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Rising tide of disquiet over HIPs

PUBLISHED: 17:25 08 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:59 22 October 2010

Less than a year now remains before the Home Information Pack (HIP) becomes compulsory in England and Wales, requiring every seller to provide detailed information at the start of the sale process.

Less than a year now remains before the Home Information Pack (HIP) becomes compulsory in England and Wales, requiring every seller to provide detailed information at the start of the sale process.

The new legislation - including a home condition report with energy efficiency assessment - represents a radical change to the current buying and selling process and is provoking a rising tide of disagreement among estate agents, chartered surveyors and politicians.

Opposition to the packs, estimated to cost sellers between £600 and £1000, is coming not just from members of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), the industry's largest professional body, but also from cross-party MPs.

Shadow Housing Minister Michael Gove recently received support from Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs, after putting down an early day motion calling for the introduction of the packs to be delayed or cancelled.

Norwich estate agent Chris Hall, immediate past president of the NAEA, is among leading industry figures worried about the possible effect on the housing market.

While supportive of any improvements to the conveyancing process, he has major concerns about the packs ain proposed form, and believes they could have a hugely detrimental effect if introduced as planned from June 1, 2007.

Some interested parties are also concerned about the potential Big Brother effect of the home condition reports, which will allow the government access to an unprecedented amount of electronic data on individual homes.


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