Monday, May 21, 2007

Home Information Packs and the EU

A last-ditch bid to halt the introduction of Home Information Packs (HIPs) takes place in the House of Lords tomorrow.

Conservative front bench spokesman Baroness Hanham will urge the Government to revoke the controversial packs which are compulsory from June 1.

From that date it will be illegal to sell a property either through an estate agent, privately, on an internet site or through a newspaper advertisement without first compiling a HIP, costing between £300 to £1,000.

Lady Hanham will urge peers on all sides to back the motion which although not "fatal," would, if passed, underline growing concerns among many industry professionals over HIPs.

An HIP must contain information about the sale including title deeds and planning searches, plus an Energy Performance certificate which will involve a home assessment by an inspector.

Unfortunately even if the House of Lords votes against the introduction of Home Information Packs it will amount to bugger all. Want to know why? Well I will tell you. It’s because it is a European Union directive and their laws are superior to our laws. We have no choice in the matter.

If you want more information you can read this Parliamentary Question Time debate on the matter from 2006:

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) of 9 October 2006, Official Report, column 367W, on energy performance certificates, whether an energy performance certificate will be required before a property owner can (a) privately let a domestic dwelling and (b) renew any existing rent agreement that was signed before the implementation of EU directive 2002/91/EC. [95810]

Yvette Cooper: EU directive 2002/91/EC, the energy performance of buildings directive, requires member states to introduce measures that require energy performance certificates to be made available when buildings are constructed, sold or rented out. Private rentals are included in the scope of the directive, which must be fully implemented by January 2009.

There ya go. We cannot over rule them and if we attempt to do it we will be fined for doing so if we haven’t introduced it by 2009.

Hat tip: Speakout

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