Communities secretary Ruth Kelly delays launch of Home Information Packs due to lack of fully trained energy assessors

The property industry has told communities secretary Ruth Kelly “we told you so” after her climbdown over the controversial Home Information Packs (HIPs).

They were scheduled to be launched on 1 June, but will now be introduced in a limited form from 1 August, after Kelly admitted that only 520 of the necessary 2,000 energy assessors had been fully trained and accredited.

The packs will require property sellers to assemble a pack containing detailed information, including an energy performance certificate – a key feature aimed at improving the environmental efficiency of UK homes.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, said: “The property industry needs more time to train and certify enough assessors to satisfy market demands.

“We regret that the government did not heed our warnings about domestic energy assessors earlier on in the process, as to delay at this late stage will inevitably cause problems. Many assessors have worked incredibly hard to become qualified and certified in time for 1 June. Now they have been left hanging.”

Miles Shipside, commercial director at online property site Rightmove, told Personnel Today: “The delay will be doubly galling for those in the industry who have invested thousands – and that includes training – in preparing to meet the deadlines.”

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