The National House Building Council has urged house builders to ready themselves for home information pack (HIP) requirements that come into force throughout England and Wales on 6 April.

It said that it feared builders are either unaware or unprepared for the changes and, as a result, risk financial penalty and unnecessary delays.

The new HIPs requirements from 6 April will require sellers to have a HIP available before a property is marketed and will no longer have the current 28-day period from when the HIP is ordered to prepare the pack.

The government announced the changes to the HIP regulations at the end of last year, with the aim of ending some of the transitional arrangements that have been in place since their first introduction.

Builders will be required to include further information, such as flood risk, parking arrangements and warranty details via a PIQ or property information questionnaire.

Mark Griffin, who heads up the Council’s HIP service, said: ‘These new requirements impose greater challenges on builders to have the right information available at the right time. The time taken to prepare HIPs and the logistics around distribution, particularly on larger developments should not be underestimated.

‘Builders will need to consider the implications of the new requirements and plan ahead to ensure packs are prepared and available ahead of marketing.’

The Council said it has developed and launched an online HIP service that can distribute HIPs cost effectively through an online portal to assist builders. The service is fully managed by NHBC, reducing the burden on builders to gather information and ensure compliance with the regulations.

Griffin said: ‘Failure to comply with the new HIP rules doesn’t just carry a potential fine, but it could also delay the property being put on the market. In the current economic climate, few can afford to risk missing out on sales or incurring extra costs.’

More details on NHBC and the forthcoming changes can be found by visiting the NHBC website at: