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Landlords' deposit fears as Bay lettings agency closes

By Herald Express  |  Posted: June 14, 2011

CEASED TRADING: Torbay Residential Lettings, Market Street, Torquay

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PRIVATE property landlords in Torbay may be facing losses of hundreds of pounds after a letting agency ceased trading.

Landlords were informed by letter that Torbay Residential Lettings of Market Street, Ellacombe, Torquay, ceased trading at the start of June.

However, they say have not been told what has become of outstanding rents held by the business.

The position on deposits is unclear and landlords are awaiting clarification.

Two landlords, who each had a single flat being managed by the agency, want to know what has happened to the money.

Each fears they may have lost rent and may be liable to repay the deposit from their own funds.

Tony Bayliss, of Torquay, who rents out a flat in Warren Road, Torquay, said the tenants were still in the property.

He said: "I have no idea when I am going to get the money.

"I don't know what has happened to the deposit or whether the rent has been paid."

Another of the company's clients, who has a flat in Paignton and who did not want his name used, said: "I am concerned as we thought we were doing the right thing in having an agency run the property but we are still having to deal with the problems with very little information from the business.

"There is nothing to say where the money has gone and when or whether we may expect it to crop up."

He said he was assured he would have the money by Friday, June 10, but did not.

Former client Stuart Travis of Stokeinteignhead, near Newton Abbot, said he had more than 30 properties with the business but left after nine months.

"I left because there was a dispute over more than £30,000 of rent.

"I am not surprised the business has gone," he said.

Others in the letting industry say it pays landlords to trade with a Property Ombudsman registered business.

Karl Pederson, who runs Riviera Residential Lettings in Abbey Road, Torquay, said it was likely the closed business had half a dozen landlords with perhaps 50 properties.

He said: "It is the agent who is responsible for paying the money. If the tenant has proof he has paid they will be safe.

"Landlords have to go to the tenants and change payment arrangements.

"It is a big problem for the landlords, and it is quite possible they may never see their money again."

In March Torbay Residential Lettings was expelled by the Property Ombudsman after being found to have breached the codes of conduct for letting agents.

The Property Ombudsman is a trade organisation approved by the Office of Fair Trading. It deals with sales, lettings, commercial and overseas property issues.

However at the time business owner Paul Rosendale, who took over the business two years ago, said his firm had not been expelled, but had not renewed the £140-a-year membership.

The Property Ombudsman had found the firm had not registered the tenants' deposit, failing to complete a proper check-out process and failing to provide an appropriate form of tenancy agreement.

The action followed an allegation the company refused to pay £500 compensation to a disaffected tenant.

The Herald Express has been unable to contact Mr Rosendale about the closure of the business.

Read more from Torquay Herald Express

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  • stoney1980  |  July 08 2011, 3:36PM

    as a current tennent of this rip off merchant i did question him and whent to torbay council for help when i realised m y deposit hadnt been put into the dps and was told by both these people ''not to worry'' i gave notice 4 weeks ago and now me and my 4 children have lost our deposit because this rat has dissapeared. no one listened to me when i asked for help with this firm over a year ago !!!

  • stevenjones69  |  June 14 2011, 8:44PM

    we have a property with this company and was dealt with very fair and recieved everything that we were suppose to shame as we were very pleased with the way they conducted their businesss and maybe the blame should point towards government high taxes and business rates that has put this person out of business

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  • Grantwood  |  June 14 2011, 11:43AM

    I have little sympathy for Buy-to-Let landlords who probably created at least half the house price inflation of the past 15 years by scooping up most of the low cost first time buyer houses/flats. Not, of course, their fault for taking advantage of lax regulation in the rental market and good tax breaks for the already well-endowed.

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  • Sasha874  |  June 14 2011, 11:13AM

    Come on - they have been thrown out of the Property Ombudsman scheme for not dealing with deposits properly do you think these landlords and tenants would be treated any different. I feel sorry for all the people they have ripped off, Mr Rosendales partner is in prison for making her child ill and claiming over £100k in benefits do you think they have any conscience to ripping off other people. Again I feel sorry for the people they have ripped off. Good to see them closed down but should have been shut down a long time ago

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  • Tom_Tucker  |  June 14 2011, 10:19AM
  • Tom_Tucker  |  June 14 2011, 10:17AM

    Hang on a minute. I thought letting agents put deposits into a special scheme and they have nothing to do with the money. You get a special number and you can veiw your deposit online whenever you want. Oh well, you deal with a shoddy company and what do you expect. lol

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