Law firms ‘have no confidence in HIPs’

Amanda Jarvis

March 1, 2006

Even though Home Information Packs (HIPs) present a great opportunity for high street law firms, most have little or no confidence in the process and do not believe that HIPs will be ready to launch on 1 June 2007. This is according to a new survey carried out by ConveyanceLink.   

 The research revealed that eight out of the ten conveyancing law firms surveyed (82%) were not clear on how the HIPs process and legislation were going to work and 79% admitted they were still uncertain on what the key components of a HIP were going to be. This is despite the likelihood that a large number of high street law firms plan to offer a HIPs service in-house.

The survey also highlighted that more than three quarters (78%) of the law firms questioned did not believe that Home Information Packs would be ready in time for the implementation date at the start of June, echoing the concerns recently voiced by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

There is no suggestion the Government will delay the implementation of HIPs, so conveyancing law firms should be taking steps now to put their house in order. They need to put in place the necessary IT infrastructure to offer Home Information Packs and start building lasting relationships with local estate agents to ensure that they will benefit from the changes.

Malcolm York, director at ConveyanceLink, commented: “We have seen the CML express its concerns over the introduction of HIPs and that concern seems to be echoed by many of the high street law firms.  It is possible that they don’t realise the immense opportunity that these packs represent.

“Conveyancing law firms will have a major role to play in the success or failure of HIPs and at the same time the impact Home Information Packs will have on their businesses. By laying down the necessary infrastructure now, they will be in a much stronger position to benefit from the changes to the home buying process.  HIPs will enable them to take an even more important role in conveyancing.

“Law firms need to be preparing for the launch by getting involved in HIPs dry runs, building relationships with local estate agents and developing their IT infrastructure to ensure that they have the necessary case management systems in place.

“If consumers are to have confidence in HIPs, then they need to have confidence in the law firms, estate agents, surveyors and other HIP providers who will be involved in producing the packs.”

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