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Estate agent banned after spending tenant deposits and rent on business costs

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  • 11/02/2020
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Estate agent banned after spending tenant deposits and rent on business costs
An estate agent who spent thousands of pounds of tenant deposits and rent on general business costs has been barred from managing companies for five years.

 

Jane Russell’s Ipswich-based letting and sales agency crashed into administration in 2018.

Investigators from the Insolvency Service later found the property boss had failed to adhere to legislation that requires tenant deposits be safeguarded in a recognised scheme.

There was no record of 11 tenants’ deposits totalling £12,000, which had been received between March and August 2018, while deposits worth £20,000 received between April 2017 and August 2018 had not been paid into a protection scheme.

Furthermore, more than £7,000 of rent take from tenants between March and August 2018 had not been paid over to landlords.

Tenants and landlords suffered a total of £28,000 in losses, with the money squandered on running Russell’s business.

Russell’s five year ban prevents her from acting as a director or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Rob Sheils, senior investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “A fundamental part of Jane Russell’s role was being responsible for safeguarding money on behalf of her tenants and landlords, something she failed to do prior to the company falling into liquidation.

“This disqualification should serve as a deterrent to other directors who safeguard money from doing likewise.”

 

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