A leading estate agent on the island of Guernsey has gone into liquidation three years after it merged with a rival.
Sarnia Estate Agents’ swish café-style branch in the island’s capital St Peter Port is reported to have closed last week and, says ITV, customers including landlords and tenants say they have been left in the dark after staff stopped answering phone calls.
Thirty tenants and landlords have complained to police about the company, worried that they will not got their deposits back, and the island’s Economic Crime Division has said it has not ruled out a criminal investigation.
“The ECD are not discouraging individuals from making contact with us and we would be pleased to speak to any member of the public who would seek our advice,” an ECD spokesperson told local media.
“Indications are such that the company has been listed for strike off by the Guernsey Registry. However at this time the ECD are unaware of any public statements having been made by Sarnia Estate Agency.”
Guernsey estate agency
The Guernsey housing market has been enduring a prolonged downturn recently which a recent poll of local residents found was down to high house prices, a lack of political will, poor transport links and the introduction of new population laws that have restricted the number of non-local workers able to live on the island.
“Sales have been about half of their pre-2010 average,” says local resident and businessman Zef Eisenberg.
Sarnia’s problem follows a spate of mergers and closures in 2015 when several agents disappeared including Property Link, Inspired and Goldridge, plus a merger of Sarnia and Wiltshire Property.