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Concern growing over fate of letting agency and clients' money

The local press serving the area of Kirkcaldy is reporting concern about a local letting agent after numerous tenants and landlords reported deposits and rent money not being paid or passed on for months.

The website of the Fife Today local newspaper says it has been contacted by a number of people claiming that money paid has not been passed on to landlords and that deposits on properties have not been returned. A Member of the Scottish Parliament has also reported being approached by worried constituents.

The firm is SJM Mortgage and Estate Agents - not to be confused with other similarly-named firms elsewhere in Britain.

One landlords is quoted as saying: “For the last six months I haven’t received any money and I was told by SJM that the tenant hadn’t paid the rent. I went to see the tenant who showed me bank statements showing that he had paid the rent on time every month, but I haven’t received a penny.”

The father of a tenant is quoted as saying: ‘‘He got a new flat three weeks ago and SJM was to transfer his deposit to the new one. He picked up the keys but when he arrived with his furniture, the locks had been changed. He was told it was because the landlord hadn’t been receiving rent for three of his flats. He had to pay another deposit to move in.’’

Now the local council has advised tenants and landlords with problems to contact Shelter Scotland and Citizen’s Advice for guidance.

The agency still has listings on Rightmove and NeedAProperty portals.

Letting Agent Today has tried to contact the agency without success.

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