A letting agency in the Midlands has gone into voluntary liquidation today owing landlords and tenants at least £700,000 in unprotected deposits and rent payments.
The circumstance surrounding the collapse of Agent Homepoint Estate Agents Ltd in Walsall, which until recently has been trading as HomePoint, is one of the largest client money protection cases so far this year.
It highlights how it is essential that landlords use agents who are registered with an approved client protection scheme, as agents have been required to by law since 1st April 2019.
HomePoint had already placed other rental deposits within one of the three government-approved deposit protection schemes, so these deposits are automatically protected.
And its membership of Client Money Protect means landlords and tenants can now make claims to recoup the unprotected rental deposits and rent payments.
“This case illustrates vividly why landlords need to be up to speed on the recently-introduced client money protection rules for agents – using an agent who has not registered with one of the services means not only are they operating illegally but any cash you hand over to them is at risk if they go bust,” says Kate Mutter-Bowen of Client Money Protect (pictured).
If you are one of the landlords affected then visit the Client Money Protect claim online, download the claim form or contact the scheme on 0333 321 9414.
In Scotland it became mandatory from 31st January 2018 and in Wales from 23rd November 2015 for agents to be signed up to a CMP scheme.
Homepoint Creditors have until 11th of May to lodge their claims with its liquidator, Mustafa Abdulali of Moore UK.