With everything now pointing to a Hung Parliament, it's worth examining the possibilities for the future of the Home Information Pack. After all, The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats both promised to abolish HIPs whereas the Labour Party wanted HIPs to stay. We do know of course that Home Information Packs are not the top of the agenda! But as the UK's Favourite Property Lawyers we do feel passionate about all things to do with buying and selling property!
First of all, you Do Need a HIP!
It's worth stating the obvious, which is that if you want to market your home you must provide the potential buyers with a Home Information Pack. If that situation changes we will be the first place to tell you!
HIPs and a Labour/Lib Dem Alliance
This is an interesting possibility. Our guess is that the Lib Dems would not make HIPs any kind of deal breaker, and thus the Home Information Pack would stay for at least a year or two. And then it may evolve into something based around the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate).
HIPs and a Conservative minority Government
It's clear that HIPs were targeted to go and go quickly if the Conservatives won a majority (over 325 seats, but probably around 310 in practise). However that is unlikely now and a strong possibility is that the Conservatives and Unionists form an alliance to get through their top-priority legislation. HIPs were going to be added to a priority Bill scrapping several bits of Labour legislation - but getting such a mixed bill through without a majority could be difficult (as there is bound to be something in the bill that the Opposition would object to. )
Would the Conservatives fight hard to pass a bill just scrapping Home Information Packs when there are clearly going to be more important issues on the Agenda? We're not convinced that they would.
Conservative Lib Dem Coalition and HIPs
The most HIP-unfriendly combination is a real possibility! With the Lib Dems and Conservatives combining forces "in the National Interest". they both have promised to end the HIP, but would they do it quickly? I can't see the Lib Dems not insisting on the retention of the green-friendly EPC and maybe insisting on a reasonable Consultation period. This, and the other priorities of Government, could act as a delay factor on any new HIP legislation. But it's all speculation!
A tentative Prediction for the future of HIPs
The reality is that, annoying as they are, a HIP can cost as little as £95 from Fridaysmove - and for now at least a HIP is FREE with Conveyancing. Which means that as they represent only 1% of the costs of selling a home, scrapping HIPs is not going to magically revive the housing market.