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From the beginning, HIPs were about politics not housing

People have taken their eye off the ball when it comes to Home Information Packs.

First mooted about 10 years ago, you must ask yourself why it has taken the government so long to introduce them. The answer is simple – they are not needed.

The origin of HIPs was more to do with politics than the housing market – an attempt to convince the public that the government was concerned about gazumping.

The HIP concept was a good one but it’s irrelevant if the need isn’t there and it certainly isn’t given the removal of Home Condition Reports.

So what are they for? It looks like a case of the government taking an ill-conceived European Commission di-rective and hijacking it to suit its own political needs.

Picture the scenario, somewhere in the bowels of Whitehall.

“Well minister, there’s this EC directive that’s been hanging around for a while. If we could rate each property on its energy efficiency we could increase property taxation based on those figures, with energy efficient properties paying less – after all, there’s not many of them – and the others paying more. It would also make us look good on the environmental front.”

“What a great idea. Dig out the file on HIPs immediately.”

Will Energy Performance Certificates help the environment? No. Will they affect buyers’ decisions? No. Will HIPs ever happen? Sadly, yes.

After all, when has this government ever listened? The postponement was a panic move by a government under pressure because of yet another fiasco.

I spend every working day trying to cut house buying costs for my clients and they are not interested in paying for more red tape.

If the government wants to comply with the EC directive, funding should come from the EC budget – the government shouldn’t try to bring it in by the back door.

Mike Harrod
North Wheatley


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