A lettings company’s management director has been disqualified for failing to protect thousands of pounds of tenants’ deposits.
Kari Jade Ridout from Blandford Forum in Dorset, was the sole director of Woodhouse Residential Lettings, a management company that began trading in 2013 predominately in the Dorset area.
As part of its services, Woodhouse Residential Lettings operated a custodial deposit scheme; but four years after the company had started to trade, Woodhouse Residential Lettings entered into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation in May 2017.
Independent insolvency practitioners were appointed to wind-up the business before submitting their report to the Insolvency Service and this triggered an investigation which found that Ridout failed to safeguard over £34,000 worth of deposits.
Investigators established that over two years between May 2015 and when the company went into liquidation, Woodhouse Residential Lettings collected thousands of pounds worth of deposits from tenants in at least 24 properties but did not pay them into the custodial deposit scheme.
Instead the £34,000 was spent, along with general working capital, on the expenses of running the company.
Ridout has now been banned for six years from acting as a director or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.
“Ridout failed to safeguard the deposits she was entrusted to hold onto, resulting in losses to both landlords and tenants. Her conduct fell short of what is required of a director of a limited liability company and her disqualification will act as a deterrent to others from similar conduct in the future” explains Jane Knight, the Insolvency Service’s deputy head of insolvent investigations.
A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot act as a director of a company, or take part directly or indirectly in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership, or be a receiver of a company’s property