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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

MP to intervene over wound-up lettings agency owing £30,000

An MP says he will raise with local police chiefs a series of claims from landlords and tenants concerning a lettings agency which last year was wound-up.

Local media in Ipswich report that concern is rising over deposits paid to Jonathan Waters Estate Agents Limited (JWEAL) but which - apparently - have vanished. 

Pauline Scott Property Management (PSPM), which took over managing properties for the landlords after JWEAL agreed to be voluntarily wound up last August, confirmed the deposits were missing.

PSPM has reportedly told landlords their tenants' deposits had not been paid into protection schemes.

Now Ipswich MP Sandy Martin says he will be raising the case with Ipswich's chief superintendent of police, and is considering raising a question with Home Secretary Sajid Javid calling for Action Fraud to be given greater powers in cases such as this.

The Ipswich Star reports that a number of landlords and tenants first learned their money was missing when PSPM contacted them in the autumn. 

PSPM is quoted as saying that when it took over the management of properties previously handled by JWEAL in September last year it soon discovered "at least £30,000" was missing from the deposit scheme.

"Someone at Jonathan Waters has not paid that money in as they should have done" a PSPM spokesman told the Star. "It's been a total shambles - there were boxes and boxes of paperwork.”

Action Fraud said the case was being assessed by the City of London Police's National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to consider if there was a need for further enquiries.

Jonathan Waters Estate Agents Limited went into liquidation last year with the loss of 17 jobs.

The Star reports that a statement of affairs, filed at Companies House last September, reported the company owed creditors more than £552,000.

You can see the local press report here.

  • icon

    Someone just glossed over the duty of care investigation of the location of the deposits. To take on any rented property from another agent they should have carried out a search of the deposit location, got it confirmed long before taking them over. They were then left to do the dirty work of the rogue agent and must now suffer the flack. Did they pay over any money to JWEAL for this portfolio of properties? If so, why?

  • Paul Barrett

    Never have I ever trusted a LA with my tenant deposits.
    All my deposits kept securely in MY bank account.
    Registered with mydeposits.
    Never ever had to concern myself with absconding LA etc.
    The insurance deposit fee was insignificant compared to the peace of mind it buys me!!!


  • icon

    What about the court case where the ( I’m someone will know the exact case) letting agent did a let only transaction and passed the deposit to the landlord. The landlord did not put it in a scheme and the ombudsman ruled the agent was at fault. The agent was also fined. I have now changed our practice as an agent to either submit on let only or get the deposit paid directly to the landlord. Maybe not all landlords are unscrupulous and maybe not all agents either, but some are!

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