Conservatives stand firm against introduction of HIPs

Publication of the regulations for Home Information Packs last week failed to persuade the Tories to back the initiative as they slammed HIPs as nothing more than a 110m VAT windfall for the government.
Tory MP Michael Grove, shadow minister for housing and planning, vowed to continue the fight against “this expensive red tape in the housing market”.
The HIP regulations reveal that information on searches and surveys will be included in the packs. The packs will also contain Home Condition Reports setting out information on the condition of properties and energy performance certificates which will show how energy-efficient properties are and indicate its likely running costs.
Alongside the regulations, the housing minister published the certification scheme standards establishing the requirements to be met by the home inspectors who will complete HCRs. These include the requirement to have professional indemnity insurance, although this may be volume-based and depend on the number of HCRs completed. The government says initial discussions suggest it will be no higher than for chartered surveyors.
But Grove says HIPs will add up to 1,000 to the cost of selling a home and that the only financial winner will be the government which will benefit from a potential 110m VAT windfall.
He adds: “We’re calling on the government to halt the introduction of this expensive red tape and will vote against it.”
But Paul Broadhead, deputy director-general at the Association of Home Information Pack Provi-ders, says if the Conservatives vote against the regulations after they have been laid before Parliament for 40 days the issue will become the subject of a debate organised by Labour whips.
Broadhead adds: “In this case, the government will have a majority as the whips choose which MPs will take part, so the Tories are unlikely to stop the regulations being passed.”