The Insolvency Service, which probes all compulsory liquidations and individual bankruptcies, has wound up two letting agencies.
Morgan Fox (Lettings) Limited, formerly Anthony Morgan Lettings Limited - which in 2012 took over the residential letting assets of Anthony Morgan UK Limited (currently in liquidation) - has itself been ordered into liquidation “in the public interest” according to the service.
The same applies to a further successor company, Morgan Fox Property Limited, which has also been wound up.
The service’s investigation found that the serious failings in Anthony Morgan UK Limited were being repeated in the successor companies “to the detriment of tenants and landlords” and the service claims that in some instances people were unaware that there were two “Morgan Fox” companies.
The failings uncovered included repeatedly not dealing with deposits from tenants in accordance with an authorised scheme as required by the Housing Act 2004.
Chris Mayhew, company investigations supervisor at the Insolvency Service, says money that should have been protected was not safeguarded “and landlords have once more been left out of pocket by the activities of these two companies.”
He continues: “Unethical agents who cause hardship and misery for tenants in this way harm the public’s trust in the rented sector and the Insolvency Service will investigate and come down hard on companies if they are found, as here, to be operating against the public interest.”
Due to the poor records and what the service calls “an intermingling of the companies’ affairs with a residential letting business operated by the director in his own name” the overall number of properties affected is unknown but they are thought to be in Chingford, Harlow, and other parts of Essex and in North London.