7:50 AM, 27th February 2017, About 6 years ago
Mark Procter, director of Kirby Property in Cambourne, Cambridgeshire, was sentenced to three years and four months for fraud at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday.
Procter gradually siphoned off tenants’ £140,000 of tenants deposits throughout 2014 and 2015 to pay for divorce proceedings and luxury holidays, the court heard. Since the case it has been allenged that a further £48,000 of rent due to landlords has also gone missing.
Procter, who had pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud at a previous hearing, was described by Judge David Farrell QC at his sentencing as “thoroughly dishonest”.
If you know of any similar cases please report them to http://privateprosecutions.org/
There are many examples of landlords having been victims of fraud by abuse of position committed by their letting agent where Police and CPS have dropped cases due to lack of resource.
We have seen many cases where agents have used client money to pay themselves significant bonuses before putting their businesses into liquidation. As a result of the Police failing to get involved the Landlords Union has been helping to raise the funding necessary to mount private criminal prosecutions on behalf of our lifetime members.
Landlords Union pay all initial costs associated with private criminal prosecutions where groups of 15 or more of our lifetime members have been victims of crimes perpetrated by the same business. The Crown picks up legal costs once Magistrates agree that a trial is in the interests of the public, regardless of whether the accused is found innocent or guilty. We are happy to take on victims of crime as new lifetime members in order to justify taking a case.
We have also called for a Ministry of Justice investigation into why Police and CPS regularly dismiss criminal damage caused by tenants and theft from rented properties as matters for civil litigation.
In June 2016 we recovered £27,500,000 of overcharged tracker mortgage interest from The West Bromwich Building Society on behalf of landlords. The case took nearly three years to complete. We successfully raised over £600,000 of crowd funding to fight the case and despite being ruled against by The Financial Ombudsman and the High Court we eventually obtained justice at the Court of Appeal. In addition to the refunds of overpaid mortgage interest we also obtained a refund of 100% of legal costs plus compensation, which enabled enabling us to repay our crowdfunders in full.
Our campaigning, lobbying and research into the retroactive nature of finance cost restrictions affecting tax charged to private landlords from 2017 has resulted in us discovering legislation which affords our members an opportunity to optimise their tax position by becoming corporate landlords and claiming tax relief to offset CGT and Stamp Duty normally associated with change of ownership, and even a legal structure to avoid the expense of refinancing.
Landlords Union utilises member subscriptions to protect and fight for the rights of its lifetime members. It does not provide legal services but does procure them where necessary.
Success in the Courtroom enhances our public profile and drives an increasing number of landlords to seek the security and peace of mind that only a Landlords union can provide.
As many landlords have learned to their peril; when it comes to funding litigation against mortgage lenders or the Government, legal fees insurance policies often prove to be about as useful as a chocolate fire guard. Furthermore, trade bodies rarely have the necessary experience, resolve, finances or other resources to get involved in action beyond referring their members to their preferred suppliers of legal services, the authorities or Ombudsmen.
The UK private rented sector is often described as one of the UK’s remaining “cottage industries”.
Private landlords own around 4.8 million properties providing housing for around 22% of the adult population.
There are thought to be around two million private housing providers (buy-to-let landlords) in the UK
Private housing providers (buy-to-let landlords) often lack the experience and finances to defend their rights. Lifetime Membership of Landlords Union provides a unique and powerful umbrella at a very reasonable cost.
Bank of Ireland decision in 2013 to increase the differential charged on their tracker rate mortgage products – details HERE
Do Skipton Building Society T&C’s justify abandoning their 3% over bank base rate interest rate cap guarantee on their standard variable mortgage interest rates back in 2010, despite their CEO committing to the National Media they would honour the rate cap only a year earlier? We think NOT! Details HERE
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