AMI says brokers must still prepare for HIPs

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has warned that brokers must fully engage with the introduction of Home Information Packs despite the government’s U-turn last month.

AMI has just released a factsheet entitled Home Information Packs Update, as a follow-up to its November 2005 factsheet. It aims to provide members with information on the recent changes announced by the government, how these affect the delivery of HIPs and areas for members to consider as they develop plans for HIPs within their businesses.

The factsheet covers the background to HIPs, the regulations, certification schemes, home and energy inspectors and the dry run. It also covers costs, industry reaction and intermediary engagement.

Rob Griffiths, associate-director of AMI, says: “There has been a lot of media coverage regarding the implementation, content and cost of HIPs with some reports suggesting that the packs have been shelved in their entirety.

“This is not the case. The decision to make the Home Condition Report a voluntary rather than a required document in the pack does not alter the need for intermediaries to fully engage with the introduction of HIPs.”

Research by Easier2move shows there is still a lack of HIP knowledge among estate agents. Its HIP Awareness Index found that the number of estate agents unable to describe with any degree of accuracy what a HIP is rose to 27%, up from 20% in June.

But most respondents who were unaware of HIPs indicated that their managers had received training on them.

Karen Babington, marketing director of Easier2move, says: “It’s surprising that over the past few months, rather than HIP awareness rising it has been falling. This is likely to cause problems as every estate agent will need to have a working knowledge of these packs.”