Conveyancing solicitors advise on property information questionnaires

Conveyancing solicitors are being called upon to assist homeowners selling a property in providing further information for the much maligned home information packs (Hips) in the form of the new property information questionnaire (Piq).

The government requirement for a Piq came into force in April 2009 and conveyancing solicitors, now potentially required at an earlier stage of selling a property, are warning that although the latest bureaucratic hurdle to selling a home may be swiftly completed, it still requires careful attention.

Challenges faced by conveyancing solicitors

The Piq requires conveyancing solicitors to assist vendors answer general questions about their property regarding things such as parking, common areas and property damage caused by fire or flooding.

Most people surveyed by Simply HIP were capable of completing their form in less than 30 minutes and many in much less time. However, Simon Seaton, of conveyancing solicitors Fridays Property Lawyers, has warned: "The Piq is going to be a minefield for vendors. It asks the vendor difficult questions, the answers to which are actionable if a purchaser considers them to be misleading."

In an article for the Scotsman Jack Fulton, of property specialists Ross and Liddell, explains that those using a conveyancing solicitors to help sell a detached, semi or terrace house could find the process much smoother than those putting a flat on the market. The trickiest part for the former will be regarding common areas shared with other properties for which they have some responsibility. Those using conveyancing solicitors for selling a flat, however, are likely to know less about the history of the property and the information required may come at quite a cost, Fulton warns.

If you are selling a property it can be helpful to contact a conveyancing solicitor's firm as early as possible so that the necessary documentation is in place for prospective buyers.

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