People trying to sell their homes will from next April have to alert potential buyers to the risk of flooding, any structural damage and parking arrangements in an extension of the controversial home information packs scheme.

The 28-day grace period homeowners are currently permitted to market their property without obtaining a report also will be abolished.

Consumer groups said increasing the information held within Hips would make them more useful to buyers, but estate agents criticised the decision. 'The government’s priority for the property market should be making it easier for people to move home, rather than tying the process up in yet more red tape,' said Nicholas Leeming, director of

Financial Times