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Home Information Packs take yet another pasting

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The Government’s ‘initiative’ on Home Information Packs (HIPs) has taken another battering, this time from a House of Lords Committee, which has noted “widespread” and “striking” opposition to the plan.

HIPs will have to be prepared by everyone selling a home from 1st June – at a cost of around £600 – and each HIP must contain title deeds, local searches and an energy performance certificate.

But estate agents and legal bodies have told the Government that they have not had enough time to prepare for HIPs. The Committee said that the Government must take this criticism “seriously”.

Lord Filkin, chairman of the Lords Select Committee on the Merits of Statutory Instruments said: “The comments we have received from key stakeholder organisations in the housing market are striking in the strength of their criticisms.

“Such comment may not invalidate the purposes of the regulations, but we believe that the Government needs to take such criticism seriously, and to do more if the market is to respond seriously.” He also said that the Committee had “rarely seen such widespread opposition to proposals”.  

In reply, Mike Ockenden, director general of the Association of Home Information Pack Providers, said that the Committee had only listened to opponents of HIPs. “The report is both slanted and jaundiced,” he said.

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