Minister tightens rules on Hips
Housing minister, Margaret Beckett, stands accused of putting additional pressure on homeowners by changing the rules that govern Home Information Packs (Hips).
Currently vendors can market their properties without a Hip providing they have made arrangements for one to be available within 28 days, however, from 6th April 2009 a pack must be available from the first day of sale.
Also from next year, Hips will need to include a property information questionnaire that relates to such issues as building work carried out, energy and utility suppliers, parking arrangements and Council Tax banding.
Vendors will be responsible for supplying the information, which according to Hip enthusiasts will reduce the likelihood of problems emerging well into the sales process.
The government argues that Hips speed up the house selling process but the scheme, which was introduced during 2007/08, has been strongly opposed by many homeowners and housing market experts.
A pack cost around £300 for an average property and estate agents found to be marketing properties without one are liable for a fine.