement, we also know and acknowledge that 99% of the population don't do it. Fridays website states "Fast Turnaround" as number 1 bullet point. I would say that should supercede ANY small print. If it were an Estate Agent claiming 'Fast Turnaround' of sales details which then took 28 days to produce, there would be Hell to pay, don't you agree?

    • 12 September 2009 01:14 AM
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    Getting a HIP from a cheap supplier has it's draw backs as seen in this letter.
    I bet the Locasl Auhtority search is a personal one as well which are a waste of time.

    Lesson to be learn't hear is make sure you read the small print before ordering with this type od company.

    • 11 September 2009 18:05 PM
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    Who said it was 'small print'?
    My point is that terms are terms and should be read.
    These types are always trying to wriggle out of

    • 11 September 2009 16:53 PM
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    It doesn't matter if their small print says that the client has to buy conveyancing to get the cheap price - they shouldn't advertise themselves as the cheapest in the market when they patently aren't! (it's all over their website, along with the Which? logo which I expect they wouldn't be too happy about) I would have thought trading standards would have something to say on this...

    • 11 September 2009 13:33 PM
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    Should have come to us - we would have done the HIP a day earlier!!!!

    • 11 September 2009 13:10 PM
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    I do not know anything about Fridays.
    However, if their terms state '£188.60....within 48 hours of the EPC.....if you use our conveyancing service....' then what are these vendors complaining about?
    They knew the deal. These sorts always choose the cheapest and then moan about the standard of service - serves them right!

    • 11 September 2009 11:19 AM
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    To get a copy of an EPC contact landmark.co.uk they will give you the contact details for the DEA. They will want a reason why you need it, for which "We are marketing the property" should be adequate.

    • 11 September 2009 10:55 AM
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    I have many years experience of dealing with Fridays as a Branch Manager of a leading estate agency in the City and Docklands. I can honestly say they were by far the most helpful firm of conveyancers / property lawyers I have EVER come across. They bend over backward to help provide the information required. They are innovative and years ahead of their Jurassic competitors. I'm very surprised to hear this but it also makes me wonder why on earth the Vendors didn't just let Fridays get on and do the whole conveyance.

    • 11 September 2009 10:42 AM
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    We had a vendor who was using Fridays and paid for their HIP and the conveyancing. The service they received was appalling so much so that their purchaser on the advice of their solictor pulled out of the sale. As you can imagaine the vendors were furious and switched solicitors and thankfully the sale eventually went through.

    • 11 September 2009 10:37 AM
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    Mr Salmon, who himself makes money from HIPs, shouldn't be surprised about these tactics. Firms will always play these types of "marketing" games. Friday's have shot themselves in the foot & this bad publicity serves the "so & so's" right.... The Government were daft to bring in the rule where the "mini hip" had to be in place before the property could be marketed. It causes alsorts of additional headaches. The old rule where the HIP simply had to be ordered before the property could be marketed was a far better practical mechanism to work with.... As a final comment the HIP should be seen as a way to speed up the conveyancing process but sadly the Government don't seem to want to get this message across and don't seem to concern themselves with the practicalities of the way things work in real life !

    • 11 September 2009 10:36 AM
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    This isn't really surprising.

    If you pay peanuts you get monkeys!

    • 11 September 2009 10:35 AM
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    I thought it was illegal for a company to discriminate if a client declines other services. Or does that just apply to us mugs in the estate agency business?

    The seller should do two things: First contact her local Trading Standards office and say she's being unfairly treated just because she won't take other services. Second, contact Which and remind them that when they're banging on about getting good value it rarely means good service and the same is true in our business. You pay for what you get.

    Not so much TFI Friday as OFI Fridays!!

    • 11 September 2009 10:30 AM
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    Yes, all sorts of issue with different suppliers, latest one was they required 14 days before ordering any part of the HIP for the cheque to clear! I thought cheques cleared within 3-4 working days with most banks.

    • 11 September 2009 10:21 AM
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    What a palaver!
    The only comfort is that HIP's will be gone as soon as a different bunch of lunatics take over the asylum.

    • 11 September 2009 10:08 AM
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    I have just been dealing with this set of idiots trying to chase an epc done 3 days ago and got the reply from them that they do not speak to estate agents! I will be advising everyone of my clients to steer well clear of this outfit

    • 11 September 2009 09:37 AM
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