Hips introduction under the microscope

Posted: 09 Aug 2007 12:02:20 GMT


            Property News - Hips introduction under the microscope

The promised full-scale rollout of Home information packs (Hips) may have hit a potential snag.

The promised full-scale rollout of Home information packs (Hips) may have hit a potential snag.

Hips are currently only mandatory when selling a property with four or more bedrooms but the government wants to packs to become part of the home-selling process for all properties.

However, the National Audit Office (NAO) has announced that it is to launch a full investigation into the way that Hips were launched following a complaint from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The investigation centres on the role played by two consultants who have since been found to have financial links to one of the companies chosen to operate the certification scheme.

The NAO has accused the Department of Communities and Local Government of failing to take "more robust action" once it became clear that the consultants had "a clear conflict of interest".

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has taken the opportunity to slam Hips and question whether they should ever have been introduced.

"This latest criticism, which has come from the government's own audit office, is yet another confirmation of the inadequacy of Hips," said Peter Bolton King from the NAEA.

"We also wonder what might have happened had the report come out some weeks before the Hips start date rather than a few days after?"

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