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April 25, 2007

Home Information Packs

There's an entirely simple way around this whole problem:

Home Information Packs (HIPS) will cause chaos because of a lack of qualified inspectors, experts said yesterday as the Government faced increased pressure to delay the scheme.

The Tories said they were planning a last-ditch attempt to block the introduction of the packs, which become compulsory on June 1 and could cost sellers between £600 and £1,000.

Make them voluntary. Those who find (whether buyers or sellers) that they are worth £1,000 will get them or seek propoerties that have them, those that don't will not. If buyers value them more than sellers then the market will similarly pretty quickly sort that out.

There is, as ever, one slight problem with such elegant simplicity. The energy efficiency part of it cannot be made voluntary as it is part of the imposition of EU law upon us.

Can we leave yet?

April 25, 2007 in European Union | Permalink


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On the BBC television news programme this morning, I glimpsed a brief and largely uncritical segment on the rollout of what are called Home Information Packs. These will be compulsory for people looking to sell their property and cost, so the BBC progr... [Read More]

Tracked on May 16, 2007 5:35:57 PM


I totally agree. The market is very good at sorting out which "seal of approval" will count for tuppence or not.

The State is good for "weights and measures", i.e. making sure when someone says they have an HIP, that it really is a kosher HIP. The rest should be left to people to get on with it.

If I am buying a house for renovation, why on EARTH is its green report any use, for example?

And you are right in that this is an EU directive, yet where is the media or even the Conservatives banging this drum? I am sure the busybodies will log down info to be used by councils for council tax rebanding. Why else the punative fines for non-compliance - someone wants this information REAL BAD.

Posted by: Roger Thornhill | Apr 25, 2007 9:25:47 AM

Why should low-energy lightbulbs make a difference to your energy certificate? You'll probably be taking your lightbulbs, fittings and lamps with you so it's absolutely meaningless. The EU legislation is being introduced in Portugal in a couple of years. Can't wait to see how that pans out.

Posted by: MarkS | Apr 25, 2007 9:44:54 AM

"Why should low-energy lightbulbs make a difference to your energy certificate? "

I asked that very question on this very blog and the answer is that the survey marks out *sockets* as being able to take low-energy bulbs (since not all fittings can).

The EU regulation on the energy ratings does NOT require a certificate every time a house is sold: a classic example of New Labour gold plating.

Actually, I suspect that the real reason for HIPs is the Treasury: all HIPs are stored in an oh-so-New-Labour database for purposes as yet not disclosed but I'm willing to bet that Council Tax or a new green tax will be levied on the basis of house CO2 emissions ("it works for cars, this is a logical extension to houses").

Posted by: Kay Tie | Apr 25, 2007 10:00:20 AM

I'm getting tired of all this regulation and inspection. In some ways it would be easier if the government simply supplied us with housing, transport, food and pocket money then we wouldn't have to worry about owning any property. Then there would be no need for all this regulation, measuring and taxation. I know... let's call it... er... communism. Everyone works for the good of the state and the state supplies all your needs. It's a perfect idea. How could it possibly fail?

Posted by: MarkS | Apr 25, 2007 10:52:04 AM

What cheers me up no end is that HIPs are being introduced more-or-less to the day at the top of the 18-year housing market cycle. In a couple of years' time, people will look back and say that HIPs triggered the crash.

Posted by: Mark Wadsworth | Apr 25, 2007 11:16:57 AM

"In a couple of years' time, people will look back and say that HIPs triggered the crash."

There's a narrative evolving here, and Mr. Broon is the one who is going to take the blame. I wonder if he only ever gets to be PM for a year or so, will there be a portrait on the stairs at Number 10?

Posted by: Kay Tie | Apr 25, 2007 11:25:51 AM

A few weeks ago it was in the news that the fine for not having a HIP is £200 but that they cost say £600. So the economics point to ignoring the HIP and paying the fine.

Posted by: Terry | Apr 25, 2007 1:39:21 PM

"So the economics point to ignoring the HIP and paying the fine."

Except that the fine can be levied repeatedly until you conform.. conform.. you will conform.. resistance is useless..

Posted by: Kay Tie | Apr 25, 2007 3:17:15 PM

Terry, the HIP fine is PER DAY your home is advertised.

Posted by: Roger Thornhill | Apr 25, 2007 4:08:56 PM