Letting agent disappeared off face of planet with tenant's deposit

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  • Piffy
    replied
    ingssss,

    I would go to his offices.

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  • blinko
    replied
    let us know how it goes please would be great o hear of a success story, also you are able to prevent the company being struck off

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  • ingssss
    replied
    Thanks - i already checked Companies being struck off and it hasn't been filed yet.
    I checked the CMP and the business is listed as an expired member of Client Money Protect (and not listed for any of the other 5 schemes). I also found it listed with The Property Ombudsman Service (the redress scheme), so next port of call is with these two organisations.

    Thank you to all commenters helping me on the way! At least I know next steps! Thank you

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  • DPT57
    replied
    If the agency doesn't have CMP then it might make the Directors personally liable, but I have no knowledge of this.

    Also have a look at this link: Object to a limited company being struck off - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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  • ingssss
    replied
    I just googled the Client Money Protection scheme, and it is similar to what AlexR alluded to above, and that it is a mandatory requirement for Letting Agents to advertise it on their website (which LA in question does not...!). I see there are also heavy fines for not doing this, so perhaps there is extra leverage here, if he ever responds to my voicemails, letters, emails, texts ....

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  • ingssss
    replied
    jpkeates,

    Technically the company has not been requested to be shut down/struck off yet. But the office is closed and they have no more lettings advertised. The LA has actually opened up a new company, so I guess he's run the old one into the ground owing people money, then wants to start afresh with a new company not owning anybody anything
    Last edited by Moderator2; 21-02-2021, 16:47 PM.

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  • ingssss
    replied
    Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
    Did the agent have a Client Money Protection account?
    Not sure what that is - they registered the deposit with MyDeposits, but I have learned that LA does not have to actually put the tenant's money into these custodial schemes. They only need to register it.

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  • jpkeates
    replied
    If the agent has gone out of business, chasing them is pointless.

    If you were to take legal action to "recover" the deposit, it would be on the basis of compensation for your loss arising from the agent's failure to perform the contract that they had agreed to.
    Your loss being the new deposit being protected.

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  • DPT57
    replied
    Did the agent have a Client Money Protection account?

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  • ingssss
    replied
    Thank you AlexR - I didn't know such a thing existed. The LA doesn't mention on their website which scheme the belong to (if they indeed belong to any), but I'll contact the two schemes to see if they can help

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  • AlexR
    replied
    I believe all Lettings Agents need to register with a redress scheme. Are you not able to find out which one and lodge a complaint? You will find some details on Gov.uk site about the redress scheme.

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  • ingssss
    replied
    Sure I'll definitely cover the deposit for my tenant - it's not their fault the LA was bad. So I'll transfer my own money to the deposit scheme for them, and write it down as a loss.

    However, what about the deposit the LA holds? Who does it belong to? Landlord, Letting Agent or Tenant? I think if it belongs to LA or Tenant, then I am not able to chase LA for it in small claims court?

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  • DPT57
    replied
    You wouldn't be asking the tenant to pay anything. You would be protecting a sum of your own money equivalent to the deposit and serving all the required documentation to the tenant and hoping that they dont ask any further questions.

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  • ingssss
    replied
    Thanks - I already copied the tenant in the correspondence to the LA telling him to transfer the funds to the new deposit protection scheme. I can't ask the tenant to pay me a new deposit - they have already paid that to the LA many months ago.
    I must admit I was surprised to learn that LAs are not obliged to transfer funds to the deposit protection scheme - I though the reason for these organisations was precisely to avoid problems like these

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  • theartfullodger
    replied
    Write to tenant request payment to yourself

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