I’m writing this on the longest day of the year – the Summer Solstice –…
Trade and representative bodies representing the legal, surveying, estate agency and property management sectors, including the Conveyancing Association (CA), have today (31st March 2022) launched a new version of the BASPI – the Buyer’s and Seller’s Property Information form.
The BASPI, developed by the upfront information working group of the Home Buyers and Sellers Group (HBSG), has been developed as a ‘single source of truth’ containing all the information required about a property when it is put on the market for sale.
Designed to speed up the legal process of property sale and purchase, information provided in the BASPI allows the seller to ensure their property is both ‘Market Ready’ – in the disclosure of material facts within Part A – and ‘Sale Ready’ – with the information collated in Part B used by both the seller’s and the buyer’s property lawyer and valuer. It is used as part of the legal process for selling a property, required by the seller’s duty to disclose known defects and the estate agent’s duty to disclose material information, and it forms part of the contract for sale.
Part A asks for information regarding disputes and complaints, alterations and changes, notices, specialist issues, fixtures and fittings, utilities and services, insurance, boundaries, rights and informal arrangements, and any other issues affecting the property.
Part B covers legal ownership, legal boundaries, services crossing other property, energy, guarantees, warranties and indemnity insurances, occupiers, and completion and moving
This new version of the BASPI is the third iteration and contains a number of amendments including new requirements such as the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) for the property, information if the property is Shared Ownership, leasehold details, spray foam insulation and smart home systems information. For the first time, information regarding whether the property has a digital Property Logbook which will be transferred on completion is also required, as is detail on where it is held.
The new BASPI follows on from the start of National Trading Standards Estate & Letting Agent Teams (NTSELAT) three-phase project on improving the availability of upfront information in the conveyancing process.
Its first phase is focused on information that is considered material for all properties, and is working to ensure all property listings contain their council tax band or rate and price and tenure information (for sales) by the end of May. A further two phases are being developed which will incorporate further material information such as restrictive covenants, flood risk and other specific factors that impact certain properties.
The data collected by the BASPI can be used to provide all of this information. National Trading Standards wants all material information to be mandatory on property listings once all three phases of the project are complete.
Beth Rudolf, Director of Delivery at the Conveyancing Association, commented:
“We are very pleased to be launching this latest version of the BASPI, which updates the required information and by doing so, helps all stakeholders in the process secure the information they need to provide to consumers, who can then use it to make a fully-informed decision about the property.
“This is another step forward, and the upfront information working group within the HBSG will continue to review the BASPI regularly to ensure it continues to meet the needs of everyone involved in a property transaction. NTS has been clear on what it would like to see with regards to upfront information, and it is positive to hear progress is being made here, and that the BASPI fulfils its needs.
“The development of the Property Data Trust Framework by the Technology Sub-Group means the data digitally collected in the BASPI can be seamlessly authenticated and shared across all of the stakeholder technology systems to avoid duplication and to have the ‘one source of truth’ that everyone in the process can rely upon. This ensures we don’t need other ‘bits of paper’ which include less and/or conflicting information resulting in additional enquiries delaying the process.”
Andrew Knight, Global Data & Tech Lead, Thought Leadership & Analytics at RICS, said:
“RICS recognises the critical importance of trusted, digital information to support the home buying and selling process and is working with the Technology Sub-Group in using the RICS Data Standard to help deliver the BASPI.”
Sean Hooker, Head of Redress at The Property Redress Scheme, said:
“This is another huge step forward in establishing a single and trusted source of essential information, required for property transactions. The collaboration of the industry to work together to continue to improve and develop this initiative shows the commitment of the sector to the importance of this project. In addition, the increasing application of technology to share and disseminate the information and which this group is developing, will mean having this all in a digital and secure form in the very near future. Each version of the BASPI moves us closer to a property sales market fit for the 21st Century. Faster completions, fewer fall throughs, less expense and from my perspective will lead to a reduction in complaints against estate agents and enhance the reputation of the sector.”
James Munro, Senior Manager of the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Teams, said:
“We welcome the launch of the new version of the BASPI, a brilliant example of industry pulling together to make things better for everyone involved in the conveyancing process. This new form will make it even easier for agents to provide the required material information when marketing a property, which will lead to fewer unnecessary enquiries, swifter sales and increased consumer confidence in the industry. The new BASPI complements and supports the ongoing work of NTSELAT alongside key industry bodies and property portals, as we prepare to announce the next steps on the journey to improve the disclosure of material information.”