by Peter Jacobs
The government announced today that the dreaded home information packs or HIPs would be abolished.The HIPS entered the home selling market in 2007 and then cost around £400 and although this rate has not changed much in the past 3 years sellers were put off putting their home on the market because of this added and unnecessary red tape that was introduced by the Labour government.
People selling their home will still need to apply and receive an energy certificate as this is required by EU law and is needed within 28 days of putting a house up for sale and this should cost around £60.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles placed an order before parliament suspending Hips, pending primary legislation for a permanent abolition which should be put through in due course.
“The expensive and unnecessary home information pack has increased the cost and hassle of selling homes and is stifling a fragile housing market” he said. “That is why I am taking emergency action to suspend the Hip, bringing down the cost of selling a home and removing unnecessary regulation from the home buying process.
This news has been welcomed across the board apart from those involved in developing home information packs for sellers. The Association of Home Information Pack Providers (AHIPP) estimates that there are between 3,000 and 10,000 people whose livelihoods are either directly or indirectly dependent on Hips.
The National Association of Estate Agents welcomed the news, saying that Hips had “failed to benefit homebuyers and actively discouraged sellers.”
Although this announcement may mean that the buying process is lengthened a little because buyers will have to perform all the searches themselves (although most would undertake up to date searches in any case because the HIP could be out of date) it means that more sellers would be encouraged to put their homes up for sale in the first place even if it was simply to test the waters of the market.
This move by the new coalition government is welcomed news in that they are attempting to removed as much of the added burden of red tape and unnecessary paperwork introduced by the previous administration.
Additional thoughts from housing minister Grant Shapps said: “Today the new Government is ensuring that home information packs are history. This is a great example of how we are determined to get straight down to work and cut pointless red tape which is strangling the market.
“By suspending home information packs today, it means that home sellers will be able to get on with marketing their home without having to shell out hundreds of pounds upfront. We are committed to greener housing so from now on all that will be required will be a simple energy performance certificate.”
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