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Process to scrap controversial Home Information Packs in UK expected to start this week

But the HIP industry is bravely clinging to the hope that it might not be the final end despite the fact that both the Conservative and Liberal Democrats put the ending of the packs in their manifestos.
New housing minister Grant Shapps has said there will be a consultation on their future. But Mike Ockenden, director general of the Association of Home Information Pack Providers, said it is too early to disband the organisation. ‘Grant Shapps committed to a consultation on the removal of HIPs but it is up to the members of AHIPP to decide on its future and it would seem rather premature to talk about its disbanding. We do not yet know what process and timing the Government has in mind for scrapping HIPs or indeed whether they are considering any further reform to the home buying process,’ he said.
However, the real estate agent industry is convinced that the packs will be abolished. HIPs were introduced with the intention of negating the need for structural surveys by the inclusion in the new packs of Home Condition Reports. When these Home Condition Reports were not made a mandatory feature of HIPs, the new packs were regarded as an expensive addition to conveyancing process
Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents called for a quick decision and said drawing the process out would only confuse consumers and the property market.
The NAEA has campaigned for HIPs to be scrapped, arguing that they have failed to benefit home buyers and actively discouraged sellers. ‘This is great news for the housing market and for house buyers, few of whom have paid much attention to these pointless packs. It is also good news for sellers, who will no longer need to shell out hundreds of pounds for a piece of pointless regulation that benefits no one,’ said King.
‘But it is vital that the new Government acts on this commitment boldly, decisively and quickly. Sellers are not going to be prepared to spend hundreds of pounds now if they feel they won’t have to in a few months. The implications to the market of thousands of people suddenly deciding to hold off selling their home could be severe. We urge the Government to act now,’ he added.
Dominic Agace, chief executive of estate agents Winkworth said abolishing HIPs will have a positive effect on property supply,  particularly for speculative sellers who may have been deterred by having to pay up to £500 upfront for the pack.
Nicholas Leeming, a director of the online estate agents Zoopla, also welcomed the ending of the packs. ‘The abolition of HIPs is a positive move for the housing market. Sellers see them as an annoyance, buyers don’t ask to see them and solicitors often refuse to rely on the information they contain,’ he explained.