Police won’t accept it’s theft?

Police won’t accept it’s theft?

9:18 AM, 20th April 2020, About A year ago 19

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In a nutshell (as I’ve had nearly two months of stress and anxiety), agent I used 2 years ago without problem, found tenants for me in February. The tenant paid her 4 months rent up front plus deposit, plus 4 months council tax up front – all to obviously then pass to me.

I have had daily lies and excuses from her making me more and more angry that she’s got my money. I need it. I am a single parent and live off the rent. She told me to back off because off her mental health, then she said she’d had a miscarriage, banks closed etc etc. I’m furious and admit I’ve sent her some pretty nasty messages to give me my money out of desperation, but she won’t.

I’ve taken out a CCJ but know that I won’t get my money through that as she has 2 others against her. I spoke to the police who said it’s a civil matter which I disagree with – it’s not a debt, she’s taken my money. They spoke to her then they ended up telling me that I’m the only one breaking the law for harassing her! She even told them she had paid me which she hasn’t. She’s not a member of a MPS so I’ve reported her to trading standards. She said that she’s closed the company since finding me the tenant.

I realise that because she did nothing with the deposit that the tenant can potentially sue me plus I don’t have the option of eviction so I have that hanging over me and on top of it all I still have to find the money to give back the deposit to him anyway.

So all in around £8k plus threat of deposit suing.

I cannot tell you how angry I feel at the injustice of her both having my money and her being allowed to get away with it. My own mental health and my family’s is suffering.

Any suggestions please? Thank you

Hasty Peck



Comments

by Sjp

16:16 PM, 20th April 2020, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Essex at 20/04/2020 - 13:09
The deposit of £2k was paid to her by the tenant along with £4.5k rent and £633 council tax. None of this was then paid to me neither did you register the deposit which has led to the tenant both asking for the deposit to be returned when he leaves and also him informing me that he will have a right not to be evicted and also that he can sue me for up to 3x the deposit within 6 years (which I understand to be correct)

by Sjp

16:17 PM, 20th April 2020, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by David at 20/04/2020 - 10:33
Hi David. Please do you have any more details of the case you said ended in charges of theft? Which area? Police for e? How do you know , was it in the press so I can research and provide this to the police. Anything would be helpful. Thank you.

by Sjp

10:16 AM, 21st April 2020, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by at 20/04/2020 - 09:40
I’ve looked on companies house and she dissolved her company 4 days after taking my money. and set a new one up. She has set up 5 different ones which have charges against 3 of them in the last 3 years. They give their addresses In strange places like Plymouth etc while she is based in Essex

by Kate Mellor

10:42 AM, 21st April 2020, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Sjp at 21/04/2020 - 10:16
Wow! At best a clear case of trading in insolvency. She certainly didn’t just decide to wind up her company after she took your money ‘in good faith’. That process takes time and advertising is placed in the gazette to alert potential creditors so they can object. I believe there is still a process by which a creditor can force a company to be reinstated, but if there are no company assets there’s no real point.
This history is all evidence for the dossier if you plan to put pressure on the police to take your case. Try and find out who these addresses belong to. Directors will often use an accountant’s address and given her track record she is likely to change accountants each time she pulls this stunt. Sorry you’re going through this. 🙁

by Chris @ Possession Friend

8:14 AM, 25th April 2020, About A year ago

We are currently assisting a landlord in a Complaint against the Police. Also, disputes with Letting Agents.
You may have missed our article here - that during the Corona period, we are giving Free Advice.

by Sjp

9:56 AM, 25th April 2020, About A year ago

Hello everyone. I appreciate the time it’s taken everyone to reply thank you. After presenting emails, text correspondence evidencing she’s got my money, existing ccjs, using an address for her Ltd company which is a lock box 200 miles away, existing reviews of a similar incident, the police constable emailed my saying that her Detective Sargent said they’re not taking it further as it’s a civil matter because it’s a debt!! I’d said to her previously that the stress of it all was making me feel despondent and depressed and she attached a number for the Samaritans!!

by Kate Mellor

10:36 AM, 25th April 2020, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Sjp at 25/04/2020 - 09:56
I'm not really surprised they are taking this approach. Do have a discussion with Possession Friend regarding the process of making a complaint to the police. I suspect if you wanted to take this forward you would need the advice/representation of a corporate lawyer/barrister which to be honest will be expensive.
What I would say is that you should avoid clouding the issue when you speak to the police. Your stress is not relevant to them. They are not going to be able to retrieve your money for you, but they could open the door for you to make a claim against the director personally. This is something you will have to do yourself. You need to be clear what it is you are expecting from the police and that is key. When you focus on what she owes you they see a civil case. You are asking them to pursue a criminal case against her as a director. If she is found culpable it may prevent her from acting as a director for any other companies and it will mean she is liable personally for her debt to you.
It may be that it's not worth throwing good money after bad and you need to accept it and move forward. Even if that means taking out a personal loan to manage your cashflow until you can get back in front.
Hopefully you can convince your tenants that as you are a victim of this agent and you have no way to reclaim the money she's stolen it would be unreasonable of them to proceed with a claim against you. Try to get them on your side, by being on their side. To do this you will have to return their deposit from your own pocket. You can't change the past but you can influence the future and you now know how to avoid being stung like this again. Sorry you've had to go through this dreadful experience 🙁

by Lindsay Keith

11:05 AM, 25th April 2020, About A year ago

Sorry tale but
1. The Police routinely say they won't deal with what they conveniently say are 'civil' matters. More important things to do like chasing fast drivers, now virus breakers. They are hopelessly understaffed, so regret you are even below burglary victims in the queue.
2. A criminal conviction is not going to get your money unless (100-1 against) a magistrates court orders the criminal to repay as compensation what you have had stolen/embezzled. The agent debtor in jail or paying a fine is not paying you.
3. When I started Articles almost 60 years ago and worked in a debt collection office in Newcastle, I quickly learnt the truth of 'not worth powder and shot'. Unless enquiries show unknown riches and you can chase the agent personally, you seem likely to have to swallow your fury and write it off to experience.
4. NEXT TIME, do exactly as Rob Thomas (above) advises.
5. Good luck, stay safe!

by Ian Cognito

19:30 PM, 25th April 2020, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Lindsay Keith at 25/04/2020 - 11:05
I disagree with you, Lindsay, and Rob Thomas.

Bearing in mind that there are many more rogue landlords than rogue letting agents, it is unreasonable to ask a prospective tenant to pay money directly to their future landlord.

It was not an error allowing money to be transferred to a letting agent, but it was an error not pre-verifying that the agent was a current member of a ARLA, Safeagent, NAEA etc with a bona fide client account.


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