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OFT highlights disputes over HIPs

The Office of Fair Trading has issued some preliminary data on a report it will be publishing in January looking into the activities of estate agents. The OFT says that just under a quarter (24%) of estate agents are guilty of not “complying with the relevant regulations” – such as claiming properties had gas central heating when they did not, or Photoshopping out eyesores (in one case a nuclear powerstation) from photos. These disputes accounted for 44% of complaints. A further 21% concerned disputes of terms & conditions. And 13% invoved disputes over the contents of Home Information Packs (HIPs). The Conservative Party, meanwhile, says it is still committed to abolishing HIPs when/if it comes to power next spring.