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Investigation underway into collapse of agency £1.3m in debt

An investigation is underway into a lettings agency which has gone into liquidation owing almost £500,000 in rent to landlords and in debt to a total £1.3m.

Local media in the Midlands report that Homepoint - with branches in Wolverhampton, Stourbridge, Walsall and Birmingham - is being put into liquidation, owing £118,145 to tenants who had lodged deposits and £459,553 in rent collected from tenants, but not passed to landlords.

The trading standards division of Dudley Council is now probing the liquidation, which is being handled by insolvency experts Moore.


A letter to creditors from Moore says that Homepoint, run by Ajit Singh Pooni, owed money to 328 creditors, including a large number of tenants who had submitted deposits for properties they were renting. 

Major creditors are reported to include HM Revenue & Customs, which is owed £72,078 in unpaid VAT, and Lloyds Bank, which is owed £160,347, which includes a £50,000 loan through the Government’s Bounce Back scheme. Pooni is reported to be seeking the repayment of a £287,924 loan he gave to the company, and a further £107,520 owed to himself and his wife.

The Express and Star newspaper reports today: “But while it is a legal requirement that deposits are placed into a government-recognised deposit protection scheme, the report to creditors revealed that in many instances this had not been done. It also said that the company had collected rent money from tenants, but not paid it to landlords.”

The newspaper says a report to creditors blamed the tenant fees’ ban in 2019 for the agency’s problems, accentuated by the spring 2020 lockdown. 


Councillor Nicolas Barlow of Dudley council says: “Our trading standards officers are currently investigating concerns raised in regards to this company and we are therefore unable to add anything further at this stage.”

Letting Agent Today has attempted to secure a comment from Homepoint.

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    The resultant effect of successive governments not making client money protection insurance (CMP) a legal requirement years ago.
    Now CMP is a legal requirement there will undoubtedly be more of this type of fraud exposed, as the criminals are weeded out.
    CMP needs to go further now and include private landlords too.

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    Landlords continue to be attacked: grossly unfair tax treatment, government aiding and abetting tenants to run up arrears whilst Councils continue to pay the tenants the Housing Benefit, increased legislation on landlords' obligations but nothing on tenants' - and no protection from letting agents going bust. Landlords not entitled to Covid financial support, yet letting agents are. Really? Are the government trying to create a housing crisis?


    I can see your frustrations but not sure why you're criticising tenants here - doesn't sound like they've contributed to the mess this agent has created. Maybe it's an argument for another story

    Algarve  Investor

    It's the go-to impulse and natural reaction from most landlords when in this case the sole focus of blame and anger should be on the letting agent.

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    They will just open again under a different name with the same directors. Just like a firm in Bristol did a couple of years ago.

  • Mark Alexander

    The Directors have committed fraud by abuse of position here. The investigation will hopefully lead to their arrest, conviction and seizure of their personal assets to compensate the victims of their crimes.

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    now living in luxury in Delhi

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Usual questions/concerns- was valid CMP in place? Were they an Ombudsman member (as required legally)- if so, what complaints were filed and (if several) shouldn't this trigger an investigation or at least flag it with the powers that be? Another nail in agents/landlords holding deposits- each one makes a 'custodial only' landscape more likely- and for good reason. Also curious (and not for one second blaming them)- how many tenants actively chased proof their deposit had been registered? How many reported theirs not being and (if several) again- why did this not trigger an investigation?

    Matthew Payne

    I assume it is "owing" as they have now been put into liquidation and this is the creditors report, ie: these deposits were largely regsistered so there weren't any tenant complaints. Its only now they have gone bust, after audit that the bank rec shows that there is £118k of deposits missing. You would normally only have these things come to light either if everyone wanted their money back on the same day (never going to happen), or a business goes bust, as there is always enough money sloshing around in a client account to be able to give the next person, or next 10, their deposits back. I have seen client accounts with bigger holes than this that were still happliy trading, and noone was any the wiser to the problem.

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    Is anybody surprised? There are too many agents living on the edge of financial misappropriation i..e. theft!


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