£1,000 Per HIP to survive

An out-of-work home in-spector predicts he would have to charge £1,000 for each Home Information Pack to make a living after August 1.

Jason Cross is a fully accredited home inspector who had a job lined up with energyassessors.com.

But since the government’s decision to phase in HIPs from August 1, energyassessors.com has scrapped its hiring policy.

Cross, who previously work-ed in the building industry but decided to train as a home in-spector while caring for his sick wife, says if he manages to get a job in the future he will have little choice but to push up his prices.

He says: “I am devastated. I did not expect the government to do what it did. It led us to believe that HIPs were going ahead. In July 2006 when it scrapped Home Condition Reports, it had to persuade us to keep going and I trusted it.”

Cross slams the government for not doing enough to help home inspectors. He estimates that given the limited number of properties that will require HIPs coming onto the market after August 1, home inspectors will have to charge around £1,000 per pack to make a living.

But he adds: “Who’s going to pay £1,000 for a HIP?”

Last week, SpicerHaart revealed it was axing 37 of its trained home inspectors in the wake of the government’s latest U-turn.

And Peter Bolton-King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, warns that Spicerhaart may not be the only big estate agent to axe inhouse inspectors. He says: “There is anxiety in the HIP sector. Nobody has any confidence in the government any more. The big worry for home inspectors is that HIPs may not go ahead at all. They are in a no-win situation.”

Cross adds: “My training cost £8,000 plus travelling expenses but I doubt I’ll be reimbursed for having had faith in HIPs.”

Can you offer Jason Cross a job? Email lee.jones@centaur.co.uk