Since the Conservatives have made scrapping Home Information Packs an election pledge, is it worth holding off selling my home in order to save unecessary cost?
ASK THE EXPERT
A. In a word, no. Why? Well for one thing - although of course the situation may have changed by the time you actually read this - a Conservative win is by no means the foregone conclusion that it might once have seemed, even just a few short months ago. Indeed, there currently appears to be every chance that we may end up with a hung parliament, in which no single party has an overall majority.
But even if the Conservatives do win a clear victory next month, they are promising a period of consultation before bringing forward the secondary legislation needed to effectively scrap HIPs. This could easily take until the end of the year. After all, we’re not simply talking about repealing an unpopular law. Rightly or wrongly, the HIPs legislation brought into being a whole new industry, employing a substantial number of people – many of whom invested a sizeable chunk of their own hard-earned money in specialist training. No Government of any persuasion will just destroy all of that at a stroke.
Meanwhile, Grant Schapps, the Shadow Housing Minister, is on record as saying that he will not in any circumstances condone law-breaking over this issue. This means that until such time as the legislation has been officially rescinded, you will still need to have a HIP in place before putting your home on the market. Beware any estate agent who tries to tell you that "now the Conservatives are in power, you don’t need to have a HIP." You will still be breaking the law - and you can be sure that in these highly competitive times, some other law-abiding agent will be only too happy to shop both you and the agent concerned!
So, unless you are prepared to risk prosecution – or alternatively don’t mind waiting until the end of the year (at least) before putting your home on the market – I would strongly suggest that you simply bite the bullet and forget about the possible demise of HIPs.