As the Election looms, it looks like it might be a closer fight than was first thought. However the Tories are still favourites and their commitment to abolish the Home Information Pack stands. This contribution to property conveyancing could be done "within a 100 days" according to Grant Shapps.
As this becomes more likely, the question of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) often crops up. This was created as a response to the EU Directive 2002/91/EC on the Energy Performance of Buildings. Thus it would not necessarily be easy to drop it IF the HIP is abolished.
The Directive specifically states the following in Article 7, section 1. "Member States shall ensure that, when buildings are constructed, sold or rented out, an energy performance certificate is made available to the owner or by the owner to the prospective buyer or tenant, as the case may be. " All which suggests that the EPC may have to remain in place in a "HIP light".
Any proper Consultation into abolishing the Home Information Pack could also reveal opportunities to improve the Conveyancing process. For example, in looking at the not-implemented Home Condition Report, or in the area of ordering and preparing documentation that is essential and could (and does) help speed up the process by creating Exchange Ready contracts.
As the UK's largest and cheapest provider of HIPs and fastest growing Conveyancing firm, Fridaysmove position on abolishing HIPs is that we do NOT believe that they should be abolished without the following;
- a vehicle for the mandatory energy rating of all homes for sale (not because of EU directive 2002/91/EC but because we believe in sustainability)
- proper Consultation and real re-thinking on the fundamental idea behind HIPs (including the not-implemented HCR) with the objective of making the Conveyancing process better and faster
- some meaningful help for all the people who re-trained to deliver HIPs and EPCs