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Concerns over ‘safeguarding of tenancy deposits’ as high street agent enters liquidation

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Mon 23 Sep 2019

Concerns over ‘safeguarding of tenancy deposits’ as high street agent enters liquidation

An estate agent has gone into liquidation with concerns about possible missing client money.

According to a local newspaper report, the liquidators of Loc8, in Maghull, Merseyside, are investigating the claims.

The Liverpool Echo says that it has been told by whistleblowers that tenants’ deposits have not been paid into the Deposit Protection Scheme, and that 200 people could be out of pocket.

Administrator Philip Lawrence, from Path Business Recovery, told the Echo: “We can confirm that Path Business Recovery have been instructed to assist with placing the company into creditors’ voluntary liquidation and the business is currently being marketed for sale.

“It would appear that there a number of concerns regarding the safeguarding of landlord rental income and tenancy deposits.

“However, given that we are at a very early stage in our investigations, we are unable to provide further clarification at this stage.”

The article also cites a pair of vendors, Steven Healey and Sophie Muldoon, who were were allegedly offered a cheaper rate if they paid upfront.

They are said to have handed over £1,070 to the agency’s owner Kevin Scott.

Scott himself told the paper that the lettings side of his business had been sold to an un-named buyer “who is taking over the deposits to tenants and the landlords”.

He said that “if tenants go with the new company their deposits will be protected. In terms of those who won’t, it will be in the hands of the liquidators”.

He said he was hopeful that a buyer for the sales part of the business would be found soon.

Google reviews for Loc8 are almost without exception entirely positive.

According to the London Gazette, Loc8 is in creditors’ voluntary liquidation. A meeting of creditors is due to take place on September 30.