Are HIPs the way forward?

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Housing Minister Margaret Beckett gave a non-committal appraisal response to Home Information Packs (HIPs) this week. Beckett wonders if HIPs are actually fulfilling their potential.

Hips were introduced to speed up the home buying and selling process as well as providing you with a faster and more cost effective service. HIPs on average cost around £350.

Following Beckett's comments Tory Ministers said she should suspend HIPs in a direct response to the current housing market situation.

Shadow Housing Minister, Grant Shapps said "If the Housing Minister can admit that the Government got HIPs wrong then she can stand up to the Prime Minister and use the legislation which allows HIPs to be suspended."

However, Beckett ruled out scrapping HIPs while giving evidence to the Commons Local Government Select Committee, insisting they had some positive impact on the market.

Lyndon Campbell, Head of Conveyancing at Simpson Millar LLP comments: "Although HIPs in their current form are not necessarily achieving their potential, with some modifications they could make the home buying and selling process much easier. "

"For example if a HIP were to contain further information such as a draft contract, home contents forms, any guarantees and warranties and any planning permission and building control certificates etc rather than just the EPC, a copy of the title and local and drainage searches then we could see a faster service that would benefit consumers, solicitors, estate agents and mortgage brokers. This would effectively make the HIP an exchange or completion ready pack."


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