Property management firm ARPM collapsed despite receiving a Covid loan from the government of £245,000.
The firm’s accounts for the year ending 31st May 2020 reveal the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme loan, which its documentation says was due to be paid back within between two and five years.
ARPM’s accounts compiled by Barnet firm the BBK Partnership also reveal its already worsening financial position, with monies owed to creditors to be paid back within a year rising from £50,482 to £266,239.
Overall money owed to debtors doubled between 2019 and 2020 to £426,253, suggesting the company’s finances were already heading in the wrong direction at least a year before it ceased trading.
Nevertheless, disbelief within the industry at the firm’s sudden demise owing £1.4 million and the radio silence from its founder Simon Duce are growing. Its website has now also been taken down with no holding message for creditors, as is the custom.
As well as the 70+ agents ‘left in the lurch’ by the collapse many of whom are now being helped by ARPM’s property software supplier TBL, agents have taken to social media to ask that people also think of the staff and suppliers caught up in the firm’s demise.
The Negotiator understands after talking to several agents involved that salary payments to many of ARPM’s account managing staff had been missed several weeks before rumours of problems at the company began circulating.
Its statement of affairs shows ARPM staff are collectively owed some £36,000 in back-pay, which they will be first in line to collect from the liquidators but are also owed a further £86,000 in ‘unsecured claims’.
Also, investors who put at least £260,000 into the firm via investment platform Funding Circle will also have to wait to find out if they will receive any cash following the firm’s voluntary liquidation.
CBILS loans under £250,000 were very popular during the pandemic because they come with no personal risk for company directors – only those over that amount can be clawed back, and even then only 20% of the outstanding amount.