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Hips face renewed criticism

The introduction of home information packs (Hips) has come under attack by a coalition of property industry organisations.Writing to the housing minister regarding the new packs, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) and the Law Society requested a meeting to discuss their concerns. However the proposed meeting with the groups was reportedly snubbed by government ministers. Hips are set to launch on June 1st and will require vendors in England and Wales to provide a pack containing, among other papers, title documents, local authority searches and an energy performance certificate."In their current format, Hips will prove to be ineffective and vastly impractical," said Charles Smailes, president of the NAEA.He added: "It is clear that there is considerably more work to be done if Hips are to be a workable solution, and there is simply not enough time for the issues to be resolved."The groups fear that the introduction of the packs will lead to conveyances slowing further. Pointing to one trial case, Mr Smailes said: "One member reported having requested 25 packs, almost a month later he had not received a single Hip. This will clearly have a devastating impact on the residential housing market, slowing it down considerably."

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