Non HIP Compliant Local Authority Searches

IPSA have today released a list of Local Authorities that they are advising members NOT to buy official searches from, to ensure Home Information Pack compliance.

The following statement has been made and supplied to us by IPSA:

IPSA is in receipt of a number of Local Authority Searches compiled and sold by the following Local Authorities and Water Companies to consumers which contain elements which are not HIP compliant under Schedule 6 of the Home Information Pack Regulations. Members producing HIPs should not include searches in a HIP, from any supplier named on the following list:

Wakefield
Leeds
Hambleton
Wirral
Wiltshire
Cheshire West and Chester
North West Leicestershire
Birmingham
Leicester
Brent
Warwick
Coventry
Redbridge
Harrow
Knowsley
Greenwich
Kensington & Chelsea
Welsh Water

Each of the Local Authorities has also received a Freedom of Information request.

The requests are all the same.

“How many searches have been completed since the introduction of the Home Information Pack regulations to the date of this request?”

The figures plus the uninsured figures from yesterday’s release will start to give a clearer picture of how little the consumer has been protected.

IPSA members comply with the law and conduct business activities inline with our strong code of ethics.

For our members’ clients the IPSA Code logo delivers piece of mind.

We will be following this development closely and will update you as and when we receive more information.


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16 Responses to “Non HIP Compliant Local Authority Searches”

  1. How have they got away with it for so long?

    HIPs and private search companies are under fire. The “official” searches do not comply (allegedly?) and so must be obtained elsewhere.

  2. So how are they non compliant? they were not carried out by any of your memebers.

    It is totally unacceptable to say these searches are non compliant without backing it up with facts on at least some of the local authorities. Otherwise it is just scare mongering which i hope you wouldnt be inclined to do, would you?

  3. I do not understand how an official Local Authority Search is not HIP compliant. The Local Authority is the holder of the required information (LLC1 and CON29R). These questions are answered when an official request is made.

    I think you will find a lot of Personal Search Companies do not comply, because as we all know, the agent is supposed to ask the component enquiries to gain required information from the Local Authority. Some agents ask and pay for a few questions, but many only pay for the basic £11 search with no component data requested or paid for. I am not aware of any agent who asks and pays for ALL required information at Local Authorities. With this in mind, how can they be HIP compliant?

    We all know that many Personal Search companies are cutting corners and supplying sub standard information, but they appear to be allowed to get away with it.

    They claim they get the information from ‘other means’, but how can this be when required information can not always be gained from Council Minutes, websites etc. What are these ‘other means’? Unless every Council’s computer system has been hacked into there is no way any agency will be able to access ALL required information without paying the cost recoverable fee.

  4. Well said Anon. A little sense in all this nonsense.

    IPSA say that these councils are non compliant, well how? Have they used the wrong colour ink?

    Whereas personal search agents may use the correct colour ink but miss whole sections out and make educated guesses. Which would you prefer as a consumer, i wonder?

  5. Is it actually the case that some personal search companies are in fact producing ‘non HIP compliant’ searches as Anon alludes to?

    Some hard facts (rather than groundless accusations) – in October, this local authority received 325 personal searches of the Local Land Charges Register (the basic £11 search). So, how many of these personal search firms then went on to access (and pay for) all of the required local authority information necessary to answer the Local Enquiries required to go into the HIP (to make it compliant)? All of them? The majority? 50%?
    Try 18% – less than one-fifth in old money.

    That would seem to leave a lot of non HIP compliant personal searches within Home Information Packs – is that indeed what the consumer prefers? Would you want to make the most important purchase of your life based on this lack of reseach and facts? All searches within a HIP (personal searches or local authority searches) have to state the source and type of records inspected in order to produce the results – how many of these actually do this (and are truthful in what they say?)

    Now, is it time to name and shame those personal search companies who do not fall within the 18% above? There are quite a few of them. And what are these companies doing to the reputation of those reputable firms who are playing ‘by the rules’?

