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Lettings boss hit with ban after failing to protect deposits

Thursday 16 January 2020

A lettings management director from Exeter has been disqualified for six years after failing to safeguard more than £68,000 worth of tenants’ deposits.

Kelly Louise Forrester, director of Clear Lettings Limited, better known as Clear Property, was found from June 2016 through to April 2019 to have caused Clear Lettings failure to comply with its statutory obligations to properly safeguard their tenants’ deposits.

In accordance with the Housing Act 2004, Clear Property operated a custodial deposit scheme and would safely hold onto tenant’s deposits on behalf of their landlords.

Forrester caused the company to collect tenants’ deposits connected to at least 54 properties but did not pay them into the Government-backed custodial deposit scheme. Instead, the £68,000 was spent on the general running of the company.

The misconduct was uncovered after Clear Lettings entered into liquidation proceedings in April 2019 and the Insolvency Service conducted investigations into the activities of Kelly Forrester while director of the real estate agency.

On 24 December 2019, the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Kelly Forrester after she did not dispute that she had caused Clear Lettings failure.

Effective from 14 January 2020, Kelly Forrester is banned for six years from acting as a director or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Dave Elliott, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Kelly Forrester failed to safeguard the deposits she was entrusted to hold onto, resulting in losses to both landlords and tenants.

“Her conduct fell short of what is required of a director of a limited liability company and her disqualification will act as a deterrent to others from similar conduct in the future.”

PROPERTYMARK RESOURCES

For more information on Client Money Protection (CMP) visit the ARLA Propertymark website. 

ARLA Propertymark has a range of resources available to members in order to arm them with knowledge and help them comply. Log in to the members area below to access the suite of information.

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