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Local confusion as homeowners forced to pay a state inspector before they can advertise their home

Thursday 2nd August 2007 (Andrew Griffiths)
Local confusion as homeowners forced to pay a state inspector before they can advertise their home

Home owners across Burton and Uttoxeter now face the prospect of £200 fines from town hall bureaucrats for daring to put up a ‘for sale’ sign without an expensive Home Information Pack say local Conservatives.

Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Burton and Uttoxeter Andrew Griffiths said: “Everyone recognises that moving home is already one of the most stressful experiences in life. But Gordon Brown has persisted in introducing these flawed Home Information Packs against the better judgement of both consumers and housing experts.” The controversial HIPs scheme currently affects domestic properties with four or more bedrooms. But ministers are refusing to say when the new laws will be introduced for smaller homes, adding to the likely public confusion.

Andrew added: “Having spoken to people in East Staffordshire about the new scheme, it is clear that the public just don’t understand or support them. The new rules are confusing, bureaucratic and expensive. The Government have already been forced to water down the scheme when it was proved unworkable, but I am worried this is more about saving face for embarrassed Labour Ministers rather than helping homebuyers. It is people trying to get on the housing ladder who will foot the bill.”
Experts predict that many home owners may simply convert a bedroom for alternative use in order to advertise their property as “three bedrooms and a study” and avoid the £400 – £600 cost of a HIP. If the market realises that this is just a proxy for ‘four bedrooms’, the sellers will suffer no loss to the value of their family home.

Andrew continued: “Solicitors, surveyors, estate agents, builders, banks and building societies are all asking ministers to go back to the drawing board. Yet the Government, in their inability to admit they’re wrong, appear determined to play politics with people’s homes.

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