Tenants' deposits stolen by agent

Posted: 29/1/2017

Where there is a will there is a way and none so more when it comes to crime. Julie Fielden worked for a Suffolk agent, Smith Gore and as part of her job she administered tenancy deposits. She was supposed to protect all of them, as required by law, in a government approved scheme. At Key One, we send all our deposits to theDPS/LPS(NI) custodial scheme. That saves our landlords potential automatic fines of around £1800 on average. Fielden however stole some of the cash deposits over a number of years. £16,000 to be exact. It was only when nationwide agent Savills took over Smith Gore and made Fielding redundant did the crime come to light. Fielding pleaded guilty in court and is awaiting sentencing. As a landlord you can protect yourself by asking your agent for proof of deposit protection; as a tenant you should receive your protection confirmation from whichever scheme your agent uses within a a few weeks of your tenancy starting. If not check with your agent.

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