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Further controversy over HIPs erupts

According to a recent report there is now further controversy over Home Information Packs, which are a legal requirement for any residential property that is being marketed for sale in England or Wales. These packs were introduced in the summer, but due to various problems there was a delay in the rollout of HIPs, and they did not become a legal requirement on all size properties until the middle of December.

There have been many rows over these packs, and the latest comes from a campaign group in relation to the stage at which consumers can market their homes. At present the homeowner can market their property once a HIP has been commissioned even if it is not yet completed. However, as of the beginning of June the pack will have to be completed before the property can be marketed for sale, and objections have been raised by the campaign group Splinta.

A spokesperson for the group said: "There is no sustainable argument in favour of ending first day marketing, and the strength of feeling about this is making itself shown in the rapidly escalating number of signatures on the petition."

Speaking of the new Housing Minister he added: "Caroline Flint has inherited the poison chalice of Hips from her predecessor, Yvette Cooper. We sincerely hope that she will take a pragmatic and intelligent view about the scheduled change."

However, government officials still plan to make the changes at the beginning of June, with one spokesman from the Department of Communities and Local Government stating: "First-time buyers' upfront costs are falling as a result of the packs, greater competition is driving down the cost of Local Authority searches for all, and EPCs are helping consumers cut fuel bills and carbon emissions. As we have previously set out, we have extended the temporary provisions on first-day marketing in order to help ensure the continued smooth implementation of Hips."

Tom Smith
5th February 2008

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