As HIPs were suspended many will have wondered what the future would be for the Association of Home Information Pack Providers. It is now clear that despite potential legal arguments over the way in which HIPs were suspended there is no future for this Association. Their web site is dead.
As key members of AHIPP fell away like Simply HIP (see our previous articles on Simply HIP) support to fight the legal argument drifted away.
In the early days of Sellers Pack and the prospective legislation to change the home buying process a number of industry leaders came together to create the Association of Home Information Pack Providers to represent the organisations that wanted to prepare these packs and to ensure that the legislation was developed in a way that would benefit the home moving process.
Despite the good intentions of the original founders the Association was seen by many of the representative bodies of more traditional professions to be treading on the areas that they felt were their territory.
The failure of HIPS and the winding up of AHIPP may be seen to be an exercise of the strength of traditional professions to water down legislation and avoid changes that could have benefitted consumers. Home Information Packs could have revolutionised and improved the home buying process but were a missed opportunity.
AHIPP was unfortunately unable to gain sufficient power and influence to ensure that Home Information Packs truly improved the consumer experience.
Mike Ockenden Director General of AHIPP has told Today’s Conveyancer that:
‘Following the suspension of HIPs by the new coalition government on 20th May, the Board of the Federation of Property Providers (FPIP) of which AHIPP was a member decided to wind up both organisations in an orderly fashion. CoPSO, also a member of FPIP has spun off on its own and the other two members of the Federation, the Property and Energy Professionals Association (PEPA) and the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) are doing likewise. Both of these organisations which represent the interests of the providers of EPCs and Home Condition Surveys respectively have a robust future in front of them.
Mike Ockenden who was also the CEO of FPIP commented: “whilst there may have been legal grounds to challenge the suspension of HIPs without consultation the decision was made by the FPIP Board that this would not be in the best interests of either the housing market or members of both the Federation and AHIPP. If successful a challenge would only have delayed the inevitable and clearly this served no purpose”
Ockenden will continue to serve both PEPA and RPSA through his consultancy business and has already had extensive engagement with Government on behalf of PEPA members to work constructively on the ‘Green Deal’ in particular.’