The government is reconsidering the inclusion of home condition reports in sellers' packs
The government is threatening to water down its new home information packs by removing the requirement for a sellers' survey.
Housing minister Yvette Cooper said the home condition reports section of the home information pack will need further testing and will not be introduced in June 2007 as planned.
There are also concerns about whether there will be enough home inspectors in place to conduct the reports. The HCRs are essentially surveys that would have to be paid for by people selling homes.
Instead of HCRs being mandatory in the HIPs, the Government will encourage their take-up on a market-led basis until dry run tests on 14,000 HIPs are analysed.
Ms Cooper said ministers want to avoid risks to consumers from a ‘big bang’ introduction of HCRs next year.
‘It is important they are implemented in a sensible way, based on proper testing,’ she said.
The government claims HIPs will reduce the amount of time it takes to buy a house and ensure fewer deals fall through.
In the packs, sellers will be required to include title deeds, local authority searches, answers to standard questions and energy performance information.
The cost of compiling the packs, which will be given to all potential buyers, will have to be met by the seller.
The government says the packs will cost around £650 for each seller to put together. However they claim the packs will save buyers £1m a day, which they currently waste in aborted transactions.
The government has claimed homeowners will save £300 a year on fuel bills thanks to the inclusion of energy performance certificates in HIPs.
The certificates will provide house buyers and sellers with energy performance information, as well as advice on how to cut fuel bills and carbon emissions.