Landlords and letting agents hit by the collapse of Ash Residential Property Management Limited (ARPM) have been left struggling to claw back deposits and fees after it ceased trading last month with debts of almost £1.5m.

At least 8,000 properties and their landlords are affected and some 160 agents have been left in the lurch, with one reported to be owed £300,000 by the failed firm.

ARPM offered several services from rent and deposit collection for landlords and agents right up to a full out-sourced service for agents including property management, taking its fees and then passing the remainder to the agent each month. ARPM is registered with both Client Money Protect and mydeposits, covering landlords against lost rent and tenants against lost deposits, but the set-up did not cover agents against fees owed by ARPM. As a result, they will have to join the creditors’ queue or make a claim to ARPM’s PI insurance provider. ARPM founder Simon Duce is currently uncontactable.

Coming clean

Many agents didn’t tell their landlords that they’d outsourced some or all of their tenancy operations and are now having to come clean, while mydeposits is also sending out letters to agents, landlords and tenants setting out the steps they need to take. However, while landlords can claim the money back if they can prove they didn’t receive any rent, those responsible agents who covered missing rent won’t be able to and instead will have to try and find another route for redress.

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Eddie Hooker, CEO of both mydeposits and Client Money Protect, says it is working hard with all interested parties to ensure that as many landlords, tenants and other third parties are financially compensated by this awful situation. He adds: “However, there are many legal complexities to this case which will need detailed investigation by various authorities, and we are working these through with the government, insurers and other regulatory bodies. We will be contacting the affected parties over the coming days and weeks.”

9 COMMENTS

  1. Some things don’t change like the Agent I used in Croydon all those years ago. A subsidiary of the Mother Company that went bust for £1.8m so makes £1.5m small bear by comparison taking inflation into account. I was left well out of pocket as were other LL’s & Tenants alike. I went to their Branch in Earlsfield where a group of Tenants & LL’s had gathered outside looking for their money back, the main door was partly open on the chain & a woman telling them it was in liquidation. I knew the game was up and my dishonoured cheques no use. To shorten the story no one got money back and the guy handling the liquidation charged £12k fees, + £4K left went into the Residuary Body in Birmingham (Gov’ black hole). They did own the Office and should have sold it to pay creditors, that didn’t happen either, had used our money also for Development work and hadn’t operated a separate
    Clients Account either.

  2. When will LL learn.

    Never allow a deposit to be held by anyone other than yourself.

    Use mydeposits insurance scheme.

    Only ever allow rent to be paid to LL.

    Pay LA on a monthly invoice.

    So simple as this way the LL is in total control.

    If LA don’t like this don’t use them.

    It is very easy for a LL to check with online banking that rents have been received.

    LL who use LA are just asking to be ripped off.

    Remember a LL is still responsible for EVERYTHING!

    Just because a LL chooses to use an agent the LL cannot abrogate their responsibilities.

    The buck ultimately STOPS with the LL.

    If the LL appointed LA DOESN’T perform then that is down to the LL.

    Which is why I refuse to use a LA as none of them are prepared to accept my conditions for using them.

    They ESPECIALLY don’t like the concept of rent being paid directly to me.

    No way would I ever allow rent to be paid to a LA.

    I’m perfectly capable of paying a monthly invoice for any relevant management charges.

    I also hold deposits as required with mydeposits insurance scheme.

    You simply CANNOT beat the security of deposits being held by the LL along with rents being paid directly to the LL.

    It seems most LA object to such a concept which IS why I have saved over £100000 in LA charges over 12 years with 5 properties.

    LA will find that even more LL terminate contracts with them.

    LA simply cannot be trusted.

  3. Hey Paul, judging by your requirements I’m not surprised no LAs want to deal with you. Nice to have the time to do all the things that are needed to let a property these days, I hope you are fully insured and properly registered with a deposit scheme, serve your PI and paperwork in the correct order along with the gas, elec, epc and other paperwork. Don’t forget your Data Protection registration too if you hold any tenants information too. I have used a local reputable LA for last 14 years and never had a problem.

    • Yep manage all that.
      Really not difficult.

      Saved myself tens of thousands of pounds over 12 years.

      Indeed LA fees would have rendered my business model unviable at the outset.

      But still nothing is going to prevent me selling up.
      CAN’T wait NOT to be an AST LL.

      Lodger LL; FHL, SA far more preferable.
      Virtually none of the stuff that AST Lettings requires.
      The best one being no dysfunctional eviction process.
      1 month Notice to Leave.
      Lodger refuses to go I escort them out of the door.
      AST lettings a bankrupt business model mostly thanks to ridiculous anti-LL policies.

      I’ve already got about 12 people wanting to let.
      Little do they know I’m selling up!!

      Had some naive investor believe that evictions only take 6 months!!

      These are the sort of idiots thay are becoming new LL.

      Fool and his money and all THAT!!!

      LA will find their income rapidly reduces as LL sell up or turn to self-management.

    • It really isn’t hard though I will admit it is soooo boring.
      Can you imagine 4 tenants at the same property with all the relevant paperwork with a copy of each for me?
      All signed.

      So 8 lots about 3 inches high

      Readily admit sometimes lost the will to live.

      But still cheaper than a LA.

  4. Landlords are constantly being told that they should use a “Professional” letting agent. All the letting agents that I have dealt with bar one have been unprofessional, always taking the easy option out and landing me with unnecessary costs and aggravation. Since managing my portfolio myself everything has been run very well and efficiently, maintenance dealt with promptly and economically, money safe and tenants happier. Managing your own properties is not difficult.

    • Agree my occupants much prefer dealing with me.

      I have an excellent reputation.

      Even had some come to me because of useless LA.

      Indeed little does a LA know I am going to shut a LL flat down due to defective gas boiler installation.
      This LA has bern told what the problem is.

      They have just shrugged their shoulders not intending to do anything about the issue.

      They will when I involve the HSE and Gassafe!!
      Bloody useless and criminally negligent LA

      PM Estates of BS.
      Will receive a wake up call because of their incompetence!!!

  5. Well said to all as in full agreement – only ever entrust yourself, possibly loved/close ones who you trust impeccably.

    It is your hard earned so keep as much as possible, coupled with never entrusting likes if CP12 to anyone else, even if their add has all the bells, whistles and even more, never in my eyes, especially if you can do yourself.

    You get em Mr Barrett, you’re definitely on same page as me/us, as we’ve reported LA also, it was such sheer delight in informing them their standards are/were utterly 💩, lol.

  6. I would never trust ARPM or anyone ever associated with them. Some former employees started a new company with the same MO. The company is called Branded Bricks and I’m of no doubt that they will be just as hopeless and people will eventually lose their money.

    Anyone paying attention would have realised how utterly incompetent ARPM were. Gas Safety Certs left out of date for months, properties not emptied on tenants leaving, fire safety not checked on check-in, all things that will lose landlords money.

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