An alternation in the rules on HIPs (Home Information Packs) that must accompany every home for sale could assist the beleaguered property market

From October, the key part of the controversial packs, the Energy Performance Certificate, will be valid for three years, instead of one year.
 
This could be a sign that the government accepts it needs to do something to help the quiet property market and avoid making homeowners pay for more than one EPC, which cost about £100 each, if their house is stuck on the market.
 
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government says, ‘With the change to three-year validity of Energy Performance Certificates, we are providing the increased flexibility that many sellers are asking for.
 
However, everyone is not convinced this move will be of any great assistance to homeowners trying to sell their property.
 
Nick Salmon, head of the SPLINTA (Sellers’ Pack Law is Not the Answer) campaign, believes the extension for EPCs is ‘utterly insignificant and will have no bearing whatsoever on the market.’
 
Mr Salmon says he fails to understand why an EPC is valid for three years for a property for sale, while an EPC lasts for 10 years for rental property.
 
‘This is yet another absurdity in the saga of HIPs and EPCs. And the biggest absurdity of all is that the software used for EPCs still shows energy cost figures that are at least two years out of date, so what use are they?’ Mr Salmon asks.