Home Information Packs are firmly back on the agenda.
In an interview on the Eddie Mair show, Tory politician Michael Gove said that the idea could be revisited by a new Conservative government.
The former Shadow housing minister, asked by Mair about its manifesto plans to revise the home buying process, said: “What we can revisit is to look at the way, in the past, some of the arguments behind Home Information Packs which Labour hoped to deliver before 2010 had some validity.
“The implementation of HIPs was botched but we can look again at this process.
“I wouldn’t want to pre-judge what the outcome is but we all know that the process of buying a home can be complex and it can be the case sometimes that the same information has to be generated more than once.”
Gove was shadow housing minister, speaking for the Tories, when Labour was last in power. He held no housing brief under either the coalition or Cameron governments. However, his words now suggest a possible return to a housing role.
Former conveyancer and now CEO of the Bold Legal Group Rob Hailstone said he was not surprised at the possible return of HIPs.
He said:“HIPs weren’t perfect, we all know that, but the up-front provision of information can, and still does help.
“I was at a meal that Grant Shapps attended before their demise and I asked him if he would not simply throw the baby out with the bathwater, but suspend HIPs for a while and review what had taken place since their implementation. He was having none of it, they were being scrapped. I remember telling him that he would end up with egg on his face. Would he prefer them fried, scrambled or boiled I wonder?
“As all EYE readers know buying a home is probably the most important transaction that most people undertake in their lifetime. The Government (and others) need to understand that, and before the meddling goes too far, need to liaise with those at the coal face for once.”
For those interested, the Gove/Mair exchange is 25 minutes in: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08q3184
See also our other story today about manifesto promises.