HIP ruling worries industry

The House of Lords\' decision to push through compulsory Home Information Packs has left the industry divided.

The decision means government plans to introduce the compulsory packs are back on track to be introduced for 2007.

It will mean that anyone who lists their home for sale without the pack, which will contain searches, surveys and a condition report, will be breaking the law.

Trading Standards would enforce the rules with fines starting at £200 for a first offence.

However, many in the industry think HIPs will be a mistake, particularly at a time when the housing market is slowing down.

The worry is that the upfront costs will scare off homebuyers looking to sell their home and so further depress the market.

Eddie Goldsmith, senior partner at Goldsmith Williams, says: “This is a big mistake. In a depressed market that we are heading towards the last thing people want are additional barriers or additional expense.”

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has major concerns about the practical implications of the packs and has called on more to be done,such as bringing to the fore the fact that estate agents are still unlicensed.