Sunday, August 3, 2008

In desperate need of a HIP replacement

You may recall the latest Government wheeze for house sellers was the Home Improvement Pack. Introduced back in 2007, new legislation dictated that every house marketed for sale after 14th December 2007 must have a HIP.

Details of energy consumption and other environmental benchmarks are included in the report, which at a cost of between £300 and £700 is typically undertaken by the estate agent or a specialist company.

Many people said at the time that this was another "Government poking its nose in" waste of time and money, and at a time when the property market is all but collapsing - due in no small part to Government's mishandling of the economy in recent months - this seemed a burden too far.

And now the news it out. Of 130,000 homes on the market, just 89,000 actually have a Home Improvement Pack. Nick Salmon of the National Association of Estate Agents claims that the packs do nothing to make the process more transparent, and calls for the idea to be scrapped.

For vendors up and down the country, this is an unneccesary nonsense which, like many of the Government's "bright ideas", has been ill-thought out. But my sympathies go to the seven thousand people, many of whom gave up lucrative jobs to train as assessors. How betrayed must they feel right now?

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