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Tories will scrap HIPs in dream Manifesto for housing

Now they say they will build on this. The party says ‘Britain needs social housing that promotes opportunity, social mobility and pride in neighbourhoods, in place of Labour’s policies which have reinforced welfare dependency. We will reform the planning system to put real power in the hands of local people, protect the environment and work with communities to build more family homes.’

The key Manifesto points are:

– Help first-time buyers get on the housing ladder, by increasing the stamp duty threshold for them to £250,000, so that nine out of ten first-time buyers will pay no stamp duty. This is a permanent tax cut, unlike Labour’s plans which are just for two years; and

– Abolish Labour’s expensive and unnecessary Home Information Packs which increase the cost and hassle of selling homes

– Strengthen shared ownership schemes which allow those on low-to-middle incomes to own or part-own their home. We will offer tenants with a record of five years’ good behaviour a 10 per cent equity share in their social rented property, which can be cashed in when they want to move up the housing ladder;
– Introduce a comprehensive national mobility scheme for good tenants who wish to move to other social sector properties, and pilot a Right to Move scheme to allow every family in social housing the chance to relocate by exchanging their home for another one – anywhere in the country;
– Recognise the importance of social housing and the security it provides. We will protect and respect the rights of social tenants. Many social tenants have great pride in their homes and the neighbourhood in which they live, and deserve to be encouraged; and
– Ensure more accurate homelessness counts and include homelessness as a Ministerial responsibility across a series of government departments.

– Reward councils for building more homes and promoting local economic growth, by allowing them to keep more of the proceeds from council tax and business rates from new development. An extra incentive will be given to encourage the building of affordable housing;
– Create new Local Housing Trusts to allow local communities to build local homes for local people, while protecting the character of their neighbourhoods and villages; and
– Stop gardens and family homes being bulldozed, by giving councils stronger powers to prevent unwanted ‘garden grabbing’ and infill development in suburban neighbourhoods, and build more family homes with gardens and sufficient parking spaces.

– Abolish the unelected, bureaucratic tier of regional planning and return power to local communities and their elected councillors to protect their Green Belt and determine the right level of development; and
– Abolish the unelected Infrastructure Planning Commission and restore the discretion of the Secretary of State. National Policy Statements will be ratified by Parliament to speed up the system, and hybrid Bills will be used to authorise complex national projects like high speed rail.

– Abolish state powers, introduced by John Prescott, to seize private homes such as those of the recently deceased; and
– Rein back in state powers of entry – including abolishing council tax inspectors’ right to enter your home

In response to the announcement on HIPs Mike Ockenden, Director General of AHIPP said:

“The Tory Manifesto pledge to abolish HIPs is not only extremely disappointing, but is also rather misleading, as Shadow Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, has openly agreed to a consultation on packs should the Conservatives come to power. This constructive course of action is vital and we would urge the party to honour this promise. The future path should be adapting rather than scrapping HIPs, to ensure home movers are not cast back into the dark ages.

“AHIPP and its members are already delivering the next stage of reform through Exchange-ready packs, which halve the time taken to get to exchange of contracts. In the event that the Tories win the election, we look forward to working with them to further improve the home buying and selling process for consumers.”

Have your say on this story using the comment section below.

9 thoughts on “Tories will scrap HIPs in dream Manifesto for housing

  1. Colin B says:



  2. Richard Oppe says:

    As anyone who has personal experience of buying and selling properties knows the information within a HIP, with one exception, is no more more than that which was ALWAYS required by their solicitor prior to HIPs being introduced. So for the Tories to say the information is unnecessary is wrong. Prior to HIPs solicitors obtained the same information but at greater cost to their clients, than today’s cost of a HIP including the EPC (the exception referred to above). Google ” Home Information Packs” and see the quotes as low as £89 for a HIP. Hardly expensive with the average cost of a home at £168,000!
    The HIPs industry has successfully shown that by introducing competition, costs to the consumer have fallen dramatically and also the length of time to produce the searches has dropped from weeks to days.
    Tories say they want change, but they lie, and their resistance to change in the property market is a perfect example as to why you should never trust a Tory ever.
    HIPs may not be perfect but they are a good start to breaking down the vested interests of solicitors, RICS Surveyors and Estate Agents who are desperate to prevent new entrants into the property market. Why? Self interest, self interest, self interest and self interest, which is the sole motivation of a Tory

  3. Major Landlord says:

    Find me ONE solicitor who thinks HIPs have helped. Find me ONE estate agent (who is not a multiple that makes money from selling HIPs at a profit) who will say that HIPs hold chains together.

