London: 25th June 2008 -- The final report of Sir Bryan Carsberg’s Review of Residential Property has now been published with significant implications for Home Information Packs.
According to Rob Hailstone, CEO of Hipag Services, ‘Many of Sir Bryan’s recommendations make perfect sense, and clearly deserve serious further consideration. It seems likely that many of his ideas will become adopted in due course. But the Carsberg Review also raises some controversial points and contains one or two recommendation that are, in my view, highly contentious.’
‘First, the positive points. Sir Bryan recommends that there should be a single, new regulatory body to administer a regulatory regime to those offering agency services, that consumers should be better informed by property professionals, as to the process and system, and that the various professional bodies such as NAEA, RICS, ARLA, The Law Society, the Search Industry, and the CML, should communicate and negotiate with each other.’
‘He says that some managing agents and landlords should be regulated by legislation, and that some of the (unqualified) people now involved in the property business should be required to obtain a qualification. He recommends consideration of a pre-contract deposit scheme as well as ‘lock out’ agreements, and says that the potential buyer should sign a form of disclosure (as to their ability to proceed) at the outset and that a standard form of draft contract should be created.’
‘The Land Registry, says Sir Bryan, should store leasehold information and home owners should be made aware of the importance of keeping their leasehold information safe. Moreover, access to local authority search information should be governed by legislation.’
‘Sir Bryan believes that further work should be undertaken to improve efficiency in the use of energy, And surprisingly asks whether one-lawyer conveyancing should be considered as well as a national system or standard form of protocol.’
‘It’s difficult to disagree that most of Sir Brian’s recommendations should be considered further. However, when he says that Home Information Packs should be made voluntary, there I do take leave to disagree – not merely as a HIP supplier but as an ex-conveyancer.’
‘Firstly, HIPs are now much cheaper to obtain than the figures Sir Bryan mentioned in his review. Perhaps more significantly, when used properly HIPs are already beginning to show concrete benefits. Collecting information, up-front, has to be the first step in improving and speeding up the home buying and selling process, and this should be available to all buyers and sellers.’
‘There are two further important points made by Sir Bryan about the legal profession. First, he says, lawyers and estate agents should work together. At the same time, he points out that lawyers have an aversion to risk. Hipag agrees about the importance of co-operation, it is the bedrock of our HIPS2Xchange process - that the local lawyer adds more information to the HIP while the property is being marketed. Sir Bryan’s point about lawyers being risk-averse is a fair one, but in their defence it must be said that the bureaucracy and red tape hampering lawyers has gone beyond the sensible and needs to be stripped away if lawyers are to be free to become commercial.’
‘Finally, I must underline the comment made by Sir Bryan on page 24 of his Review when he says that “current conditions will favour the most innovative firms”. I could not agree more!’
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Editor’s note: A summary of the recommendations of the Carsberg Review is available for download here: http://www.rics.org/NR/rdonlyres/A18358E9-9A41-420F-B682-94E...
For further information visit www.hipag.co.uk or contact:
Rob Hailstone, CEO, Hipag Services
T: 020 7565 3985 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacqui Green, Jacqui Green Marketing & PR
T: 020 7808 0113/ M: 07885 2670 349 E: Jacqui@jgmpr.com
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