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HIPs may be challenged by RICs in the High Court

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 15-May-07 05:25:24 AM

The Daily Mail has reported that the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICs) will take the Government to the High Court if the Tory-led Commons debate tomorrow (16/05/07), fails to overturn the launch of Home Information Packs (HIPs), scheduled to become law in just 2 weeks their article says.

It will prompt a High Court battle between institution and the Government, which lawyers have requested must take place as a matter of urgency.

If successful, it could force the Government into an embarrassing U-turn in which it would have to scrap, or radically change, the packs scheme.

Director Steven Gould said: "It is a shame that it has come to this, but the Government has left us with no choice.

"We do not believe that the way that they are implementing HIPs is in the public interest."

Now, depending on when you read this, you will either loathe, hate, or practice as a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA). If you are either of the former; spare a thought for those individuals who, in many cases, handed-over their life-savings to train for what they believe will be a new career with a bright future. With two weeks to launch, a lot of them have already had to hand-in their notices to their current employers, in order to be ready to deliver on June 1st.

Many trainee DEA's gave those life-savings to train with... guess? The very same organisation that has long opposed the current HIP incarnation and is now, seemingly, threatening Court action: RICs.

I'm not acquainted with all the intimacies regarding RICs role (or obligation) in selling and providing DEA training, but I have to say, this development surely marks it out as an odd relationship. The RICs name carries a lot of gravitas and therefore, no doubt, would have persuaded a good number of aspiring DEA's to choose them over the other numerous and unknown training companies that have emerged in recent months.

Even if RICs only succeeds in delaying the launch pending a revamp, it will cause huge turmoil for those newly-qualified DEA's now without a job. A revamp will likely mean months, or even a year, of further delay. Some DEA's will have no choice but to find alternative employment. Others will jus lose heart and move-on. The persistant will likely need not only further training, but refresher training too.

If there's one glimmer of hope, the paper has an un-named spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government as saying;

"This challenge is groundless, and we will proceed as planned with the packs being introduced on June 1."

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