Rogue letting agent closes owing clients up to £500,000

by Property118.com News Team

15:08 PM, 7th July 2011
About 7 years ago

Rogue letting agent closes owing clients up to £500,000

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Rogue letting agent closes owing clients up to £500,000

Police are looking for Hothomes UK's owners

Police are seeking a letting agent who has disappeared owing landlords and tenants hundreds of thousands in rents and deposits.

Hothomes UK, based in Plymouth, is believed to manage around 2,000 rented homes and losses could mount up to £500,000 or more.

One landlord claims he is owed £4,630 in rents collected but not paid by the business. Others have received cheques that bounced and tenant deposits have been collected but not protected.

Disgruntled landlords and tenants have flooded police and trading standards officers with complaints about couple Jacqueline and Tony Burridge, who ran the business.

They have also besieged their home with visits, phone calls and emails in a bid to collect unpaid debts.

Now, West Country Landlords Association has stepped in to try and mediate and solution by co-ordinating complaints.

Chairman Manny Pisani said: “We are interested in what’s going on here. We are concerned about the keys to the properties which they hold, rents which may not have been passed on to landlords, and deposits.”

Other businesses near the Hothomes UK office tipped off landlords that the Burridge family was moving out files and equipment last week.

The office is empty bar some desks and chairs – with a sign on the window warning the business is under investigation for alleged fraud.

Landlords seeking redress from Hothomes UK have also started a GumTree forum listing their grievances with the company and swapping information to try and track down the Burridge family.

Hothomes UK is one of a number of property-related businesses listed at Companies House with the Burridges as directors.

Hothomes UK does not appear to protect client money under any authorised scheme. The firm has no listed web site, just a message saying that they have unexpectedly closed without any forwarding or contact details.

The company also acted as estate agents, with around 40 properties listed on some online portals.



Comments

9:29 AM, 8th July 2011
About 7 years ago

Who ever has made up this figure must live in a dream world. as trading standards will find out in our meeting next week there is only a few thousand pounds owing to clients which we are trying to sort out. if everyone would stop making stupid assumptions and let us try to complete our admin task all will be resolved. There is alot of rumours going around but the truth is if i made that sort of money in the first year i would NOT have to close.

9:52 AM, 8th July 2011
About 7 years ago

If Toni (or Tony) Burridge only owes a "few thousand pounds", that must be just what he owes me. That comes to £4,360 plus! If he owes everyone else the same, I think it's a lot more than "A FEW THOUSAND" - and why hasn't he submitted accounts and tax returns for this company or the other three THAT WE KNOW ABOUT!
By the way, that's a really nice BMW you've got parked outside your rather sumptuous house, Toni Burridge. I wonder how you could afford that?
Oh, one last thing, I understand your accountant walked out as he was so disgusted with your business dealings - or is that another silly rumour???

10:12 AM, 8th July 2011
About 7 years ago

What about all the other "Phoenix companies" you've previously operated, lets not forget about those.

You are either a terrible business man or something else much worse.

We'll let the law decide that.

On another note, why do you keep spelling your name differently Tony?

10:56 AM, 8th July 2011
About 7 years ago

If you are telling the truth, Toni, or Tony, why don't you reply to letters? Why don't you reply to phone calls made? Text messages sent?
I'll tell you why......you've ripped people off for thousands. Your posting above is simply a delaying tactic. Well, sorry, matey, we don't believe you. Grow a pair, and deal with the problem, rather than hiding behind your daughters.

Mark Alexander

16:26 PM, 8th July 2011
About 7 years ago

Hello all

Unfortunately our system automatically hides any comments that get three thumbs down. I wasn't previously aware of that so I've given it a thumbs up in the hope that Toni's comments will re-appear. Hopefully Toni will respond to the points made and others can be encouraged to use this thread to air their own concerns but we need to be concious that thumbs down end up hiding posts. We are happy to act as the champion for good trading standards and would like to encourage as many people as possible to comment as this will add to good reading for our Newletter readers when this article is distributed to our entire database next week which comprises over 100,000 landlords and over 300,000 related trade and professional contacts.

17:47 PM, 8th July 2011
About 7 years ago

But it's not your first year of profiting is it Tony/Toni? And we are not making "stupid" assumptions but facts, which you will be faced with in your meeting next week. That is, if you actually decide to go. We are not "stupid" people and merely want what is rightfully ours. I also note you used the words Rumours and Truth in the same sentence. Here's my sentence with those two words .... There aren't any RUMOURS about Hothomes, or, your other trading companies, dissolved or still active, but only the TRUTH about how you have abandoned your fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of your tenants and landlords with Hothomes at all times.

