16:52 PM, 24th January 2012, About 12 years ago 42
Midlands landlords are chasing rents and deposits from a letting agent who suddenly closed for business.
Police are looking at the demise of Baxter Todd, a letting agency with offices in Warwick, Leamington Spa, Coventry and Stratford-on-Avon.
The offices are closed, phone lines have been disconnected and emails go unanswered – although the firm’s website is still live.
One landlord raised the alarm in the local media after losing almost £1,000 in tenant deposits for two properties.
Alma Coleman claimed the firm promised to return the deposits on closing, but the money has not been paid.
“I have been a landlord for 20 years without problems. Sometimes a tenant ups and leaves but never a letting agent,” she said.
“I was with Baxter Todd for 18 months and there were no issues until now. This should act as a warning to other landlords of what might happen to them if they are not careful.
“I have tried to speak to the owners of the company but no one seems to know how they can be contacted or why I have not had the money returned to me as I was promised.”
Baxter Todd is not listed on the directories of the two main letting agent client money protection schemes run by the Association of residential Letting Agents (ARLA) or SafeAgent.
Another disgruntled landlord, Claire Wightman, told local reporters: “My husband and I were clients of Baxter Todd and had a truly appalling experience with them.
“We are also owed money – several hundred pounds – by the company but are unable to contact them. We are contemplating legal action.”
The agency is a previous winner of the Best of Warwick Award for exceptional customer service.
Baxtertood Property Ltd, incorporated in August 2010, has a registered office at 1 Market Place, Warwick. No accounts or company returns have been filed with Companies House and the directors have made an application to strike off the company.
A previous business partnership, Baxtertodd LLP was registered at the same address but was dissolved in March 2011without filing any accounts.
Director Carl Baxter was unavailable for comment.