Home Information Packs take a dive

Are [tag]HIP’s[/tag] delayed or cancelled? The government (in the form of Ruth Kelly) has now said that [tag]Home Information Packs[/tag] will be required for all properties with four bedrooms or more from 1st August 2007. The whole affair has been an embarrassment to the government, with the original proposals stripped to the bare bones.

Whilst recently there has been much talk about Home Information Pack training deficiencies, the debate over the value of [tag]Energy Performance Certificates [/tag]and the number of qualified Domestic Energy Assessors it should be remembered that campaigners have been lobbying against HIP’s since they were first proposed in 2003. Many well qualified commentators have said that they whole process is such a mess that they can never come into force.

So what actually happened to cause the government to back down in such a dramatic manor, and at such short notice? The most damaging blow probably came last year when Home Conditions Reports (HCR) were removed. However the bill survived a late challenge from the Conservatives in early May, and was due to be debated again the the house of lords (although the outcome of that debate would not have been binding). The final and most deadly attack came from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) who mounted a legal challenge in the form of a judicial review. Faced with this, and emerging evidence that there were not enough Home Inspectors to carry out the task it would have been an act of madness to carry the scheme forward on 1st June.

Spare a thought though, for the people who have invested considerable amounts of money in training to become Home Inspectors or Domestic Energy Assessors. Had HIP’s gone ahead on 1st of June for all properties on the market these people would be looking forward to a very profitable summer. Instead they are now in limbo, at best they can hope that they will be producing Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) for approximately 17% of the properties on the market.

What do you think about the introduction of Home Information Packs? Most importantly do you agree with the view that anyone who opposes HIP’s is “anti-green”?

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