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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Broken HIPs

The much derided and incompetently drafted Home Information Packs (HIPs) legislation has been given another sound battering, this time by the Royal Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

RICS has highlighted a loophole which renders the HIPs unnecessary and costly box ticking procedures useless.

New rules put forward in Parliament state that packs must be commissioned when a home is put on the market. However, and here is the clever bit, RICS say that no purchase of the same pack is necessary before exchanging contracts.

RICS state that vendors can exploit this, by completing the sale but never going through with the £400 purchase of a HIP.

Spokesperson Jeremy Leaf said:

"This is another example of rushed policy that fails to meet the needs of consumers and the housing industry.

Unless the Government can show us the regulation that says a property cannot be sold without a HIP, consumers and industry will draw their own conclusion
."

It is a sad reflection of the current government that many pieces of their headline grabbing legislation have been rushed, and have been very poorly drafted.

The irony with HIP's is that Labour have been pushing this idea since 1997. You would have thought that they could have ironed all the problems out in that 10 years.

Evidently not!

Needless to say the Association of Home Information Pack Providers (AHIPP), who of course were relying on all that lovely money that HIPs would have earned them, are not best pleased with the RICS view of reality.

Mike Ockden, Director General of AHIPP, said:

"The allegation made today by RICS, claiming to have found a loop-hole in the latest Home Information Pack regulations, which will not require sellers to produce a HIP at the exchange of contracts, is nothing more than the typical anti-HIP propaganda we have learned to expect.

Following our own investigations into the regulations, this allegation is totally unfounded
."

The astute amongst you will notice that despite his venom, Ockden has not bothered to explain why they dispute the RICS viewpoint.

A cynic might argue that AHIPP, since they were relying on the future income stream, would say anything to guard their income income stream.

I think it is fair to say that, whatever the views of AHIPP, HIPs are in effect so fatally fractured that they will die a death.

Good riddance to bad rubbish!

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