Estate agent’s anger over HIPs delay and confusion

A HUNTINGDONSHIRE estate agent has branded the Government staggeringly incompetent after spending an estimated £250,000 preparing for the introduction of the delayed Home Information Packs. Simon Bradbury, a partner of Thomas Morris Estate Agents, has b

A HUNTINGDONSHIRE estate agent has branded the Government "staggeringly incompetent" after spending an estimated £250,000 preparing for the introduction of the delayed Home Information Packs.

Simon Bradbury, a partner of Thomas Morris Estate Agents, has been preparing his staff for the introduction of HIPs by paying for them to attend training courses designed to give them the skills needed to prepare the packs.

The controversial scheme was due to come into effect on Friday, but last week Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly announced they were being put back until August - and then would apply only to houses with four or more bedrooms.

Mr Bradbury told The Hunts Post: "To spend so much time and money preparing for something we had been guaranteed would happen, only to be let down by a duplicitous Government, is disappointing to say the least.


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"I must admit that I did not see it coming. However, if they had to delay it, the date should simply have been shifted back, rather than being phased in as is planned."

Elsewhere, other estate agents have echoed Mr Bradbury's sentiments.

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Alan Bennett, director of Bennett Sanders, said: "The whole HIPs process has been a merry dance with the Government moving the goalposts from one place to another."

Writing in The Hunts Post, Terry Lovett, of Lovetts Residential, called the situation 'shambolic', while Peter Lane, of Peter Lane & Partners, said the scheme was 'in chaos'.

Mr Bradbury said he did not know what the Government's next step would be, but that he would make the best of a bad situation.

"I still reserve judgement on whether HIPs are good or bad, but the entire credibility of the Government is in tatters.

"At Thomas Morris we are already looking to see how we can put the skills of our officers to use should the scheme be shelved.

"We will not be able to take legal action against the Government - what they have done is not illegal, but it is staggeringly incompetent."

Thomas Morris, part of the Home Sale Network, is based in St Ives and has offices across the district.

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