Mystery surrounds the whereabouts of a letting agent who appears not to be in any redress scheme, is being investigated by local trading standards officers, and who allegedly owes landlords thousands of pounds.
The Slough Observer reports that angry landlords in the town are trying to trace Lee Clarke, the director of Berkshire Estates.
A husband-and-wife landlord team are quoted in the piece as saying that they discovered Clarke had not puts deposits into a protection scheme; in addition, Clarke is alleged not to have paid an award made by The Property Ombudsman to the two landlords quoted.
The piece also shows a photograph of a number of local landlords gathered outside Berkshire Estates’ closed office; Clarke has not been seen there since before Christmas.
A spokesman for Slough Borough Council is quoted saying: “We can confirm we are doing everything within our powers to establish the scope of the issue. It is a live investigation and is very complex. We are working with our partners including Thames Valley Police and the Property Ombudsman.”
A statement by Katrine Sporle, the property ombudsman, confirmed that Berkshire Estate Agents had ignored its orders to pay money back to several complainants and had been reported to Slough Trading Standards and the industry regulator NTSEAT.
Slough Council has confirmed that Berkshire Estates is no longer part of any redress scheme.
Letting Agent Today has emailed Berkshire Estates without any response so far.