The Association of Home Information Pack Providers (AHIPP) is calling on local authorities to cooperate with private search companies compiling home information packs (HIPs).
AHIPP says a number of local authorities are withholding information needed to compile a HIP from private sector search companies, and this needs to change.
Under temporary rules, private sector search companies are able to use insurance to cover any risks to consumers if local authorities withhold information needed to compile a HIP.
AHIPP says this arrangement is likely to expire by the end of 2008, and local authorities will find themselves subject to intense pressure and negative publicity if they do not allow private search companies to do their job.
Mike Ockenden, director general of AHIPP, says: “While it is important to acknowledge that there are some excellent authorities that do not restrict access to the information that they maintain, they are in the minority.
“Some 75% of all authorities do not provide access in accordance with the Government's own guidelines and the clock is ticking with only six months to go to the end of the year.”
Ockenden says local authorities should sort themselves out now or face major consequences when the current arrangements expire in 2009.
Local authorities that have not yet adopted an open policy with search companies will receive a letter from Ockenden challenging them to sort out the ‘unacceptable’ situation.
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