HIPs launch ‘misconstrued and shambolic’

David French

April 5, 2008

Speaking at a roundtable hosted by C-NLIS – which announced a change in its name to Land Data – on improving the house buying process, Paul Marsh, vice president of the Law Society, claimed that the HIPs launch was badly handled and there was still no clarity over the contents.

The main criticism of HIPs was their ‘one-size fits all’ nature, while James Scott-Lee, residential estate agency chair for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, claimed that they were a straitjacket for providers and that the HIP was hindering the buying process.

Scott Lee claimed: “The government wants to micro-manage who we act for but it should be my choice as a business who I deal with. The HIP is failing because the selling process takes 18 months to complete but after six months the contents is out-of-date.”

He further criticised searches, and said: “There are now 72 different types of searches that you can do to obtain a HIP but the search may not be right, so all parties are facing more cost and further delay.”

“It is very cheap to get all of the information online and it should be available online now as it will get all of the right information to people at the right time. However, it is all two decades too late.”

Marsh agreed that the more information that was online the better and that the Law Society would aim to educate buyers on the benefits of HIPs.

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