The HIPs trial appears to be being hijacked by an unregulated group of commercial interests, claims the Law Society, following the Government announcement that it is to spend £4 million supporting a pack provider dry run of Home Information Packs in six limited locations.

Desmond Hudson, Law Society Chief Executive, said: “The Law Society questions whether a trial with unregulated pack providers is an appropriate use of taxpayers’ money. Solicitors are all legally trained and properly regulated meaning, consumers are protected. Solicitors are best placed to provide what has now really become a legal information pack, with an Energy Performance Certificate fig leaf.  Unregulated pack providers could put consumers at risk.“

Questioning whether or not this is a proper dry run that the Government promised, Mr Hudson said: “What’s the point of funding this expensive dry run when so much still remains to be done before the planned implementation date of 1 June next year. With only eight months to go, as the Minister’s own statement indicates, there is currently still no Energy Performance Certificate or Home Condition Report Register, Energy Assessor Qualification, Approved Certification scheme or HIP related Consumer Redress Scheme in place.”