Welcoming the abolition of the Home Information Packs the Law Society confirmed it’s support for the idea of buyers receiving information about a property they wish to buy up front.
The regulator took the opportunity to reiterate it’s intention to develop innovative solutions to properly address some of the issues that HIPs have not resolved. It is working to develop and improve its protocols with a view to improving efficiency, value and transparency.
Concern about the additional cost to sellers and lack of benefit to consumers has prompted the Law Society to propose a complete and comprehensive set of documents, prepared by a conveyancing solicitor, who has the benefit of specialist legal training and professional responsibility.
The Society is recommending that the information be provided in a standard format to bring proper value to consumers and improvements in the process whilst at the same time reducing cost.
Robert Heslett added, "The professional integrity and legal skills which solicitors have traditionally brought to the housing market are probably more important now than they have ever been. The marked increase in property fraud, including registration fraud and mortgage fraud, means that the role of the solicitors as the gatekeeper in the process assumes a greater importance.
This role falls to solicitors as the most highly regulated professionals in the process. Solicitors can help consumers understand the residential conveyancing process, the role of the solicitor and others in the buying and selling market and to make informed choices. "
Cynics might argue that if the conveyancing industry had concentrated on improving the house buying process years ago politicians might not have had the need to introduce Home Information Packs in the first place.