You may be aware that the UK Government introduced Home Information Packs as legislation within England & Wales which became relevant to all residential properties being placed for sale as from January 2008.
The idea of the HIP is to help speed up the house selling process and to create more transparency at the onset of a property being placed for sale, rather than waiting for a buyer starts to spend money and suddenly finds that there are potential problems with the legal title and/or other potential issues that create a timescale delay between the buying and selling process.
In order to abbreviate certain titles, please refer to the following:-
The “Home Information Pack” is otherwise known as a “HIP”
A “Domestic Energy Assessor” is otherwise known as a “DEA”
An “Energy Performance Certificate” is otherwise known as an “EPC”
The HIP comprises of certain components which include an EPC which is carried out by a DEA together with other legal requirements.
In the build up to introducing the HIP there was a requirement for some 4000 DEA’s to be qualified through examination with various training bodies which were effectively given permission through the National Occupational Standards body (the backbone to the training) to create a suitable syllabus which was defined in consultation with various other professional organisations associated to both the house selling and the building industry process.
In anticipation of the roll-out programme of the HIP’s there were various new companies that emerged in the market place who would provide all of the component parts within the guidelines of legislation and in some instances would specialise in separate issues and in particular, with respect to this brief, to provide the EPC.
Today there are some 7000 fully qualified DEA’s and in order to operate have to be licensed through an accreditation body. There are only some four such bodies that are approved through the Government to be able to do this.
The UK housing market unfortunately is rather depressed and although interest rates have just reduced by a slight margin there will nevertheless continue to be a downturn in people deciding to sell their property. However, there are literally some 3000/4000 DEA’s who have spent a great deal of time, effort and money to gain the professional qualification who unfortunately cannot obtain any work.
The purpose of this brief is to give you an insight and understanding together with background knowledge as to what we now wish to be prepared.
Our website is known as [url removed, login to view]
The purpose of this register is to invite qualified DEA’s only to register their details and availability with us for work. The brief incorporates information that we require in respect of the accreditation body, certification scheme, professional indemnity insurance, and other matters which we will later brief on.
In launching this as a website, we further refer as follows:-
The design and creation of the website therefore needs to be user friendly, colourful, appealing and professional enough to encourage DEA’s to register their details to incorporate a good amount of coloured photography and some webcam usage which could create additional interest.
Once a DEA has completed an on-line registration form, such information needs to be “filed” alphabetically with local postcodes identified that they are prepared to work within. This may mean that the same DEA is “filed” several times due to the fact that he/she may cover more than one post coded area within say a 10 mile radius. Assuming someone has registered, we would need to have an automatic acknowledgement to their email address which is replied to when “submitting” the registration application.
We would add that our company has two target markets. Obviously in line with the above, the DEA registers for work and b. a Home Information Pack Provider company who would effectively come to ask for our services as a DEA Panel Management company to be able to supply a “locum” DEA to carry out an EPC within 48 hours of having received the enquiry from the HIP Provider company.
From our company’s point of view, we need to be able to assign an EPC to a DEA. This would entail the company entering the subject property’s postcode and list being generated of potential DEA’s willing to carry out the instruction. The company needs to be able to email and/or telephone the first DEA on the list to seek their availability to accept the instruction. The DEA, under their Terms & Conditions, will have to acknowledge the request within a stipulated timescale and if the DEA refuses the instruction (for whatever reason), the company needs to be able to move onto the next DEA on the list. Assuming the DEA accepts the instruction, the company needs to be able to furnish them with the “specifics” (by email). At this stage, the DEA, under their Terms & Conditions, will make direct contact with the seller of the property to make a convenient appointment to carry out the EPC. Once this appointment has been made the DEA needs to advise the company of the appointment date. Once the appointment has been attended to and the EPC has been lodged with “Landmark” (this is the central Government run register for lodgement of EPC’s), the DEA needs to be able to advise the company (again by email) that the EPC has been lodged and the RRN Number is ……..)(The RRN Number is a unique sequential number issued by Landmark against every EPC lodged) which will enable the company to enter the Landmark website, enter the RRN number and retrieve the relevant EPC to amalgamate with the remaining components of the HIP. Once the RRN Number is received by the DEA, the software needs to also generate an invoice (the parameters of which are inset by the company as to what a DEA is paid for each EPC). This invoice may have to remain “open” throughout a calendar month whereby the DEA may carry out several EPC’s, which in turn adds to the invoice automatically. At each month end the company needs to be able to generate individual invoices to marry up with cheques to be mailed out to the DEA’s correspondence address. Obviously, with the onset of a fresh month (ie. the 1st) comes a newly generated “open” invoice.
We referred earlier to a list of DEA’s, all of whom cover the same postcoded area, and the company selecting the first from the list, and so on until an instruction is placed. If the same postcode were to be entered again (which is a highly probable situation) the list of registered DEA’s needs to re-assemble itself so that fairness prevails and a different DEA comes top of the list to be able to be offered the opportunity for work, on a systematic and rotational basis.
Each registering DEA will pay an initial registration fee of £25.00 plus VAT plus a £2.50 plus VAT charge to be paid to the company for every EPC carried out. Therefore, the facility for on-line secured payments needs to be provided together with a month end invoice being generated by the company to account for:-
a. The initial registration fee (in the first calendar month only)
b. The relevant per EPC charges
all of which need to be off-set against the amount payable for EPC work carried out during any calendar month.
We are looking to produce this website as quickly as possible.