Government should say sorry with cash

The Association of Home Information Pack Providers has outlined the first stage of its regional voluntary dry run of Home Information Pack and Home Condition Reports, as more than 1,000 homes inspectors are set to take legal action against the government following the HCR fiasco.

For some, the government’s decision to make the HCR a voluntary part of the HIP was spineless and unnecessary, and a decision made purely for political reasons. But there are still benefits to be had and it is up to the industry to pick up the pieces and deliver those benefits to consumers.From November 6, AHIPP will be encouraging buyers and sellers in Southampton, Newcastle, Northampton, Bath, Huddersfield and Cambridge to voluntarily pay for the full packs, which will include an HCR compiled by a trained home inspector. The dry run has been designed to show the benefits of HIPs and HCRs to buyers and sellers as part of a robust testing of the packs. Allowing consumers in the selected locations to sample HIPs ahead of the June deadline will let AHIPP identify glitches. As for the six locations, AHIPP believes they form a good mix of housing stock and will offer a fair representation in terms of both supply and demand.Meanwhile, more than 1,000 angry home inspectors are gearing up to battle it out with the government after it was announced that it wanted to train people as energy inspectors to carry out the Energy Performance Certificate, without the need for additional home inspector training.The home inspectors have every right to be angry. Some have spent over 10,000 on training in the hope of earning 70,000-plus salaries. Not any more. Their fight for compensation will surely last years, but it is also one that will not go away.For now, Mortgage Strategy waits to see whether the government will subsidise the dry run. Without funding, HIP take-up in the six regions will be woefully poor. By means of an apology, funding for the dry run would be a good place to start.