Midlands law firm Wright Hassell has called on the Government to quash the 'growing uncertainty' over the introduction of home inspection packs.
The idea behind HIPs, which come into effect next summer, is to give homebuyers the chance to make a more informed decision when they purchase a house and to reduce the number of sales that fall through.
It will be the responsibility of the seller to compile details on the condition of the property called a Home Condition Report as well as evidence of title, a property information form, a list of fixtures and fittings offered with the home, copies of planning consents, a local authority search and a drainage search.
More than 2,000 people are training to become home inspectors but that is way short of the 7,500 needed for the task and there is pressure from some quarters to scrap the scheme.
However, Chris Meredith, head of conveyancing at Wright Hassall, feels the Government should make its intentions clearer.
"Later this month the regulations are due which will set out the detailed HIPs contents and rules, then September will see the launch of the certification scheme to oversee home inspectors," he said.
"As things stand, HIPs will become compulsory in June 2007 but there are certainly more dissenting voices as time goes on.
"Several leading property firms are against large parts of the scheme and even the Council of Mortgage Lenders has not agreed to accept surveys which are home condition reports from the sellers - one of the cornerstones of the new legislation.
"That is casting considerable doubt on the start date and even on the new measures in their entirety and we feel the Government should now come out and make its position clear. "It needs to reassure the public who are now buying and selling property - one of the most stressful things of their lives - and who have been reading about the changes for more than a year, and also the professional firms, many of whom have committed considerable expenditure gearing up for the changes."
Mr Meredith added that while the concept of HIPs was laudable, there were several potential flaws in the scheme.
"The length of validity of searches and valuations needs to be borne in mind as it can take many weeks for chains to be completed," he said.
"According to a recent survey, more than 55 per cent of local authorities are waiting for more guidance or laws to comply with the Office of Fair Trading search recommendations.
"There are obvious factors, such as an increase in costs for the sellers currently thought to be in the region of £1,000.
"It is also not entirely clear what will happen with new builds. There is also fear that the change in the law could lead to a slump in the market.
"These anxieties are bound to grow as time goes on unless the Government reaffirms its determination to see the changes through."