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.