Has no-one a good word to say about home information packs (HIP)? The government is facing a barrage of criticism from almost every quarter that has some connection with their introduction in a couple of months' time.
Both the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the National Association of Estate Agents have issued statements voicing their criticisms over some elements of the packs. They join the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Law Society and Council of Licensed Conveyancers in expressing their concern.
Now the Law Society has written to Yvette Cooper MP, Minister for Housing and Planning, urging the government to meet with them before it is too late. You would think that the very fabric of society was under threat!
As you might expect, the Association of Home Information Pack Providers has refuted the industry claims that HIPs are not up to scratch, dismissing the criticisms as "myths" assuring all the doommongers that the rolling out of the HIPs on 1 June will be done "effectively and efficiently". However, it would be fair to say that with just over two months until implementation, the government's plans to introduce HIPs on 1 June still requires a little work.
But it seems to me that the outcry from the trade bodies stems from having their noses being put out of joint by being excluded from the decision-making process.
When meetings were refused, a second letter was sent to Communities Minister Ruth Kelly, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, outlining again the chief concerns surrounding "this seriously flawed and extremely rushed piece of legislation". Once again they were ignored. They continue to demand a meeting to discuss their reservations.
I must admit I have some sympathy with the government in this case. It is engaged in a revolutionary policy designed to cut waste from home buying and selling as well as providing important energy information to help cut carbon emissions.
Presently, a quarter of all house purchases fail before contracts are exchanged, wasting as much as £1m every day. To give so many interested stakeholders, eager to press ahead with their own agendas designed to protect their position in a very lucrative marketplace, input, would either neuter the policy or dilute it to such a degree that it becomes ineffectual. HIPs are coming on 1 June. Live with it – better still, learn how to profit from it.
Steve Walker is director of Promise.
The views expressed are those of the author and not those of the company he represents.IFAonline
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