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Where to get information about HIPs

publication date: Aug 15, 2007
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The OFT has advised all estate agents in England and Wales that a failure to comply with the new HIPs regulations could result in a ban from estate agency work. All homes for sale with four or more bedrooms in England and Wales now need a HIP with details of the property title, energy performance, planning permissions and searches for prospective buyers.

Under the Estate Agents Act and HIPs regulations, the OFT has the power to assess whether an estate agent is fit to practise. The OFT can impose a ban on an estate agent found to be in breach of the Act and can also issue a Warning Order.

Once a Warning Order has been issued, if the agent continues to breach the Act, the OFT can make a Prohibition Order banning the agent from practising as an estate agent in the future. Mike Haley, OFT Head of Consumer Protection said: ‘The new HIPs are now in force and it is important that agents are aware of their obligations and the possible consequences if they fail to comply. If an agent fails to comply, this could trigger an investigation into an agent’s fitness to continue estate agency work.’

…But all the info you need is supplied by those nice people at the CLG…

If you are still unsure of the detail and want more information the Communities and Local Government website is awash with it. In addition to a mass of downloadable documents the CLG provide a HIPs ‘swatch’ of their FAST FACTS GUIDE. You can also order the guide from the Communities and Local Government Publications Centre.

This free guide has been designed in a swatch format to help estate agents inform both buyers and sellers about Home Information Packs, by providing answers to general questions and details of where to go for further information. http://www.homeinformationpacks.gov. uk/industry

…and the NAEA offers HIP Handling courses…

A practical workshop for estate agency staff dealing with the Home Information Pack. Due to the popularity of certain courses, early booking is advisable to avoid disappointment as places work on a first come, first serve basis. To secure places on any of the courses, please download and complete the booking form and return it to us with payment. Should you have any further queries please email courses@naea.co.uk

But the House of Lords and the NAEA still have issues…

House of Lords again calls on government to revoke HIPs NAEA expresses concern over energy assessors. After a further debate in July, the House of Lords voted by 186 to 160 to call on the government to revoke the Home Information Pack (Number 2) Regulations 2007 and the Housing Act 2004 (Commencement Number 8) order 2007.

Peter Bolton King, CEO at the NAEA, commented:

“Yet again the House of Lords has expressed considerable concern over a number of aspects relating to HIPs, demonstrating just how flawed this piece of legislation is. While the government can of course ignore this motion, as it was not a fatal bill, this nevertheless sends another clear message. The NAEA has consistently expressed the view – supported by their Lordships – that HIPs on their own are not the way to improve the home buying and selling process. We yet again call on the government to proceed with the energy performance certificate – which we are in full support of – and to scrap the remainder of this ill-thought out Pack.”