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Government to suspend HIPs

The government will suspend Home Information Packs with effect from tomorrow night [May 21], which means that vendors will no longer be forced to instruct a pack before being able to market their properties.

Speaking at a press conference this morning, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, says: "This useless, pointless and entirely unnecessary piece of legislation has slowed down the housing market and has caused unnecessary problems, so I have now signed an order that suspends HIPS effectively from the 21st of this month.

"We will consult and seek legislation to eventually abolish the pack. It will now be possible to put your house on the market without the necessity of having this wholly unnecessary and pointless document."

Pickles says he has made the announcement today to minimise the impact on an already-fragile housing market.

He adds: "We would much prefer people to to use the money they would have otherwise have spent on HIPs, to go down to Homebase or B&Q, to buy some paint, get some shelving, maybe go to a place where they can get some white goods, and to do something useful for the economy and something useful for their homes."

Speaking at the conference, the newly-appointed housing minister, Grant Shapps, says: "After just one week of being in office, to have signed the statutory instrument today means that home sellers will get an immediate relief.

"But they will still need to complete an Energy Performance Certificate because we take greening up homes very seriously. We think it's one of the most important ways to reduce CO2. We can cut down on the 27% of CO2 that is emitted from our homes."

He adds: "This is great opportunity. From this weekend, for the first time in years, people can go out and put their house on the market without having to shell out hundreds of pounds, and I know that that will welcomed throughout the country."

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