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Better support promised for homeowners over HIPs

Property Ombudsman Christopher Hamer has been resolving disputes with regard to estate agents’ actions involving Home Information Packs (HIPs) since packs were introduced in 2007 but his scheme has now been extended to directly include the many HIP and search providers registered with the PCCB.

The move follows the publication of a Memorandum of Understanding earlier this year between the two bodies setting out plans for closer collaborative working.

The changes to enquiry and redress handling by the PCCB is the first concrete example of what that this will mean in practice. Consumers who have problems with estate agents, Home Information Packs (HIPs) or the personal searches within them will now have one point of contact for information, advice and dispute resolution.

The majority of people with disputes concerning the content of the HIP can ask the Ombudsman to intervene if they fail to resolve the dispute through the HIP provider or search provider’s own internal procedures.

"It is clearly a positive step that any consumer who feels disadvantaged because of something related to the estate agent, HIP, or personal search for a particular property now has one port of call for how the matter can be independently resolved," Hamer said.

"My office has a lot of experience already in relation to HIPS either through dealing with formal cases or from consumer enquiries. We can now apply that experience to even greater effect."

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