A two branch estate agency in the West Midlands has unexpectedly shut up shop leaving tenants, landlords and maintenance firms owed ‘tens of thousands’ of pounds.
Holmes the Property People which has branches in Wolverhampton and Kingswinford, one of the city’s suburban commuter towns, has been fending off increasingly desperate enquiries for several months from worried clients after deposits, rental income and money owed to a local maintenance firm went missing.
The business, which used to be known as Eazy Lets, is thought to have been trading for at least four years and describes itself as a family-run “reputable company” with a “wealth of experience”.
The firm’s website is still live and lists seven properties for sale and 11 homes to rent but has no listings on Rightmove or Zoopla, despite claiming to market properties via the two portals.
A company registered at the address of its Kingswinford branch, MovingHolmes Ltd, has been in trouble for some time having initially been struck off the Companies House register in 2017 and then restored before again having a strike-off order made against it last year, which was discontinued.
Its two branches have now closed without warning leaving dozens of clients and suppliers in the dark.
This includes a tenant owed an unreturned deposit of £900, a landlord who is owed back-rent of £4,032, another tenant owed a £1,050 deposit and a supplier who told local media that he’s chasing unpaid invoices totalling £4,100 and is currently taking legal action against the company.
Holmes The Property People operated both sales and lettings business models which are proving the hardest to make money from at the moment. It charges a flat fee of £750 including VAT to sell a property and a 5% management fee to landlords.