Are you ready for the Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ)

The Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) will be shortly rolled out after the draft version was produced and the related consultation was completed and added to the legislation.

There does not seem to have been vast modification to the document and legislation since we published the last article regarding the Property Information Questionnaire in August. However, the planned implementation of the PIQ was intended for the the 1st January 2009 however this has been delayed to 6th April 2009 to allow the industry to prepare for the addition to the Home Information Pack Legislation.

The ‘new’ HIP requirement has not been widely reported and awareness does seem to range from ‘quite aware’ to ‘what are you talking about?’

Some people will be aware of the Home Use Form which due to problems with some of the information requested was made a voluntary document within the HIP. Comparisions can be made between the two documents; however, the PIQ will be a mandatory requirement within the Home Information Pack when the implementation date is reached.

Is the PIQ going to dramatically change Home Information Packs?
No, probably not. However, It will provide additional relevant information of interest to the prospective home buyer which many critics have complained the home information pack has not done so far.

When you take a look over the questions which are required to be answered you will quickly see that they are relatively straight forward and easily answered on the whole. It is not anticipated that any specialist knowledge will be required to complete the Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ).

For buyers – the PIQ will give some great information on practical issues/points related to the property in question, which will help make an informed decision on the prospective purchase.

For sellers – it will give the opportunity to provide upfront information about the property which may either further attract interest or assist in preventing sales falling through at the last minute.

For estate agents – it may give rise to a very small amount of extra ‘work’ as they could be asked by their HIP provider to distribute a hard copy of the form if an electronic solution for completion is not appropriate.

For conveyancers – there is no need to fear the PIQ,  it is not intended to replace the work they or other property proffsionals carry out.

As the critiques of Home Information Packs resistance relaxes the Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) further embeds its value. We look forward to the continued development of the HIP and the added benefits the PIQ could bring.

The General Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) download.
The New Homes version – Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) download.


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19 Responses to “Are you ready for the Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ)”

  1. […] Are you ready for the Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) […]

  2. The article states: “As the critiques of Home Information Packs resistance relaxes the Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) further embeds its value. We look forward to the continued development of the HIP and the added benefits the PIQ could bring.”

    Critics of HIPs have neither gone away nor relaxed. They are biding their time. The incoming government has promised to abolish this tax on homeowners and we all fully expect them to honour their promise.

    The PIQ will add complexity to the HIP, while contributing little of real value. Although a seemingly innocuous document, it contains several traps for the unwary. Those completing it (especially if they are leaseholders) will need to be very careful indeed in their responses. Sellers are invariably prejudiced in favour of their own property, and the PIQ would be better completed by an independent professional. A seller who inadvertently errs on this form could land in trouble. Much better to allow the principle of caveat emptor to stand.

  3. RICS were quite vocal in regard to opposing the HIP, though in recent times they seem to have focused on working with the Home Information Pack. It is possible that this is due to their involvement in the Scottish ‘version’ the Home Report where RICS members are carrying out the single survey which is similar to the Home Condition Report. The HCR was planned for England and Wales, though was made voluntary, hence no uptake.

    From our first hand experience we are seeing the HIP prove its worth over and over. We have worked with staunch disapprovers of the HIP, however when for example we have highlighted errors in past conveyancing at the start which could have easily delayed successful completion; these people have being able to witness some of the benefits of the HIP.

    Providing information prior to a purchase is common place with almost every product or service and now we have it with property.

    There is an element of tax within HIPs as there is with estate agencies and conveyancing services. With the introduction of HIPs we have witnessed many conveyancers reducing their prices accordingly to take account of the work already carried out within the HIP.

    In regard to whether conservatives would ‘scrap’ the HIP remains to be seen. Many believe they would modify and rename it.

  4. This all seems a bit vague (very much like the HIPs themselves).

    – what are the rules for properties already on the market without a PIQ
    – what are the rules for properties already on the market without a HIP (those who best the exemption date)
    – is it simply completion which is mandatory or do all the “don’t knows” need to be “knows”!

    I have to code this for an online site and without these answers how on earth will people be able to comply?

  5. Mark Smeeton Says:

    As an agent my key quandry is whether or not to help my vendors with their Property Information Questionnaire. Will PIQ’s come with sufficient explanatory notes to prevent the client requesting help from us agents or perhaps there will be some sort of online assisted PIQ?

  6. Hi Mark,

    The Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) is intended to be filled in by the owner and it is not advised to be completed by yourselves due to a possible breach of the Property Misdescriptions Act.

    The form is quite straight forward so this shouldn’t be too much of an issue certainly with the large majority of clients.

    From our recent experience and feedback by owners/sellers in regard to completions of the PIQ , it has not been problematic. Some PIQs have been returned within hours.

    Within the downloadable form in the article above you will beable to see the form that is being used and the explanatory notes.

  7. Hi Steve,

    The answer dont know is included within the form so can be indicated. However, the form states on puts responsiblity on the owner/seller to accurately answer the questions.

