The Law Society is calling for an urgent examination into the HIPs process by the Office of Fair Trading(OFT) following the announcement that from next April, the packs will be required as soon as a property comes onto the market.
Earlier this week, the OFT announced it will launch a market study into the home buying and selling process. The group, which will begin the study in 2009, plans to talk to businesses, Government and consumer groups.
The Law Society says it hopes the OFT review will include an in-depth look at the HIPs process, which it feels has not proved a success.
Paul Marsh, president of the Law Society, says: "We hope that the review will examine the HIPs process, which has not proved to be of benefit to consumers. I urge our members to share their opinions and expertise by contributing to this important review."
Housing Minister Margaret Beckett had announced earlier that from next April, HIPs will be required as soon as the property comes onto the market following a raft of measures aimed at improving the performance of the scheme.
However, the plans have not been welcomed by the industry.
Commenting on the mandatory introduction of HIPs, David Quick, managing director of independent general insurance network CETA Insurance Limited, describes the Government's latest move as "pure insanity".
He explains: "November has seen another drop in the number of homes being sold in the UK with experts and estate agents predicting further falls over the coming year. Forcing sellers to have a HIP in place before marketing their property will surely act as a deterrent to those entering a market already faced with enough problems as it is.
"It is estimated the HIP and property questionnaire will take a seller around three to five days to complete, not to mention the financial implications.
"The government should have taken bold steps to encourage activity and install some much-needed confidence in the housing market, not make it even more complicated and obstructive for potential buyers and sellers," he concludes.IFAonline
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