HIPs are doomed and this discredited, naive government should drop them now

From Trevor Kent

The welcome call from the Council of Mortgage Lenders – a body that both Blair and Brown take notice of – to abandon Home Information Packs is timely indeed.

Only last month the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said just about the same thing and the National Association of Estate Agents has been brave enough to say it for years.

The Department of Communities and Local Government has just disbanded its stakeholder group of industry advisers, no doubt because the DCLG doesn’t want to hear any more ‘drop HIPs’ advice.

The dry runs to test HIP implementation in six English towns appear to be doomed before they start this month, with estate agents refusing to give their support.

What should be the final nail in the coffin was the admission by the DCLG that its MORI/BRE baseline study of 3,000 estate agents’ sales in May and June had been a fiasco, with participants only numbered in hundreds. Thus legislators will not have a reliable picture of the market prior to HIPs to judge whether the packs are improving things or not.

Someone in the government needs to take this doomed initiative by the scruff of the neck and kill it off quickly before more millions are wasted by business. But it will be too late for individuals who have in some cases sunk their life savings into preparing for HIPs. They have suffered from the political incompetence and business naivete of a discredited government.

Trevor Kent
Trevor Kent & Co
Gerrards Cross
Buckinghamshire