AHIPP rules out legal challenge over packs

The Association of Home Information Pack Providers says it is unlikely to mount a legal challenge following the government’s decision to scrap the packs last week.

Before coming to power Tory shadow housing minister Grant Shapps, now housing minister in the new government, wrote to AHIPP promising a 100-day consul-tation on whether HIPs should be withdrawn.

But a week after his appointment Shapps and communities secretary Eric Pickles announced that HIPs would be suspended with imme-diate effect, pending legislation for them to be scrapped permanently.

Pickles says: “HIPs are history. This action will encourage sellers back into the market and help the market and the economy recover.”

Sellers will still need to have ordered an Energy Performance Certificate before marketing their property.

Mike Ockenden, director-general of AHIPP, says: “We don’t want to do anything that would damage the market, or buyers and sellers. A legal challenge is a possibility, but it would be unlikely that we would proceed with one.”

He estimates that around 3,000 people who trained to provide HIPs will lose their jobs.

Richard Sexton, business deve-lopment director at e.surv, says: “HIPs’ demise will have implica-tions for the industry that sprang up to deliver them.

“The alternative would have been to move towards a version of the Scottish Home Report, but it seems the government doesn’t feel this to be a priority.”