Well-established estate agency goes into liquidation

An estate agency based in Harrogate for the past 14 years ago has gone into liquidation, blaming tough trading conditions during the Covid pandemic.

Hopkinsons Estate Agents, a trading name of Howroyd Estates Limited, went into insolvent liquidation this week.

The Harrogate-based business was founded in 2009 and Jeremy Hopkinson had been the sole director since 2015.

He has applied to continue using the trading name of Hopkinsons Estate Agents and has vowed to continue trading with his existing team.

Hopkinson told the press: “Howroyd Estates Limited has entered voluntary liquidation due to trading difficulties during the pandemic period.

“A deal has been agreed to acquire the business to continue to trade as Hopkinsons Estate Agents.

“There are no staff redundancies and the business will continue to offer its quality services to its existing and new clients.”

Hopkinson was seriously ill with covid in the early days of the pandemic and required a lengthy stay in hospital. He then suffered from long covid for a further 18 months.

According to Holroyd Estates’ most recent accounts, the company had debts of just over £550,000, up from £162,000 in 2018.



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  1. whatdoiknow58

    Yet another closed on Friday re-open on Monday business. As usual HMRC i.e us the tax payers will foot the majority of the written off debt one would assume with a nudge and wink to the unsecured creditors that they will get paid so I don’t get a brick through the window. The rest of the local agents burning up their own cash and paying their bills and tax must be delighted. Time this loophole is closed once and for all.

  2. jeremy1960

    Utterly disgusting that any business can go bust owing thousands yet reopen within days in the same format with same directors! Sticking 2 fingers up at everyone else working hard to survive and pay off the tax debts! This needs to change, happens too often,  we accidentally missed a tax/NI payment and HMRC were down on us, chasing 3 tomes in a week so how can huge debts be allowed to accrue??

    1. Bless You

               Blame purplebricks etc. They are killing an industry and the public is paying for it. 

      1. Bless You

             Agree. Especially if got a lettings portfolio. The temptation is too high. 

      2. jan-byers

        rubbish this company has decided to close and re-open that is f all to do with PB

  3. mattfaizey

    I fail to understand how it is that following running a business into Liquidation individuals aren’t banned from being Directors for 2 years? If they’re immediate track record is one of irresponsibility in business then why should they be allowed to repeat their mistakes without a period of reflection?

    Personally I’d also ensure no previous Director & Shareholder could have more than a 25% stake as shareholder for 2 years too.

  4. Certus

    Perhaps Ropa should address this -if ever implemented. If you act with this level of morality then surely you should not be trusted with somebody’s biggest single asset. Got to be a red flag

  5. Diogenes

    An alternative opinion: We did a phoenix many years ago, owing HMRC a large sum. This was a result of global recession in 2008 together with failings from the previous management team. I hated doing it and we made sure no local suppliers or small businesses suffered – though strictly this was not permitted.

    Our view at the time was that if the business went bust, which was sadly inevitable, HMRC would lose money. You can’t trade when you are knowingly insolvent. We did a phoenix which left that position unchanged, but saved nearly 100 jobs at a time when those employees would have found it difficult to find new roles.  Either way, the debt would exist but the effect on staff would have been immense and the NewCo was able to meet it’s liabilities going forward.

    1. A W

      How many companies who phoenix do you think act with honourable intentions? Call me a pessimist but I doubt it’s a high percentage.

  6. Neil Robinson

    I think the criticism on here is harsh. Pre-pack administrations exist in order to protect people, not stuff them over. As it is, the business can continue, and everyone keeps their jobs as stated in the article.

    The alternative is everyone loses their jobs, which is far worse than HMRC missing out of a few quid.


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