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29 October 2008

Hips continue to be subject to criticism

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by Kay Mitchell

Hips continue to be subject to criticism

Margaret Beckett, the newly-appointed housing minister, has acknowledged that Home Information Packs (Hips) are still not achieving what they set out to do.

Hips were introduced to speed up the home buying and selling process as well as providing consumers with a faster and more cost effective service.

A Hip costs sellers around £350 and contain title deeds, searches and an energy performance certificate

Mrs Beckett is believed to be the first housing minister to express concern over the packs, her predecessors Caroline Flint and Yvette Cooper were known to be in favour of the packs.

However, while Mrs Beckett has ruled out abolishing the packs, she did insist that they had some positive impact on the market and have been relatively successful, but added that she accepts that they are not fulfilling their potential.

The Conservatives, who have long been campaigning to scrap the packs, claim that they make selling a house more expensive with far too much paperwork involved.

Furthermore, estate agents have been urging the Government to review Hips in an effort to help the struggling housing market.

Hips have long been the subject of criticism since they were introduced in August 2007 and were branded a waste of time, according to a survey by YouGov.

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