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Hips revisions slammed by industry

Ministers were accused of exacerbating the “chaotic” situation surrounding home information packs after revised regulations were released yesterday by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

The National Association of Estate Agents says the revisions are confusing and called the proposals “ill-thought out”.

The Government has confirmed that there will be three stages for the implementation of HIPs with the first commencing on August 1 and applying to properties with four or more bedrooms.

This will be followed by a second and third phase covering three bedroom properties and then all other properties as soon as there are enough domestic energy assessors to cope with demand.

NAEA chief executive Peter Bolton King says: “The already chaotic situation surrounding HIPs appears to be getting even worse. The idea of three separate phases will cause complete confusion and delay the introduction of the important energy performance certificate.

“The NAEA continues to be dismayed that despite criticism of the proposals from Parliament, the industry, the media and the public, the CLG is continuing to push forward with these ill-thought out proposals.

“We once again urge the government to separate the EPC from the rest of the HIP to allow for its rapid introduction, and then to scrap the remainder of the Pack. Following that, the government should sit down with the industry to work out a sensible way of improving the home buying and selling process.”

Easier2move sales and marketing director Karen Babington says: “Admittedly HIPs have become somewhat of a movable feast recently but the lack of firm timings for the introduction of these packs will continue to affect the markets confidence in their ultimate introduction. This will – in turn – reduce the amount of investment from interested companies and thus set the process back even further.

“We call on the Government to rectify this state of uncertainty as soon as possible and allow companies – such as ourselves – to get on with the business of providing these packs to consumers.”

But others welcomed the proposals saying they brought clarity to the situation.

AHIPP director general Mike Ockenden says: “Ruth Kelly has today provided much needed clarity for consumers, the Hip industry and energy assessors and she has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the future of HIPs. Industry now has a structured implementation plan that offers HIP providers and energy assessors an opportunity to plan more confidently for the future.

“We now call upon all industries that touch the home buying and selling process to get behind the implementation of HIPs, in order to deliver the benefits to home sellers and buyers.”

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