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Government confirms HIPs will be scrapped

The new coalition government confirmed yesterday that it will be retaining energy performance certificates but scrapping Home Information Packs.

Mike Ockenden, director-general of the Association of Home Information Pack Providers says it anticipates that the government will not act immediately.

He says: “It is not just as simple as scrapping HIPs. From our consultation with the government before the election we had agreed that a consultation on the subject would be the best approach.

“Scrapping HIPS would not be good for homeowners.”

But Paul Smith, chief executive of Spicerhaart, says : “Once Home Condition Reports were abandoned, HIPs became a pointless exercise. They didn’t stop time-wasting or sales falling through and the public showed no interest in looking at them whatsoever. The one saving grace of this failed Labour legislation is that EPCs are to be kept.

“As for the industry, we’re now in limbo land. Do we sell HIPs until the law is changed, or don’t we? We need a clear timetable for action and a period of transition to change all our software systems and paperwork. As usual, we’re the ones footing the bill for this ill-thought out mess.”

Quest, a major technology infrastructure supplier for Valuation, Energy Performance Certificate and Home Report technologies is urging the new Conservative-led coalition government to consider adopting a version of the Scottish Home Report in England and Wales.

James Sherwood-Rogers, managing director of Quest, says: “There would be real advantages of incorporating the contents of the Home Report in this new solution for England and Wales to deliver true transparency to consumers.  

’It is also important to point out that there would be little cost difference for consumers, as the introduction of a condition survey would be in place of the legal searches. By adopting this tried and tested solution, we believe the new Government can quickly implement a solution that results in minimal disruption to the home buying and selling process, whilst maximising benefits for the consumer.”

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  • WESLEY BURTON 1st June 2010 at 11:43 am

    we put our house on the market in april and had our HIPS report payment defered till completion. will we still have to pay for this as they have now been susupended?, also we have never recievded a report should we have?

  • wendy horton 20th May 2010 at 9:58 am

    I was told recently by an estate agent that if your house did not sell within 6 months another HIP had to be done incurring more money. These are just pointless pieces of paper . I would not buy a house without my own searches or surveys done, I would not rely on someone elses information.

  • Mrs B Smith 20th May 2010 at 7:21 am

    Who is going to reimburse us for the money we have already spent on a HIP ?? We were advised that we had to have one in order to sell our house (did not sell)We now have a 62 page document which cost over £200 and now appears to be a total and utter waste of time and money

  • steve1 17th May 2010 at 5:55 pm

    About time, get rid NOW of these utter useless bit of paperwork which has served no pupose what so ever in helping the sale of property. Those who started a business on the back end of it had no choice as the lending market was going through turmol and still is and whilst diversfying is good, it should have not been into this useless piece of regulation. The EPC is not much better either, what use is a report that is valid for 10 years? Get Rid now.

  • steve1 17th May 2010 at 5:55 pm

    About time, get rid NOW of these utter useless bit of paperwork which has served no pupose what so ever in helping the sale of property. Those who started a business on the back end of it had no choice as the lending market was going through turmol and still is and whilst diversfying is good, it should have not been into this useless piece of regulation. The EPC is not much better either, what use is a report that is valid for 10 years? Get Rid now.

  • bill 17th May 2010 at 12:11 pm

    oh, well, 20000 poorer and with a qualification thats useless, just as they were starting to work and be understood, the solicitors get theyre way. back to legal speak and bigger bills, anyone who thinks scrapping hips will save consumers money is just wrong.

  • Terry 14th May 2010 at 11:14 am

    Perhaps this is then the time to stop time wasting buyers and sellers to be exposed to the continental system of placing a deposit down when you sign as a potential buyer. Anyone backing out (intentionally and not due to unforseen circumstances) – the levy goes to the other party. I’ve lost 1k from some twit of a seller who decided last thing to pull out. These individuals should be fined.

  • a stanley 14th May 2010 at 8:20 am

    The home buying process in this country needs modernising. HIPs were an attempt, and would have been a greater success with the inclusion of a survey, as they would have become far more user friendly. The largest single purchase anyone can make in their life – yet many make it with their eyes closed, not knowing or noticing a thing about the property except the colour of the walls and the trendy lighting. The potential buyer would benefit from a ‘user friendly’ survey on a property, and we should use this to move toward a similar system as the scottish one.
    It is fact that many other major countries in the world have this type of system in place, and helped by this – dont have the problems we do in the UK

  • Chris Holmes 13th May 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Scrapping HIPs may well be bad news but then one benefit will be that many of the EPC “brokering” panles will shut down as DEAs make local deals with agents. The panels have only served to drive down fees for EPCs to sub £30 levels. I tracked some jobs back and the route was Vendor, HIP Company, EPC Panel, EPC panel, DEA. No thats not a double entry the first panel was subbing work out to another panel!!!
    So maybe one good thing to come out of the scrapping of HIPs will be the shake down of the outdated and costly panel system.

  • AP 13th May 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Very unfortunate for those HIP providers, but if you provide a product that nobody wants, you can’t rely the government maintaining a false market.

  • Chris Bizzle 13th May 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Who will be responsible for carrying out the “possible” new Home Report? could there be a smooth transition from them that trained as HIP surveyors to be rebranded as Home Report surveyors? And would there be further training required

  • Geoff Laird 13th May 2010 at 6:35 pm

    About time , I have found the accuracy of certain reports to be very unreliable, so lets see them scrapped with immediate effect.

    Next step for this government is the reversal of Housing Benefits being paid directly to tenants and direct to Landlords , this would encourage more Landlords to accomodate this type of tenancy.

  • Jo 13th May 2010 at 2:42 pm

    This is not about backing the wrong horse. The government brought in legislation and hundreds (if not thousands) of people went into business to provide this service. By scrapping HIPs the government will be making most of those people unemployed through no fault of their own. So much for supporting small businesses and increasing employment within the population. In one comment the coalition government have contradicted themselves on two counts and we are only on day 3 of the new government.

  • Paul 13th May 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Anon 12.49 – As harsh as your statement is unfortunately it is very true. However we have become a society of blame and compensation. Aless would you expect brokers to be reimbursed for the cost of CeMAP, CCL, network/FSA fees etc as a result of folded business due to the downturn – No. Dust yourself off and move on, put it down to a bad experience. Good luck.

  • Richard 13th May 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Who is going to recompense you? Noone, you backed the wrong horse. Stop looking for someone to blame and look in the mirror, there you will see the person that made the mistake.

  • Aless 13th May 2010 at 11:05 am

    Ill thought out at the start and ill advised now. The number of people who will be out of work as result is huge, considering the government is looking to drive the country out of the recession. I for one will be signing on straight away and filling my claim for housing benefit if they do scrap HIPs. Who’s going to recompense my training and effort in setting up a new career and business. I’m sure many others in the industry will follow suit.

  • George Williamson 13th May 2010 at 11:00 am

    Bringing in HOME REPORTS in England & Wales (E&W), as we have them in Scotland would be good news as it would save both Buyers & Sellers a lot of money – currently in E&W Lenders control the Survey landscape, charging huge fees that are more than they actually pay the Surveying Firm. This “skimming” on Survey Fees is nothing more than another Lender Rip-off that should have been addressed by the FSA years ago. We in Scotland laugh at how much you get ripped off in E&W, because the same Lenders happily accept Home Reports on Scottish properties and charge no fee to use them.