I would have thought your first duty in trying to complete your "Admin Task" would be to reassure all your creditors in writing or by telephone as to what your intentions are TO, "resolve" this situation.

Not once have you returned our calls. Your daughter assures us all that she will get you to ring us, but you never do. Hiding behind your 18 year old daughter is not a very professional attitude to take.
Instead, victims have had to find out through each other and do their own research into your non business like background. You should be very ashamed of yourself, as a representative to the service industry, and as a Father.

19:42 PM, 8th July 2011
About 7 years ago

I am also owed £1684 in unpaid rent from this so called letting agency. My tenant moved in to the property in October 2010 and I didn't see a penny until December and then only after I queried it. Then I received a cheque with the explanation that their BACS system had crashed. I had nothing further until March, despite phone calls that were never returned; by this time I was owed for the two weeks of October, December, January, February and March - I finally got the equivelent of two months. Then nothing until April when I got half a month's rent (I assumed for October) and a further month's rent a couple of day later - since then nothing, which by my calculation means I've been paid four months and am owed four months.
I was told the tenant was late paying and was himself in arrears. I have now contacted the tenant myself and he states that he is up to date and has receipts to prove it; he also says that he thought it was a bit odd that they wouldn't let him pay by standing order or direct debit but insisted on cash! He's lost his £700 deposit, which also leaves me vulnarable. Fortunately, he wants to stay and will sign a new six month tenancy agreement and set up a standing order, so at least he still as a home and I should now get my rent! Not sure what to do about the deposit though.

Oh, and my husband and I went to the family home on Wednesday evening and not only is Tony (Toni) Burridge hiding behind his daughter, he sends her out to deny the Burridge family lives there and that she had anything to do with Hot Homes, despite the fact my husband recognised her and the neighbour confirmed it was them!!

6:55 AM, 9th July 2011
About 7 years ago

To landlords and tenants.
Yesterday I made a statement to the police about this family. They have committed the CRIMINAL ACT OF EMBEZZLEMENT (taking money from a third party to hand on to a third party, namely taking money from tenant to pay on to landlord). THIS MEANS THE LANDLORD HAS BEEN EMBEZZLED, AND THE TENANT HAS BEEN FRAUDULENTLY DECEIVED. With the criminal act of EMBEZZLEMENT, the police MUST take action. Don't let them fob you off and tell you to contact Trading Standards.
BUT CONTACT TRADING STANDARDS AS WELL. They have already begun building a huge case against this family.
IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO, take out a small claims application through the County Courts - there is alos a Government website where you can make a claim on line. If it's under £5,000, it costs £100 to make a claim and that is REIMBURSED to you with any COSTS you may incur if the Claim is successful.
This family is total scum - they are either incredibly stupid or incredibly nasty - and I suspect the latter. As another comments put is, this isn't the only company this family has set up. Strange that they've never made tax returns or put in accounts on ANY of the four companies I've been able to link them to.
KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT, FOLK. LET'S STAND UP AND BE COUNTED.
BLESS YOU ALL
TONY.

15:09 PM, 10th July 2011
About 7 years ago

VERY IMPORTANT FOR ALL WHO HAVE LOST MONEY.

The actions of HOT HOMES UK PLYMOUTH can now be reported to the police as EMBEZZLEMENT, which is a CRIMINAL OFFENCE, if:
1. You paid HOT HOMES UK PLYMOUTH rent to be passed to a landlord.
2. You are a landlord who HOT HOMES UK PLYMOUTH have not paid after receiving rent.

Contact the Devon and Cornwall police or go to your nearest police station.
State you wish to make a report of the Criminal Offence of EMBEZZLEMENT.

The police HAVE to act on EMBEZZLEMENT. It is difficult to get them to pursue a case if you claim it is "Fraud" or "A con".

Also inform MR. RICHARD GREEN at
the PLYMOUTH TRADING STANDARDS OFFICE ON 01752 304141

16:01 PM, 15th July 2011
About 7 years ago

hi

i used to work for this so called company and can tell you that he will be hiding at him home address of 3 collingwood Villas, Stoke, he may not tallk to any of you but its a start, this family have been conning people for years with their previous companies such as EPC Worx, Fast Hips and Metro EPC.

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