MP calls on police to act over deposits missing from collapsed agency

A local newspaper is reporting anger after £30,000 worth of tenancy deposit money allegedly went missing from an agency.

Jonathan Waters Estate Agents, in Ipswich, is said to have left customers out of pocket after it went into administration last year with the loss of 17 jobs.

Pauline Scott Property Management, which took over managing properties after Jonathan Waters Estate Agents was voluntarily wound up last August, confirmed deposits were missing.

The firm has also said that tenants’ deposits were not paid into authorised protection schemes.

A spokesperson for Pauline Scott Property Management said: “It’s been a total shambles – there were boxes and boxes of paperwork.”

The owner of the Jonathan Waters business, Jane Russell, has not responded to requests for comment, says the Ipswich Star.

Ipswich MP Sandy Martin is aware of the complaints and is calling on the police to take action. He is also considering asking Home Secretary Sajid Javid to give greater powers to Action Fraud.

Jonathan Waters Estate Agents was started by Jonathan Waters in 2002, and was built up into what was at one stage a six-branch business with a high PR profile. He resigned in 2014 when Jane Russell became owner and has had nothing to do with the business since.

A statement of affairs filed last September reported that the company owed over £552,000.

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/ipswich-tenants-deposits-missing-liquidated-jonathan-waters-estate-agents-1-6050969

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5 Comments

  1. Will2

    It should not require an MP to have to be involved to request the Police do their job.  They should do it anyway!

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    1. Dom_P

      It’s probably the usual scenario. Fraud is a notoriously complex area of law, and proving beyond reasonable doubt that an offence has been committed will be an absolute necessity.

       

      The article states there were boxes and boxes of paperwork which presumably will need to be manually reviewed and investigated, so my guess here is that as always, its a nice point scoring exercise with the voters to make out that the police haven’t done anything as they are busy investigating and ensuring the culprits are brought to justice, it may just not appear that way as investigations are not conducted in the public eye.

       

      Good job the government haven’t made so many cuts to the police service…

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  2. DASH94

    I had the same 2 years ago – couldn’t get the police, the papers or TPO remotely interested when a local agent did this

     

    All the landlords involved had to stump up the deposit money themselves (far in excess of the amount in this article) or face fines themselves,   To add insult to injury none have been able to claim any deposit money back at the end of tenancies either as the deposits weren’t correctly lodged initially

     

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    1. Will2

      Sounds like a case for self administered retribution?

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  3. Oliver Wharmby

    Comes as no surprise. Trading standards have no resource and police do not treat client money misappropriation as a priority, especially if insurers are there to payout.

    This type of article is already very common in trade and nation press and there is Plenty more of the same to come with fee ban and more legislation hitting PRS.

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