HIPs Caught in Renewed “Shappnel” Fire

Paul Hajek | 21 Apr 2010

 The Home Information Pack, the HIP, is sustaining incoming fire once again from the Shadow Housing spokesman Grant Shapps: This, despite only a passing reference in the Conservative Manifesto to abolishing HIPs.

An unseemly row is developing between Mr. Shapps and the Association of Hip Pack Providers (AHIPP).

The Conservatives may have been stung by the swing in the opinion polls last week, to try and win votes on what they consider to be a soft target: The HIP

Shapps is accusing AHIPP of relying on “dodgy data” in a survey on HIPs carried out on their behalf by Ipsos MORI.

AHIPP in return is virtually accusing the Tories, as they call them, of having a “secret dossier” on HIPS, which the Conservatives are refusing to publish.

The Conservatives launched, to much fanfare, a study into the home buying process in 2008. As yet, this study has not been published.

The pity is that blatant politicking is impeding a further opportunity for reform in the home buying process of which Hips form just a part.

Simply stating that HIPs should be abolished or scrapped as the Conservatives and the LibDems are proposing without a suitable replacement is dull thinking.

Labour’s rather shamefully arrogant approach to the implementation of HIPS has not been forgotten by the major stakeholders; Estate Agents and Conveyancing Solicitors.

This resentment is still raw, but this should not be allowed to overwhelm the debate in a negative way.

The solution will be both reactive and proactive.

Amend the regulations to allow “first day marketing” i.e. to allow the Estate Agent to market the property immediately without waiting for a complete HIP.

But upgrade the HIP to “exchange ready” i.e. include within the HIP a draft contract, copies of all relevant deeds, planning permissions, building regulation approvals, indemnity policies and a full Sellers Information Form, not the truncated Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) as is the case now.

The win-win double whammy of Estate Agents and Conveyancing Solicitors being able to get on with it at the earliest opportunity will invariably quicken the sale once a buyer has been found.

Reducing the time from finding a buyer to a legally binding contract for sale was after all the cornerstone upon which HIPS were born

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