A letting agency at the centre of a controversy following a ruling by The Property Ombudsman has shut its office and - according to the local press - has left scores of clients high and dry.
Last September Letting Agent Today reported on a TPO expulsion of four agencies, one of which was Miaisa Ltd, which traded in Huddersfield as Gallery@HD1.
At the time TPO issued a statement saying the agency was directed to pay £2,312 in rent due to a landlord as well as an additional award of £300 made by the Ombudsman, who upheld a series of complaints relating to the company. The agency was also directed to transfer £975 of tenant deposits.
A statement from TPO read: “At the time the case was referred to the Disciplinary and Standards Committee, the company was in a voluntary arrangement with its creditors but is now in liquidation. At one point it had an estimated deficit of nearly £200,000. Another company with the same director had previously traded as Gallery and also gone into liquidation. TPO understands that the director has now set up a new company which is also trading as Gallery. Contrary to what it has been saying on its website and on Rightmove, it is not a member of TPO.”
Fast forward to this week and now the Huddersfield Daily Examiner claims that the agency’s office in Huddersfield is now closed. The paper says it cannot trace the agency’s director, Dennis Goodridge.
The newspaper says: “The premises are now occupied by Blackpool-based law firm Ascroft Whiteside Solicitors and its associated property estate and letting agent Beauforth Finch. Neither Ascroft Whiteside nor Beaufort Finch have any connection with Gallery.”
The newspaper also claims that late last year it emerged that Gallery had been expelled by a second industry regulator, the Property Redress Scheme.
You can see the full local press story here.