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Tribunal publishes decision in dispute between tenant and agent

A letting agent investigated by the BBC following complaints about the management of a student HMO in Salford (pictured) has lost his appeal against his membership of the industry’s trade association cancelled.

Mishantha Liyanage, whose letting agency Student Haus manages the property in Peel Mount, Salford, had appealed the decision following an initial meeting of Propertymark’s disciplinary panel during December last year.

It found that Liyanage, a now former member of Propertymark, had breached its Code of Conduct several times.

This included a member of his team, who has since left the business, forging one of the HMO tenant’s signature on a waiver form to prove the tenants had been aware of the property’s poor state of repair before they moved in.

Liyanage had his Propertymark membership suspended but appealed the decision and, it has been confirmed, has now lost that appeal although Liyanage has told the BBC he resigned. He will be able to re-apply to join Propertymark after 12 months ‘dependent upon changed and improved practices’.

During the original hearing he was fined £5,000 and told to pay costs totalling £2,218.

Following both a BBC You and Yours investigation and a subsequent Propertymark probe plus an enforcement notice issued by Salford Council, the HMO has been improved and, Liyanage says, is now ‘in very good condition’.

Robusts procedures

He has released a statement saying that Student Haus has now implemented “robust standard operating procedures that must be strictly adhered to by all employees”.

"The decision to cancel my membership due to being  the director of Student-Haus Limited from Propertymark and the associated fines are perceived as inequitable and disproportionately influenced by external factors unrelated to the actual matters at hand.

"Despite these adversities, our dedication to upholding the highest standards in property management is unwavering. We are actively exploring all possible avenues to appeal the decision via the court system and vindicate our standing on this matter It is my hope that this detailed response sheds light on the situation and underscores the diligent efforts we have made to address and rectify the concerns raised.

"As an organisation, we are committed to learning from every experience good or bad. In light of recent events at 11 peel mount , we have implemented robust standard operating procedures that must be strictly adhered to by all employees. These measures are designed to prevent any deviation from established protocols and to ensure the highest standards of operation across Student Haus.

"Finally the current student tenants including [those at] 11 Peel Mount are leaving our properties in five/six weeks' time, and new student tenants will be moving in between July and September. I am hopeful this time we will have a smooth transition.

"With the implementation of new control mechanisms, comprehensive training programs, formal disciplinary actions, and updated procedures, we are dedicated to moving forward and surpassing our tenants' expectations."


A spokesperson for Propertymark says: “Our independent compliance and disciplinary process gathered evidence impartially from all parties involved to empower our Disciplinary Panel to reach its conclusion - with the outcome available on our website.

“We are proud that we were able to bring independent recourse based on the evidence which was provided.”

Pic credit: Student Haus

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