The Government was called on yesterday to abandon its controversial Home Information Packs after announcing a delay to their final roll-out.
The Communities and Local Government department said it was delaying until the end of the year the requirement for homeowners to have one of the packs before they start marketing their property.
Homeowners in England and Wales are currently allowed to begin marketing as soon as they have ordered a Home Information Pack but the Government had said from June 1 they would not be able to put their home up for sale until they had a pack.
Shadow Housing Minister Grant Shapps said the move showed the packs were not working and urged the Government to abolish them. He said: "This latest Hips delay is the third time the Government has had to admit this botched initiative can never work. The time has surely come for Brown to do one of his famous U-turns and scrap Hips."
Hips aim to speed up home buying and selling by giving consumers more of the information they need up front.
But the packs have been dogged by delays and controversy, with their start delayed for two months and a House of Lords committee finding the Government had failed to show they were sensible or worthwhile.
They were finally introduced in England and Wales in December.
But while the latest delay was criticised by the Conservatives, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors welcomed the move.
RICS spokesman James Scott-Lee said: "RICS is pleased to see the Government is taking a pragmatic approach to enable people to get their property on to the market without having to wait for a Hip. In current conditions it is essential to avoid anything which restricts a homeowner's ability to market their property."
Yesterday's move, which also includes a delay in information on leases having to be included in packs for leasehold properties, was announced alongside a package of measures to improve buying and selling.
The Government said it was working with industry bodies, such as RICS, the National Association of Estate Agents and the Law Society, to develop a new set of standards for property professionals.
These include having arrangements for redress if consumers are unhappy with the service.
The Government also plans to work with the industry to ensure agents and Hip providers make the packs available to potential buyers at the earliest opportunity.
Research carried out by the Government into the pilot phase of the packs found they were provided to only four out of 10 buyers. A further 20 per cent did not receive the documents from estate agents until after they had made an offer.
Housing Minister Caroline Flint said: "Home Information Packs are already bringing benefits. But we want to do more to improve the Hip and the home buying and selling process."