Home Information Packs (HIPs), which were due to be introduced on 1 June, are to be delayed until the 1st of August.
Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly told the House of Commons today that HIPs will initially apply only to properties with four or more bedrooms. Other concessions are that until the end of the year, properties can be marketed as soon as a HIP is commissioned - rather than making vendors wait until they have received the HIP, and that as a temporary measure Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) can be up to twelve months old when the property is put up for sale.
The Government has also reached a compromise with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, which recently issued judicial review proceedings against it for failing to consult properly on this major policy initiative. RICS had also expressed concern over the lack of trained inspectors, whose EPCs are a key element of the HIP, needed for the scheme to work effectively. HIPs have also received sustained criticism regarding their likely cost (estimated at over £300 per property) as well as for presenting a variety of practical problems.