LONDON – The Government has rejected speculation that consumers looking to sell their homes would have to shell out £1,000 on Home Information Packs. These packs are being introduced in 2007 as a part of the Government’s initiative to change the way a property is brought and sold.
Homeowners will have to put these packs out detailing a professional survey of the property, evidence of ownership and local authority searches before they can sell their home. The Government said that these packs would cost a total of £635 and not £1,000 as is speculated.
Critics say that the introduction of these packs would spawn fake inspectors who would have little knowledge of the property concerned. “Home information packs will be a breeding ground for cowboys, happy to ignore problems or, worse, not qualified to identify them. Most buyers will simply not trust the report of a home inspector paid by the seller and will end up paying for their own survey,” said Liberal Democrat spokesman Sarah Teather.
There are now widespread concerns that no insurance company will want to provide cover for these property inspectors and consumers would be burdened with the legal bills if the inspector’s report were found to be false. “Labour’s sellers’ packs will simply put up the cost of selling a home, create more red tape and ultimately undermine a fragile market,” said Caroline Spelman, a Tory spokeswoman.
But Yvette Cooper, the housing minister defended the introduction of these packs saying that they would save over £1 million each day that consumers spend in surveys, legal fees and searches, “Buying a home is stressful enough without losing hundreds of pounds on legal fees or valuations for properties that then fall through. It is crazy that over £1 million a day is wasted like this. Home Information Packs will save money and cut waste in buying and selling homes.”