The mystery surrounding a lettings and estate agency on the island of Guernsey offers an insight into a system where companies are regulated - as some suggest agents should be across Britain.
Local news media on Guernsey are reporting that Sarnia Estate Agency appears to have closed its office on the island, with one local woman protesting about £2,000 she paid in the form of a deposit on a rental property - a sum which she says has not been passed by the agency to its landlord client.
Now Sarnia has been categorised as ‘Strike Off Listed’ on the Guernsey Registry along with a number of other companies believed to all be linked through ownership.
A ‘Strike Off Listed’ happens when a company fails to pay its annual £250 validation fee as a company operating on the island. The firm is reported to have filed its paperwork for validation, but not paid up.
The company now has until October 22 to make a payment before moves will be made to dissolve its registration - if this happens, it cannot legally trade.
Local media suggest that comments online made in the past 48 hours appear to show that other tenants and landlords are expressing concern about their inability to contact Sarnia.
Letting Agent Today attempted to contact Sarnia but the telephone number listed on its website appeared not to be working; LAT’s email to the company has not so far produced a reply.