New call at Commons to suspend HIPs
20th May 2009
Government ministers are to be urged to scrap Home Information Packs in an Early Day Motion tabled today by shadow housing minister Grant Shapps.
He believes there is now mounting evidence that HIPs are having an adverse effect on the market.
He also feels concern at the recent dramatic fall in new instructions, and the widening gap between those agents who are not obeying the law and those who are.
On April 6, first-day marketing was banned, but it is believed a number of agents are ignoring the requirement to have a HIP in place before they start any marketing.
On Monday, one agent posted on EAT that he had arranged the sale of a house he had valued but which did not have a HIP on it. He said he had acted in the interests of his client, and that both seller and purchaser were delighted. He noted that whilst disobeying the law, no one had died.
Uniquely within the HIPs legislation, there is provision for HIPs to be suspended if they are not working.
Anti-HIP campaigner Nick Salmon said he would be urging estate agents to press their own MPs to sign up to the early day motion which reades as follows:
"That this House believes that home information packs (HIPs) are having an adverse effect on the current housing market; notes with concern the recent evidence that the cost of home information packs is being artificially inflated by pack providers and estate agents; recognises that the housing industry has pronounced them unhelpful for buyers and sellers; further notes that at the end of the first day of marketing last month the National Association of Estate Agents said 65 per cent. of estate agents questioned thought the new arrangements would discourage sellers from putting their homes up for sale, and 89 per cent. did not think they would benefit buyers; further notes that the Government's own statistics had shown that 77 per cent. of people paid no attention to HIPs when deciding whether or not to buy a property; further notes with concern that in many areas of the sale and rental industry
the home information pack legislation is being routinely ignored; and calls on the Government to use its powers to suspend home information packs immediately, and then introduce primary legislation to scrap them completely."