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22 September 2009

Promise Home Packs ceases trading

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by Kay Mitchell

Promise Home Packs ceases trading

Promise Home Packs, which was last month named as one of the cheapest Home Information Pack (Hip) provider, has ceased trading.

The firm blamed market uncertainty for the demise and comes after last month’s report titled ‘Be aware of cheap, budget HIP & EPC providers’.

Consumer group, Which? named the firm as one of the best value-for-money providers of Hips.

The firm’s website now carries the brief message: ‘Unfortunately Promise Homepacks is ceasing trading and will not be accepting new orders.’

Commenting on the group’s collapse, a spokesperson said: “The political environment at the current time makes it far from clear whether Hips will play a long term role in the housing market.”

Last month, Which? advised homebuyers to shop around for Hips after it was revealed that a pack can cost twice as much through an estate agent rather than buying from a specialist provider.

Hips were introduced in August 2007 to speed up the home buying and selling process as well as providing consumers with a faster and more cost effective service.

However, many have branded them “a waste of time” with some believing they have contributed to the slump in the property market.

Which? found that one of the most expensive Hips is provided by Halifax Estate Agents (at £413 for a three-bedroom freehold property), while Fridays Property Lawyers offered the cheapest at £189 for the same property.

A Hip contains title deeds, searches, property information questionnaire and an energy performance certificate.

Homeowners in England and Wales must have a Hip in place before they can market their property.

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