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.”