Runaway letting agent disappears owing thousands

Runaway letting agent disappears owing thousands

17:11 PM, 28th February 2012, About 10 years ago 16

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Landlords and tenants are trying to track down a letting agent who has shut up shop leaving them thousands of pounds out-of-pocket.

Husband and wife team Mark and Samantha Hamilton-Smith stopped trading as The Property Showroom in Leeds on February 18.

The firm’s office in Town Street, Farsley, was closed without warning, computer equipment was stripped out and the doors locked.

The website is still online, mail is uncollected and telephones are connected but ring out.

Other nearby estate agents report visits to the offices by around 20 disgruntled landlords who have not received rents for up to three months – and they have no forwarding address or information about if they will be paid.

Some landlords have called from Switzerland and Australia.

Mr Hamilton-Smith is the sole director of Ayrton Properties Ltd, the firm trading as Property Showroom. His wife resigned as director and company secretary on January 30.

Property Showroom does not belong to any lettings industry client money protection, so few landlords are likely to see the return of any cash.

If tenant deposits are lodged on a protection scheme, the tenants can apply to have the money released.

The firm advertises membership of the Property Ombudsman Scheme and claims to follow the Office of Fair Trading code of conduct for letting agents.

Letting agents The National Property Group have offered to take on landlords abandoned by The Property Showroom and have waived administration fees for managing transferred properties.

“I’ve informed any landlords in difficulty that we’d be happy to take care of the handover and administration to take back control,” said spokesman Glenn Ackroyd. “We will waive all admin costs and do this free of charge.”

For more information contact The National Property Group or contact Glenn Ackroyd via this Private Messaging facility

If it worries you that Letting Agents are completely unregulated please see our article calling for Compulsory Licencing of Letting Agents and sign our Government e-petition.



Comments

by

11:25 AM, 1st March 2012, About 10 years ago

The alerts I use presently are
UK Landlords/tenants
UK property rentals.

Now these may not be worded very well to pick up on these interests.
With your extensive knowledge and understanding as to how Google works perhaps you have a suggested set of wording titles to elicit alert responses relating to the interests stated above.
My interests are specifically related to residential UK property, UK BTL mortgages, also
Anything concerning UK LL and tenants.
Indeed it would be useful if you had a template of google alert phrases that we as property118 site visitors could choose from to ensure we receive the most relevant information as far as we as UK landlords are concerned.
I appreciate that most of the the information a UK LL might ever need to know is necessarily already on this site; but it would be useful to receive relevant info from all sources even if it ends up duplicating what has already been said on your site.
The dynamics of the market are such that perhaps some things might not be discussed on your site and it would be useful to ensure that as LL we are in receipt of the most up todate info about the industry we are in.

by John Bolland

14:02 PM, 1st March 2012, About 10 years ago

BRIT insurance JUST AS BAD BEWARE. THEY TAKE THE PREMIUMS AND REFUSE VALID LANDLORDS CLAIMS USING "......YE''L GIT NAE MOOONEY FRAE US JIMMIE - ....GLASGOW BASED LOSS ADJUSTERS.   OMBUDSMAN OR SOLICITORS TO BE SET ON THEM. ROGUES....IT'S JUST NOT CRICKET.

by

21:11 PM, 1st March 2012, About 10 years ago

This business is being liquidated by Leonard Curtis of Leeds - http://www.leonardcurtis.co.uk

by Glenn Ackroyd

14:26 PM, 2nd March 2012, About 10 years ago

The company has appointed liquidators and there is a Creditors meeting on the 8th March 2012.

I've been informed that it managed circa 80 properties and deposits taken, but not lodged run into five figures. Other properties have had deposits submitted to tenancy protection schemes. Full details will be set out by the proposed liquidators. Any affected party should contact them;

Sophie Lockhart
Leonard Curtis Recovery
Hollins Lane
Bury
BL9 8DQ

T 0161 767 1250
http://www.leonardcurtis.co.uk

Our local agent lives in the area effected (LS28) and will be happy to assist any landlords in difficulty.

Glenn Ackroyd
NationalPropertyGroup.co.uk

by

22:48 PM, 6th March 2012, About 10 years ago

As a local letting agent covering the LS28 area, Lets Go Professional Ltd (NALS / Safe Agent accredited) would gladly advise anyone affected by this free of charge.

by

4:17 AM, 2nd February 2013, About 9 years ago

I was a landlord and never even received a letter from the liquidators, I was owed 3 months rent from my property and the tenants deposit was never submitted to the protection scheme, they also lost out. Did Mark ever get prosecuted for ripping us all off?? Does anybody know? I no longer live in the local area and do not know what happened? Also I never received any keys or certificates etc from them.


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