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Broken HIPs system is ‘in chaos already’

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10/04/2007

The Government’s home seller’s pack (HIP) scheme is heading for a crisis already, two months before it is due to become a legal responsibility for sellers to make one available to potential purchasers.

From 1st June, people selling their property will have to have a HIP compiled on their home, which will have to include an energy-performance certificate.

A target of 7,500 HIP inspectors was supposed to have been reached by the time the packs are a requirement, but do far only 1,000 have been trained to the required standard.

Some property professionals fear that the lack of inspectors will cause the housing market to grind to a halt as sellers waits for their paperwork. There are also worries that exorbitant fees will be charged to hurry things along for impatient buyers and sellers.

One Essex-based estate agent said: “There could well be rogue agents that take advantage of the system. The requirements relating to the energy-efficiency of the property – loft and cavity wall insulation, double glazing and so on – are open to abuse in my estimation.

“In short, I think the system is in chaos already.”

Housing minister, Yvette Cooper, is to speak at a £60-a-head training seminar on how agents can ‘make money’ from the packs and this has fuelled suspicion in some quarters that HIPs could be open to abuse.

 

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