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CML attacks Hips and calls for Government re-think

The Council of Mortgage Lenders says Home Information Packs will not work in their current form.

The trade body, which has previously been cautious in its comments on Hips, launched a broadside at Government policy in stating the controversial packs, which it labels as a “costly indulgence”, will be useless in aiding the home-buying process.

The comments follow the decision in July to make home condition reports, seen by many as the focal point of Hips, voluntary.

CML director general Michael Coogan says: “This infrastructure seems a costly indulgence. It is also a clear-cut example of gold-plating. We have therefore written to the Better Regulation Commission to draw its attention to this example of poor implementation of European legislative requirements.

“Hips are due to undergo a dry run to test their effectiveness in practice. However, the CML does not believe this will be a robust test of the new arrangements. It is already well behind the original schedule, and is being operated by the Association of Home Information Pack Providers, which naturally will wish to see success.

“Government funding has been made available to artificially incentivise take-up, compared with the true cost that will subsequently apply to any universal roll-out. And the Government has published no clear criteria for monitoring or evaluation of the dry run.

“Comparing our experience with other countries around the world, I am even more convinced that market forces should be the primary mechanism for delivering improvements to the house buying and selling process. The current Hips framework, seemingly justified by the EPC requirements, is simply not proportionate and could not pass a robust regulatory impact assessment.

“It is time for the government to think again.. again.”

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