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Letting agent directors banned for 12 years 13 December 2013

The directors of a Kent-based letting agency have been disqualified for failing to secure and pass on tenants deposits as required by law.

Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, Joseph Newman and Kerry Sebestyen, of Joseph Richards Limited, have been disqualified for seven and five years respectively.

The letting agency, which collected deposits and rents on behalf of landlords, ceased trading in April 2012, with debts to creditors of over £400,000, of which more than £100,000 was owed to tenants and landlords for deposits.

In their undertakings both Newman and Sebestyen admitted to having failed to deal with a number of deposits, 92 worth £119,778 and 28 totalling £32,238, respectively.

This included failing to protect the despots as required by the laws regulating letting agents, having instead used the money as part of the company’s general funds.

David Brooks, a chief examiner with the Insolvency Service, said: “The undertakings signed by Mr Newman and Ms Sebestyen send a clear message to other company directors: The Housing Act 2004 places those who receive tenancy deposits under clear obligations to protect tenants from loss.”



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