The Government will announced today the roll out of Home Information Packs to all houses from 14th December. The contentious Pack which was originally designed to help speed up the home buying process and bring an end to gazumping was initially launched in August for all larger properties and in September was extended to include all homes with three or more bedrooms.
The project has not been without its critics. Almost everyone involved in property has argued against HiPs including the RICS, the Law Society, The Council of Mortgage Lenders, the National Association of Estate Agents and the Governments own ‘Better Regulation Committee’. Despite the howls of protest, the Communities and Local Government under Hazel Blears has pushed ahead having come under intense pressure from those who have come together to implement the departments edict.
Domestic Energy Assessors and Pack providers have lobbied hard for the role out to all properties. Many have spent their own money getting trained up only to find that they have little of no work. It was estimated that around 100,000 HiPs would be required each month and with each HiP an Energy Performance Certificate but industry experts suggest that less than 50,000 have been done since 1st August. Many Energy Assessors face financial ruin despite training companies continuing to advertise that there is a shortage.
Pack providers have reported problems with obtaining searches from local authorities and some have struggled to turn the Packs around within a month. In a final u-turn the Governments’ next plan to require all properties that are marketed – even those already being advertised to have a HiP after the 1st January will not now be implemented with an extension of so called ‘first day marketing’ to 1st June next year and of course the long term outlook for HiPS is far from certain as the Tories under David Cameron have pledged to scrap them if they win the next election.