Changes That Could Be Made to HIPs
Home Information Packs have not been received well in the industry. Ever since they were introduced there has been criticism for them. They were first introduced in 2007 as part of a roll out scheme. Houses with four or more bedrooms had to have a HIP a few months before houses with two for example.
By the end of 2007 all houses that were put on the market for sale had to have a HIP. If the owner did not commission a HIP then he or she would be fined.
Why Has There Been Criticism?HIPs have been criticised by many people in the industry and in politics. The argument is that forcing home owners to produce a HIP before marketing their property may actually deter them from putting their house on the market. This would seriously effect the housing market. In the current economic climate especially this would have detrimental effects on the property industry.
The Conservative party have long been critics of HIPs. Since the idea was brought up the Conservatives have been against it. They claim if they were to get into power at the next election one of the first things they would do would be to scrap HIPs. Labour though are unlikely to do a u-turn and scrap the initiative. For the time being at least it looks like HIPs are here to stay.
Will There Be Any Changes To HIPs?When HIPs were initially introduced it was said that Home Condition Reports would be a compulsory element of the packs. The HCR contains information on the condition of the property being sold. This includes details of any problems with the property. This would give the buyer a chance to have the problems rectified before they go ahead with the sale.
However not long before the packs were introduced it was announced that HCRs would only be a voluntary element at an extra cost. This led to much criticism from people in the industry who believed the HCR to be one of the only valuable parts of the pack.
It is unlikely that Labour will reintroduce HCRs as a compulsory part of the pack. The Government will not want to be seen as making mistakes and making a further u-turn would mean admitting they were wrong to change the HCR’s position in the first place.
The price of the pack could change if the Government thinks it will help the property industry. If sellers really are holding back from putting their homes on the market because they are reluctant to pay for a HIP then the Government may see fit to reduce the cost of the HIP.The next major change will be if the Conservative party become the next Government. If this happens it is likely HIPs will be scrapped altogether.
In the meantime though it is important not to avoid getting a pack. If you try and put your house on the market without a HIP you could end up with a hefty fine and in the current economic crisis when money is tight this will no doubt be very unwelcome.