By David Pett of Hip2go based in Norwich
The Conservatives seem to have stepped up their campaign against HIPs, claiming they stall the property market and add unnecessary expense to the home buying and selling process. Is this credible? Where is the evidence that people are being put off from marketing because of the cost of the HIP? Perhaps the Shadow Housing Minister, Mr Shapps, could explain that if the HIP is the sole deterrent, why is there still a shortage of housing stock in Northern Ireland where no HIP is required? As for the cost of the HIP, there are a number of schemes availble which allow the seller to defer the cost until completion. These are schemes similar to the one Mr Shapps is looking to implement to support his ‘green’ retro energy improvement scheme, announced last week. Mr Shapps should have a duty to inform the public of all of the issues surrounding his ‘scrap’ policy on Home Information Packs, such as the following, in my opinion:
- Apart from the EPC costing £40 or so all the other documents and information within the HIP will need to be produced and paid for as part of the selling and buying process even if the HIP requirement is removed.
- If you remove the HIP the cost of moving home will increase by around £150 given that the cost of personal searches will immediately increase by around 40pc.
- The removal of the HIP will also lead to further delays and added stress within the selling and buying process.
- By liberating the EPC from the HIP as is planned, this will increase the EPC non compliance level and lead to a loss of an effective tool for reducing carbon emissions.
- By allowing speculative sellers back into the market we will all once again suffer from wasted costs when they decide at the last minute to pull out of a transaction.
The HIP is not perfect but life without it could represent bad news for the consumer. To get this message across a new action group – HIP Reform Group – has been established. For more information you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org