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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Home Information Packs - are they making a comeback?

Agents and conveyancers have signed up to a new buyers’s and seller’s property information form that is described as having been inspired by the old Home Information Park. 

Over the weekend trade and representative bodies representing the legal, surveying, estate agency and property management sectors launched a new version of the BASPI – the Buyer’s and Seller’s Property Information form.

Although the old Home Information Pack isn’t mentioned in the official launch, some observers including the Law Society Gazette are saying the BASPI has been inspired by the lacks, which caused uproar in the agency world when they were introduced by the then Labour government as part of the Housing Act 2004.

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Now the BASPI - developed by the upfront information working group of the Home Buyers and Sellers Group - has been developed to become the ‘single source of truth’ containing all the information required about a property when it is put on the market for sale.

Designed to speed up the legal process of property sale and purchase, information provided in the BASPI allows the seller to ensure their property is both ‘Market Ready’ – in the disclosure of material facts within Part A – and ‘Sale Ready’ – with the information collated in Part B used by both the seller’s and the buyer’s property lawyer and valuer. 

It is used as part of the legal process for selling a property, required by the seller’s duty to disclose known defects and the estate agent’s duty to disclose material information, and it forms part of the contract for sale.

Part A asks for information regarding disputes and complaints, alterations and changes, notices, specialist issues, fixtures and fittings, utilities and services, insurance, boundaries, rights and informal arrangements, and any other issues affecting the property.

Part B covers legal ownership, legal boundaries, services crossing other property, energy, guarantees, warranties and indemnity insurances, occupiers, and completion and moving.

The new BASPI follows on from the start of National Trading Standards Estate & Letting Agent Teams three-phase project on improving the availability of ‘material information’ on property details.

Its first phase is focused on information that is considered material for all properties, and is working to ensure all property listings contain their council tax band or rate and price and tenure information (for sales) by the end of next month.

A further two phases are being developed which will incorporate further material information such as restrictive covenants, flood risk and other specific factors that impact certain properties.

James Munro, senior manager at the NTSELAT, says:“We welcome the launch of the new version of the BASPI, a brilliant example of industry pulling together to make things better for everyone involved in the conveyancing process. 

“This new form will make it even easier for agents to provide the required material information when marketing a property, which will lead to fewer unnecessary enquiries, swifter sales and increased consumer confidence in the industry. 

“The new BASPI complements and supports the ongoing work of NTSELAT alongside key industry bodies and property portals, as we prepare to announce the next steps on the journey to improve the disclosure of material information.”

 

This latest version of the BASPI includes new requirements such as the Unique Property Reference Number for the property, specifying if the property is Shared Ownership, leasehold details, spray foam insulation and smart home systems information. 

Sean Hooker, head of redress at the Property Redress Scheme, comments: “This is another huge step forward in establishing a single and trusted source of essential information, required for property transactions. The collaboration of the industry to work together to continue to improve and develop this initiative shows the commitment of the sector to the importance of this project. 

“In addition, the increasing application of technology to share and disseminate the information and which this group is developing, will mean having this all in a digital and secure form in the very near future. 

“Each version of the BASPI moves us closer to a property sales market fit for the 21st Century. Faster completions, fewer fall throughs, less expense and from my perspective will lead to a reduction in complaints against estate agents and enhance the reputation of the sector.”

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    Can anyone confirm if the Law Society Protocol will accept the BASPI instead of the TA6 Sellers' Property Information form? If not, surely this may/will often lead to a degree of confusion and possible conflict in responses given by the seller. It will also be a lot of form filling!

  • Richard Copus

    A move in the right direction, but "sale ready" isn't "exchange ready", so still not there.

    Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    Hi Richard, with your knowledge, can you explain to me how a seller could be "exchange ready" and what you believe is missing from the BASPI and proposals being suggested by the HBSG? I'd like to know what would 'get it there' in your opinion.

     
  • Rob Hailstone

    The CQS protocol specifies that the lawyer must act in the best interest of their client, they should undertake the due diligence in the best way they think, if they use the Law Society forms it must be the most up to date version but if they receive or choose to use the BASPI, which includes the TA6 information, then there is nothing to stop them.

    From the law firms perspective, if the seller has provided the BASPI, then you would want see that whether you act for the seller or the buyer to ensure that you are aware of all of the information provided and the basis on which the offer has been agreed.

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