HIPs timing announcement gets lukewarm reception

The industry has mixed feelings about the government’s decision to make Home Information Packs compulsory from June 1 2007.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister decided on the date last Thursday but not everyone welcomes the timing.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders is disappointed and says the timing risks disrupting the market during the busy spring and summer period.

The CML says that although the government has allowed adequate time for planning, moving the date to June may create a different problem. It says this will coincide with the housing market’s busy period and could result in unwelcome effects during the transition to the new regime.

Peter Williams, deputy director general at the CML, says: “Despite being disappointed with a summer implementation date, the CML looks forward to working closely with the government and industry to mitigate negative effects and make the transition to HIPs as smooth as possible.

“It is now essential a detailed timetable is published and met at every stage.”

Dominic Toller, director of marketing and new business at LMS, says though he sympathises with the CML’s view, he welcomes the announcement.

He says: “The most important thing is that a date has been set for brokers and estate agents to work to. At LMS we are ahead of our timescale, so the this announcement doesn’t bother us.”

Marcus Cox, managing director of mysalepack.com says much political capital has been made out of HIPs, with many commentators well wide of the mark in their assessment that HIPs will breed cowboys.

He says: “As a provider, we are pleased to be able to move forward and concentrate on ensuring all relevant processes are in place rather than debating.”