Government Postpones Home Information Packs

Dividing the property market just days before implementation

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Praised and vilified in equal measures, Home Information Packs have been put on the back burner by the Government just days before they were due to come into force. Sellers will now be required to offer a Home Information Pack (HIP) to prospective buyers from August 1st rather than June 1st.

The change of date came about after the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors launched a review of Energy Performance Certificates which are a main part of the pack.

The packs will also include title deeds and planning searches and would have cost home owners up to £1,000 but have now been put back by two months and will only apply on sales of four bedroom properties and above.

Despite the fact that many property businesses have been gearing up for the arrival of HIPs for the past 18 months, London Assembly Member, Tony Arbour, welcomed the of the delay saying “Home Information Packs will just add to the financial burden faced by home owners who have already been penalised by Gordon Brown’s failure to raise stamp duty thresholds in line with house prices. I remain totally opposed to the introduction of Home Information packs."

Christian Harper of Chiswick Estate Agency Oliver Finn disagrees. He told “In my opinion HIP’s can only be a good thing.

"Potential buyers receive more information at the start of the process to enable them to make informed decisions and not find out that for example the owner has forgotten to mention that the house doesn’t comply with building regulations!

"From a clients perspective if the buyer has all of the information at the beginning the sale is less likely to fall through further down the line. How can HIP’s be a bad thing?”

He continued “I think the question that should be asked is…….. Why are the government implementing HIP’s?

"I think it is purely a vehicle to gather data on energy performance of housing and then structure council tax accordingly to energy results in the future?

"Are we being sucked in and more to the point paying for it and long term fanning the fire that will burn us?”

May 30, 2007