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Letting agency faces strike off after failing landlord clients

tribunal belvoir

Scottish ministers could decide to strike letting agent Belvoir Perth from the coungtry's letting register after it ignored a tribunal order to pay out compensation.

The company was told to pay Keith and Kerry Legg nearly £2,000 after admitting it had failed to carry out safety checks and routine inspections on the couple’s Guildtown home while they worked overseas.

However, Belvoir Perth also failed to pay the Leggs on time and it has now been referred to the Scottish Government, reports The Courier.

A government spokesman told the paper that failure to comply with a letting agent enforcement order was a criminal offence and the agency may be reported to Police Scotland. Ministers then re-assess whether a letting agent is still a fit and proper person.

Too late

Belvoir Perth did not respond to The Courier’s requests for comment, although the couple report that the money has since been paid. However, Keith said the gesture was too little too late. “Their mismanagement has cost us a significant amount of money, not to mention a huge amount of stress,” he added.

The problems came to light last summer after the Leggs’ tenant gave them notice. It emerged Belvoir Perth had missed a routine inspection and gas safety inspection but after the firm failed to pay compensation, the Leggs took their case to the Housing and Property Chamber First Tier Tribunal in August. It awarded the couple £1,899 compensation and told Belvoir Perth to carry out training.

The payment didn’t arrive and, at the end of November, the tribunal issued a failure to comply notice. In the meantime, the couple have had no tenants – or rent.

“The fact they didn’t engage with the process, despite knowing what the outcome could be, shows at best sheer repeated incompetence and at worst a complete disregard for the legal process, their landlords and tenants,” said Keith.

Belvoir statement

The company's HQ says: “In this case, we acknowledge that there was a breakdown in communication between the Perth office and its landlord client, based abroad, and that normal procedures were subsequently affected.

"There have been significant changes made to both the management and running of Belvoir Perth in recent months and we are confident that the improvements made will restore the highest standards of professional service expected of us.”