    The home condition report is produced by amateurs who don’t know the difference between shrinkage cracks and subsidence. Lenders still usually want full surveys, and buyers with any sense would not proceed without them. The searches are not trusted by any solicitor, and the rest of the pack is padding designed to make it look like you just got value for you money.

    HIPs do NOTHING constructive except boost employment figures and raise tax revenues. The housing market started to slide the moment HIPs were introduced, and has never fully recovered – now will it while they exist.

    Grant Shapps is no fool, and has seen the pointlessness of this state-endorsed rip-off. Vote how you like, Mr Oppe: but you and your shower of pretend-professionals have been rumbled, and I repeat my oft-stated advice to start looking for another job. I will raise a glass to the disappearance of all such nonsense when the Tories win on May 6th.

  4. Mesur says:

    The comment by ‘Major Landlord’ is an absolute insult to the many professionals who were already working in construction, or in property industry who have trained to produce EPCs and compile HIPs. It is just such trenchant opinions that lower the level of debate on the impact of HIPs on the market and mislead.

    Part of the problem with the introduction and use of the HIP has been opposition by some sections of the property industry and the promotion of distrust in their content by those same people.

  5. Major Landlord says:

    You’d hardly expect a turkey to vote for Christmas, would you? I think we can disregard Mr. Mesur’s defence of the HIP: transparently, he is one of those who makes money from this legalised scam.

  6. Marie sisman says:

    I strongly agree that HIP must* be abolished immediately.It is absolutely waste of money,and in many cases a money that you have not got.
    Please let me know if conservative come to power would they immediately abolish HIP,or how long after? thank you.
    PS. I hate hips so much that this would be one of the reason I shall vote to conservative,but i have not heard the to mention it at all!!

  7. David Millward says:

    Ok lets actually look at this tory proposal…EPC’s they will have to keep for the time being as they are european legislation so seller’s will still have that expense. Lets look at the rest of the HIP…the only difference being that with the HIP it is the seller who pays for the Local and Drainage Search whereas previously it would have been the buyer paying for them. Most solicitor’s wont charge anything for compiling a HIP…So in what way is abolishing HIP’s going to save money? All it will do is put the cost back on the buyer rather than the seller.

  8. Karen says:

    Okay, so all the talk is about HIPs, but what about the Home Report in Scotland? Where I live this pack is upwards of £700. Do we free up the English property market by abolishing HIPs but restrict movement in Scotland by keeping the Home Report? Dunno, because nobody seems to be mentioning it …

  9. GS says:

    David Millward is wrong to say most solicitor’s won’t charge for a HIP – my partner was unable to market his property in England without this pack and it cost almost £500 AND had to be renewed every 6 months for an additional fee !! I have never heard of an estate agent or solicitor that will do something for nothing and firms have sprung up to produce these things. It is a pity we in Scotland still have this. Anyone who thinks it is not affecting (or even that it is helping!) the property market is mistaken. I have a house I would like to sell, but I cannot afford to pay a for a Home Information Pack. It does not save the buyer ANY money as they still have to get surveys done so I, like many others, are just keeping our properties off the market, when previously I would have put it up for sale speculatively to see if anyone would buy it at the asking price. Someone I know of has paid more than £1000 for one of these packs in Scotland and they consider it a complete waste of money. I certainly don’t want to waste my money to find out whether my own house would sell or not, and I can’t put it up for sale without this pack. I have looked at some properties for sale and the solicitor/estate agents would not let me have sight of the sellers information pack up front. You almost have to put in an offer to get to see the thing !! So, as a buyer it is not really helping me anyway and not worth the paper it is written on. PLEASE PLEASE will people stop thinking of their own profit out of a scheme that punishes sellers and buyers and makes sure everyone (except the people producing the Home Reports) are out of pocket, and that the property market is considerably depleted. If the things were suspended for six months in Scotland, the property market would speak for itself. How can we get rid of the thing in Scotland? If it really helped buyers, fair enough. But it doesn’t!!! We need to get rid of this set of emporer’s new clothes as soon as possible.

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