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Thanks to Rob Hailstone of the Bold Group for this:

What is the Current Position?

HIPs have not been scrapped by the Election result. The law still requires a HIP to be in place to market a property. The penalties for non-compliance still apply.

Grant Shapps (the new Housing Minister), has said he will not condone non-compliance by Estate Agents who fail to order HIPs

Grant Shapps has committed to a full industry consultation before scrapping HIPs

The Coalition Agreement refers to scrapping HIPs in the Environment section suggesting more consideration has been given to this topic

Unless a suspension order for the scrapping of HIPs is announced HIPs will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Legislation to adapt or replace them will take some time to pass in Parliament

What Happens Next?

* The new Parliament will be sworn in next week from 18th May. The first Queen’s Speech setting out the initial legislative programme is expected to be held on 25th May. An Emergency Budget will be presented to the House in the first 50 days of the new Parliament and debates on its contents will dominate the initial period before the Summer recess


* The first parliamentary session will run from the end of May to November 2011 (which is the date of the next Queen’s Speech). This means that the Coalition Government has a longer time than normal to get legislation through the Houses of Parliament. This will allow a larger volume of legislation to be passed, particularly as there is a Parliamentary convention that the Lords will not oppose legislation based on a Manifesto Commitment. Ministers are likely to exploit these two factors to pass the complicated and potentially controversial legislation they believe to be necessary.

* We are unlikely to get significantly more detail on how the pledge to scrap HIPs will be taken forward when the Queen’s Speech is published – if indeed it does form part of the initial legislative package. The Speech itself is often little more than a statement of intent and many of the Bills listed in it may not be published until after the summer recess.

* The Conservatives have pledged a consultation on transition and any successive legal framework. It is unlikely that this will be reversed, especially as David Cameron and Nick Clegg have pledged to restore the public’s faith in politicians.


* The pledge on HIPs is unsurprising – it was a commitment delivered in both Parties’ Election Manifestos. The Agreement provides no additional detail on how this will be achieved or delivered. The inclusion of it in the Environment section rather than under deregulation is perhaps significant. It suggests that there is an understanding that scrapping HIPs cannot be undertaken in isolation. It has also been decoupled from the Great Repeal Bill – which has already been flagged as being a very early Bill to be introduced to Parliament ahead of the summer recess.


* The Conservatives have pledged a consultation on transition and any successive legal framework. As David Cameron and Nick Clegg have pledged to restore the public’s trust in politicians it would be a breach of faith if this was reversed.

Rob Hailstone
The Bold Group
www.theboldgroup.co.uk


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