  6. We have received email requests to post comments on behalf of visitors, we have carried this out on a couple of occasions now but can longer do this, sorry.

    Please use the comments box below. If you prefer to stay anonymous that is not a problem. Your email address is needed, but will never be publically displayed or used by us or any other 3rd parties. When you return to our site pls do not be alarmed if you see your email already in the comments box. This is ONLY viewable by you, not other visitors.

    Regards

  7. We have invited Mr Steve Davies CEO of IPSA to an interview. Hopefully we be able to address some additional questions. Watch this space

  8. I hope the CEO of IPSA grants the interview and answers the questions with regards to the local authorities and the Hips. I feel the general public have had enough of what they perceive as double standards. It’s fair to say, LA’s are only human, but if they are not complying there needs to be a darn good reason why.

  9. At least one of the questions to the CEO of IPSA should be Why do agents only purchase the Building Control information but state quite categorically on their searches that “Information Requested from XX Local Authority”. (check any HIPs site to see this). I have produced evidence and sent it to PCCB who were to investigate but nothing has changed on the newer searches being carried out. One of our best personal search companies is an independent company who buys what they should and as our price is not extortionate in any way they obviously still make a comfortable living. Another question should be – Does the customer realise that the information in their search is incomplete? Hope the interview is granted and maybe an explanation about how the LA searches are non-compliant.

  10. Mr Davies has agreed to an interview and we will update the site with the interview as soon as is possible. Hopefully it will address some of the points raised since the original article was posted.

  11. Provision should be made for questions to be submitted prior to the interview so that the questions are searching and the answers relevant to the full debate.

    A link to the alleged Non HIP compliant LA searches would be useful. I’m sure some exist but no where near as many as the non compliant personal searches I am aware of, and inspected because I’m moving house.

  12. I am sure IPSA will read any responses after the interview from visitors. Please rest assured we have endeavoured to make the questions as relevant and searching as possible.

    It would be good if we were able to interview a local authority representative in charge of a ‘search department/facility’ as well. If you are or know such as person please get in touch.

  13. Hi Annoyed,

    Mr Davies has kindly answered your question above and sent us the repsonse.

    Q. Why do agents only purchase the Building Control information but state quite categorically on their searches that “Information Requested from XX Local Authority”. (check any HIPs site to see this). I have produced evidence and sent it to PCCB who were to investigate but nothing has changed on the newer searches being carried out. One of our best personal search companies is an independent company who buys what they should and as our price is not extortionate in any way they obviously still make a comfortable living. Another question should be – Does the customer realise that the information
    in their search is incomplete?

    A. This is not really a question for IPSA, but for the company concerned, the question reads as though it is directed at one particular search company rather than being an industry wide question and it is not clear whether the company concerned is a member of IPSA. We would be prepared to look at this and consult with the company/s concerned if they are IPSA members. Perhaps the evidence which has been sent to PCCB could be sent to IPSA for further investigation, I would add that a “company who buys what they should” is probably paying “under protest” as the Information Commissioner has given his opinion that virtually all of the information inspected to answer the con29 questions is environmental and should be available to view free of charge, it is therefore likely that these unlawful fees (however reasonable they are) will have to be refunded when the appeal is concluded at either tribunal or high court. IPSA and the Information Commissioner believe that Authorities should be moving towards electronic dissemination of information as required by European Law, and moving away from their current anti-competitive practices of refusing to allow access to inspect the information and instead answering enquiries on payment of a fee. I could ask – Does the customer realise that his search is costing more because of unlawful Local Authority fees?

  14. The list has recently been updated, for an up to date list please visit our website

    http://www.ipsa-online.org/article.asp?cid=5&id=217

  15. The list has now been removed, for further details please see http://www.ipsa-online.org/article.asp?cid=5&id=220

  16. Searching in Bing raised your website – I’m delighted it did, many thanks.

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