Landlords were again reminded last week to be careful who they choose to manage their property when a Letting Agent specialising in housing benefit lost £400,000 of rent paid to them on behalf of their tenants.

London Housing Solutions (LHS)  based in Essex are thought to owe money to over 100 landlords, some dating back as far as July last year, a Channel 4 News investigation has revealed.

As managing agents, LHS have been paid the money in rent on behalf of tenants by several councils across London & the south east. The money should have been paid to the landlords minus their management fee, however, nearly half a million pounds cannot be accounted for, and LHS now appears to have closed down leaving tenants worried about losing their homes.

As Licensed ARLA Letting Agents, GO Property Services today urge landlords to be careful who they retain to manage their properties. Jonathan Detheridge from GO Property Services commented “Anyone can start up a Letting Agency tomorrow without any training or qualification. This case highlights the need for councils to check that the right person is ultimately getting the money they are paying out, and, it sends out a clear message that landlords should be using Licensed Agents that have client money protection insurance in place.”

Giles Peaker, a partner in the housing and public law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in London, said there was "nothing at all" to stop companies disappearing with hundreds of thousands of pounds of housing benefits. "It's simple to set up and one of these companies can simply go bust and the money vanishes," he said. "There's no way to get that money back without great difficulty."

As an ARLA licensed agent, GO Property Services are required to have passed the ARLA Technical Award & have to file an annual financial report that has to be completed by an accountancy firm that is a member of the ICAEW or ACCA.  

Find out more about this story here.

GO Property Services Ltd sell, let & manage property across Nottinghamshire. The company is independent & in 2013 celebrated our 10 year anniversary. We are licensed by ARLA & the NAEA, and offer a high quality service that is competitively priced.


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