Ruth Kelly’s decision to postpone HIPs is annoying for housebuyers and positively career threatening for would-be Home Inspectors

I was pretty annoyed to hear of Ruth Kelly’s decision to postpone the HIPs for at least two months. Admittedly my reasons were purely selfish as we are about to move house and the June 1 deadline had me running around trying to finalise the deal.

Many people with more genunie grievances than mine can be found on our What You Think comment section. The government's climbdown has been particularly frustrating for those considering becoming Home Inspectors.

The government has yet again made a mess of what was in principle a good idea.

Peter Hughes

Peter Hughes who once considered training to be a Home Inspector had this to say: “I have been to many conferences/seminars but along with many others (thousands) have had no confidence in the way this proposal has been managed. The government has yet again made a mess of what was in principle a good idea!”

Others agreed. Richard Mountain now believes he had a lucky escape. "As an almost qualified Home Inspector still awaiting my certificate I cannot believe what a balls-up this process has been. The one good thing that has come out of it is that the June 2006 U-turn forced my arm and I am now training as a real building surveyor. I intend never to do a home inspection or energy report if I can help it. The ignorant way the government have behaved and implemented the scheme has left a bitter taste in my mouth."

I intend never to do a home inspection or energy report if I can help it.

Richard Mountain

Christopher Deane's was touchingly positive considering he is training to become a Home Inspector and so doesn't know exactly what his new career involves. "As someone who is currently training to become not only an Domestic Energy Assesor but also a Home Inspector, I genuinely believe in the full HIPs. The idea behind the Energy Report is to give people information first-hand about the state of the property they are looking to invest in.

"I believe in what the pack is trying to achieve, it will allow people to begin the whole process of buying a house, but be fully informed about the state of the property, and the costs that will be associated with the house. If this speeds up the whole buying and selling process, while informing buyers of how to improve their house, then it will benefit the environment and potentially, the buyer and seller (how much would the extra solicitors fees be, as the whole process drags on...?)"

Is anyone out there confident enough to tell me which way to jump?

Pauline Madden

The last word should go to David Marsden whose experience demonstrates the confusion over the whole implementation of HIPs. "At first I was about to sign up with a college for a surveying course, which I was told would cover the needs for the Home Inspector. I sat on the fence. Then the government brought out the Home Inspector's Diploma which was a necessary requirement for becoming a home inspector, so the first course would have been no good to me. Each one of these courses was going to cost me around £2000. Anyway I kept on the fence."

"Last year the government pulled the Home Inspections out of the HIPs package, so that would have been £4000 up the swanny. This year I was looking to take up the role of domestic energy assessor. The course fees for this now range from around £2000 to £8000. I was just about to pay my fee when the government knocks it back again, so now I am back on the fence."

David, and others in a similar position such as Pauline Madden, deserve better. If the government is asking them to sacrifice their current careers to embark on a new venture they should provide them as much assurance and certainty as they possibly can.