    At present there is no plans we are aware of that exisiting properties on the market will require a PIQ adding to the HIP that is already in place.

    Hope this helps

  8. Are PIQs already in place as I had been under the impression that they only come into effect on the 6th April?

    Mark,I cant find anything on assisted PIQs. I have also been looking. I am amazed no one is offering an online PIQ for me to direct my clients to. Surely this would result in the PIQ being completed and back with me very quickly.

  9. HIP-Consultant.co.uk will have an online solution very shortly which will enable the client to complete online and submit. The PIQ submission will then be entered into the HIP as one of the required documents and be viewable online alongside the other HIP documentation.

  10. Neither of your download links to the new PIQ document works. Hardly inspires confidence to use your services

  11. Have now tracked down the new PIQ elsewhere. The questions are almost identical to those normally asked by the Purchaser’s solicitors as part of the conveyancing process. Will the Purchasers’ solicitors amend their own Answers to Enquiries to reflect this? No, of course not. They will ask the same damn questions. What an utter waste of time and money HIPS is.

  12. Hi R Sinden,

    We have checked the links and they are working fine. You should click the link and when the download box appears, either open or save the file. It maybe settings on your PC not allowing downloads.

    From our experience some solicitors are amending their practice and fees to reflect the work already carried out and in place due to HIPs, some of course are not.

  13. […] Are you ready for the Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) […]

  14. At what point are the PIQ’s required in the sale of a new home. We are handling a small site of 13 homes in a very popular village. The first phase are up to roof height and within the next month they will begin the 2nd fix. Clearly we are being asked many questions relating to the specification and to cap it all the brochure has been delayed at the printers and won’t beavailable until the end of this month. Am I leaving ourselves open? The site of course has planning but building regs approval cannot be given until the site is signed off by the building control officer. How do we answer that one. The options are Yes, No and if yes please give details!! The form goes on to ask about provision for wet rot and dry rot IN A NEW HOME please! and how would the developer be able to answer whether htere has been any flooding or storm damage since they owned the property………for heavens sake they haven’t been built yet.

    If the questions relate to the finished article, then can I sell off plan?

    It seems to me that this is a very poorly thought out questionairre, my 9 yr old could have come up with better and more relevant questions. I’m confused and I can’t see an explanation on any of the consultation documents as to whether this should be completed now, as we are beginning to sell, or upon completion when frankly its’ too late anyway.

    I’ve got better things to do than waste time looking for the answers buried somewher on the web so wouold appreciate your help please.

    Many thanks

  15. Hi C Bees,

    PIQ’s are required in relation to Home Information Packs, they go hand in hand now. No property can be marketed without a HIP unless they are exempt from HIP regulations in some regard.

    The questions are intentionally quite generic, some of the media are making issues where there need not be. If it is a new home and has no problems with dry rot, answer the question and move on to the next.

    The PIQ form could of had a seperate section applicable to new homes only but i believe the intention was to keep it as simple as possible.

    The property information questionnaire does not prevent selling ‘off plan’ for developments, though slightly different forms such as the Predicted energy assessment (PEA)and Sustainability information must be included.

    For agents it is important to remember the PIQ is intended to be completed by the owner which maybe the developer in your case. If an estate agent helps the seller to complete the PIQ then the provisions of the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 may apply.

    If you are still unsure about how to proceed you could ask CLG for further guidance or possibly your local trading standards office.

    Further information on Home Information Pack changes can be found here.

    I hope this helps a little.

  16. Trevor Willis Says:

    I suspect few people posting on this site have actually sat down and really thought about the individual questions contained in a PIQ, the often restrictive prescribed format in which one is expected to answer certain questions (i.e. multi choice) and the field day some buyers and laywyers are going to have with this a few months down the line.

    It is easy to pontificate about PIQ’s as a concept,the government didn’t intend to this, buyers wont that and so on. The bottom line is that vndors are now making contractural representations irrespective of whether the PIQ is signed or not (the first thing a lawyer will do is ask the vendors solicitor if the answers in the PIQ are accurate).

    These and other issues have been raised in the media by a number of parties. The PIQ marks a fundamental change – watch this space.

  17. […] Property Information Questionnaire (P.I.Q.) […]

  18. Its a shame that comments on this forum are censored (moderated).
    I have posted several times about the confusing and ill-thought out layout of the PIQ and every time the comments have disappeared!

  19. Hi Phil,

    We do moderate comments but rarely delete comments. It is only generally comments that are abusive, spam or plain and simple advertising and offer no benefit to our readers which are not published. We do reserve the right not publish comments if we do not deem them fit for our blog.

    Your latest comments were published here and also here. However, as you left exactly the same comments on approximately 3 or 4 separate articles, one post was chosen which we felt was most appropriate to the content of your comments.

    We welcome genuine comments whether the comments are in agreement with us or not as it generates healthy debate.

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