Hips 'worthless' without regulation

Posted: 11 May 2006 10:17:24 GMT

            Property News - Hips 'worthless' without regulation

Home information packs (Hips) will hit the UK market in just over a year, but one provider is warning they will be useless without better regulation.

Spring Move has said that sellers need to be protected from dodgy companies offering Hips, with the proposed fine of £200 not enough of a deterrent in a market likely to be worth around £1.4 billion per year.

The government's reason for introducing Hips is that that around £1 million is wasted each day when sales fall through.

It is claimed that Hips will put an end to this, with the increased transparency ensuring that buyers are fully aware of all the necessary details from the beginning.

Spring Move chairman Stephen Foden has his reservations about the extent of the regulation that has been promised.

"We are in favour of Hips but we are concerned that some companies will enter this market offering poor quality home information packs that in some cases will not be worth the paper they are printed on," he said.

"If the industry wants consumers to rely on Hips to help make their purchasing decisions, we must introduce safeguards against the production of wrong or misleading information."

Mr Foden has argued that there should be a best practice charter that clarifies the charging structures, credit arrangements, reliability of content and format of the presentation.

Without this, he warns, consumers will not get the best possible deal and confidence will evaporate.

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