Shapps axes controversial Home Information Packs

GRANT Shapps’ first task as housing minister has been to announce the end of controversial Home Information Packs (HIPs).

With immediate effect, home sellers will no longer need to provide the packs, although an Energy Performance Certificate will still be required.

HIPs were introduced by the Labour government in 2007 to help speed up the home buying process.

The ill-fated scheme had many critics, though, who accused them of being pointless and simply adding hundreds of pounds to the cost of buying a property.

The suspension of HIPs pending legislation for a permanent abolition was announced today (Thursday) by Mr Shapps, MP for Welwyn Hatfield, and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

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Mr Shapps said: “This is a great example of how this new Government is getting straight down to work by cutting away pointless red-tape that is strangling the market.

“Rather than shelling out hundreds of pounds for nothing in return we’re stripping away bureaucracy and letting home owners sell their properties.”

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He added: “But we’re also showing our commitment to a greener housing market by keeping Energy Performance Certificates and making them more relevant in helping buyers make informed decisions on the energy costs of their new home.”

Mr Pickles said: “The expensive and unnecessary Home Information Pack has increased the cost and hassle of selling homes and is stifling a fragile housing market.

“HIPs are history. This action will encourage sellers back into the market, and help the market as a whole and the economy recover.”

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