Which? slams government over HIPs backtrackMinisters accused of caving in to pressure
18 July 2006
Which? has slammed the government for its ‘half-baked’ decision to delay a vital part of forthcoming Home Information Packs (HIPs).
The government said the introduction of a ‘home condition report’ – the survey part of the new HIP - will need further testing, a move that has lead Which? to withdraw its support for the packs, due to start in England and Wales in June 2007.
Which? believes the government has caved in after increasing pressure from the property industry. Recent weeks have seen a barrage of anti-HIP reports in the press.
In a letter to Ruth Kelly, Which?’s Nick Stace said: ‘The home condition report was an essential part of the HIP. It seems extraordinary that the first major decision by your new department is to reduce the consumer benefits of a flagship policy because you have come under pressure from the industry, including estate agents.'
‘Clearly your concern over misinformed headlines has led you to conclude that the industry interests should dominate.This half-baked compromise will result in something that is of little value to consumers and Which? cannot therefore continue to provide support,’ added Nick Stace.
Which? has been a supporter of the Home Information Pack (HIP) scheme for its potential to speed up and revolutionise the house buying market where 30 per cent of property sales fall through every year, costing an estimated £350 million annually.