Home Information Packs get ‘yes’ vote
Sellers will be legally obliged to have a Home Information Pack put together before they can market their property from 1st June, after a move to throw out the legislation was defeated in the House of Commons this afternoon.
The Conservative Party had tabled a motion to annul the HIPs regulation, but it was defeated by 306 votes to 234.
Home Information Packs are aimed at speeding up the homebuying process and preventing gazumping. However, there are concerns regarding their implementation, cost and policing.
Each pack, which could cost the seller between £400 and £1,000, will contain an Energy Efficiency Report, local searches and title deeds. An estimated 7,500 Home Inspectors will be needed to carry out the Energy inspections. However, at present fewer than 2,000 Inspectors have qualified.
Estate agents and industry experts warn that this dearth will lead to a delay in the availability of HIPs, which in turn will mean a shortage of marketable properties from 1st June. The lack of supply could add yet more upward pressure to rising house prices.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) had instigated a judicial review at the 11th hour, claiming that ministers had failed to carry out proper consultation regarding the controversial packs.
It is the first time in its 137 years of existence that RICS has launched a legal challenge against the Government.
The High Court will hear RICS’ legal challenge next week. If it decides that there is a case for the Government to answer, the introduction of HIPs could be put back until later in the year.