Hips Backlash

by : James Quinton

Before they have even come into force on the first of June, the Government's home information packs HIPs have been widely criticised by, well, pretty much everyone. Last week the Conservative party failed in an eleventh hour bid to block the introduction of HIPs. Opponents of HIPs claim that they will be a 'disaster' and will be a 'mistake' with some even likening the introduction of the Home Information Packs, to the introduction of the Poll Tax in the early nineties.

The packs, which by law will have to include all information on the property including title deeds, planning searches, as well as an energy performance certificate which will be assessed by an inspector, have been introduced to cut the number of transactions which fall through, and to speed up the housebuying process, put an end to gazumping and at the same time encourage homeowners to cut their energy consumption. But opponents say that the packs will add to the price of selling a home with the cost of putting together a HIP pack estimated to be between four hundred and six hundred pounds each. Failure to provide a Home Information Pack will lead to a two hundred pound a day fine.

Sellers have been rushing to place their properties on the market before the first of June to avoid paying for the mandatory HIPs. It is expected that the property property market will slow after the first of June which could see house prices soar due to the continuing lack of property (the longest decline in seven years) available on the market.

Critics have also labelled the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) a threat to the countries heritage. Some feel that owners of older, period properties will have to replace original features such as sash windows with UPVC alternatives to be able to get a favourable EPC.

As well as the three hundred to six pound charge for the packs VAT will also be added to the cost.