Country houses for sale

2nd HIPs U-turn

The Government has today announced a delay in the introduction of Home Information Packs (HIPs) that were due to come in next Friday (June 1). They will now be introduced on August 1 and will only be required for houses with four bedrooms or more.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Ruth Kelly told the House of Commons that following today’s High Court ruling on Energy Performance Certificates, the Government has decided it needs to delay the implementation of both HIPs and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).

Vendors of properties which fall into the HIPs bracket from August 1 will be allowed to market their properties as soon as they have commissioned a HIP, rather than having to wait until it is actually in their hands.

Ms Kelly said that after an end of year review on how the scheme is faring, there would be further consultation on extending the scheme to owners of smaller properties, while EPCs are to be carried out on more social housing, to give assessors plenty of work while they wait for more properties to require their services.

Michael Grove, Shadow Minister for Housing & Planning, said he was curious as to why the Government didn’t treat any previous warnings from stakeholders and members of Parliament seriously: ‘Was this stubborn vanity, or pure incompetence?’ he asked. Mr Grove went on to say that as a result of this refusal to address mounting problems with HIPs. ‘Confidence in the industry, stability in the housing market, and the environment have all been damaged in the process.’

Ms Kelly said that further regulations would be provided to concrete what she said this afternoon.