Doubts over rollout of HIPs

Brokers and lenders have questioned how successful the voluntary rollout of Home Information Packs by the Association of HIP Providers will be.

The first stage of AHIPP’s regional rollout of HIPs and Home Condition Reports will take place from November 6 in Southampton, Bath, Northampton, Newcastle, Cambridge and Huddersfield.

But Malcolm Graham-Jones, head of lending at Bath, says AHIPP is “living on another planet”.

He adds: “People will see a voluntary HIP as a hassle, so why would they bother?”

David Hollingworth, mortgage specialist at Bath-based London & Country, admits that if he were selling his home he wouldn’t voluntarily pay for a HIP.

He says: “Bearing the soul of my property might gain me some potential buyers, but unless the person whom I’m buying from also supplies a HIP then not only do I have the additional cost of the HIP but I also have to pay for the searches on my new property.”

Although the finer details of how it will carry out the rollout have yet to be confirmed, Paul Broadhead, deputy director-general of AHIPP, says it will focus on marketing HIPs to consumers through the local press and radio publicity campaigns.

Hollingworth expresses doubt about how successful this will be.

But Broadhead says: “I have no concerns that people will take up a voluntary HIP. There is a legitimate concern that they will end up paying twice, but we are looking at ways to overcome that.

“The take-up of HCRs is more difficult, but we aren’t forcing them on people. If people say they are a waste of time, we’ll know the government was right to make them voluntary.”