Warrington Letting Agent Closes Owing ~
Landlords Thousands Of Pounds
Aspire Lettings based on Padgate Business Park in Warrington, Cheshire have vanished leaving more than 200 landlords without thousands of pounds in rental payments.
Landlords are still waiting to receive rental payments from Aspire Lettings, and they have tried to contact the owner of the company, Becky Westby, on numerous occasions, via telephone and email, but have been unable to get anywhere.
Any landlords using Aspire lettings in Warrington (Company number 09042816) should contact their tenants immediately and stop any further rental payments being made to Becky Westby and Aspire Lettings in Warrington and make alternative arrangements.
Affected landlords are also being encouraged to contact The Property Ombudsman and their local trading standards offices.The Aspire Lettings company website has since been taken down and their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts have not been active since the 22nd of January 2015.
It is believed that landlords are out of pocket for at least 1 month’s rent with some landlords owed in excess of £4,000 (GBP) and many others have already been forced to accept late rent payments in recent months.
It remains unclear at this time whether landlord deposits collected by Ms Westby and Aspire Lettings have been correctly lodged with one of the three Government approved deposit protection schemes, which could leave Cheshire landlords even further out of pocket.
There is a discussion thread on Property Tribes concerning Becky Westby and Aspire Lettings – Click here.
Victims of the Aspire Lettings rip off have formed a Facebook group as it is estimated that as many as two hundred landlords have been affected but this number is yet to be been confirmed. To join the Facebook group set up for Aspire Lettings landlords click here.
It is alleged that Aspire Lettings had previously lied to its landlord clients about delayed rental payments at the end of December 2014, blaming cash flow problems and computer errors for the payment delays.
Cheshire Police have confirmed that they have received a number of calls regarding allegations made against a local lettings company but insist that it is a civil matter. Although if Ms Westby and Aspire Lettings continued to accept rental payments from tenants without passing them on to landlords, it constitutes fraud, which is a criminal offence.
Aspire Lettings in Warrington, Cheshire and Rebecca (Becky) Westby are not linked or associated with any other UK based company trading under the name Aspire.
Landlords should always conduct thorough due diligence on letting agents before entrusting them with their rental property assets and agents should be prepared to provide honest answers to even the most forthright questions from prospective landlords if they truly want their business. Landlords should question if they can really trust a newly formed business with no trading history or value to collect rental payments on their behalf.
Good, honest and decent letting agents separate operational revenue (fees or commission from rent) from clients rent money often holding finances in separate bank accounts, and as an appointed letting agent, they are bound to act in the landlord’s best interests. If landlords have good reason to think that their letting agents are not acting in their best interests or not fulfilling their lettings contract then landlords do have the right to cancel the agent’s contract.
Irresponsible letting’s practitioner’s and rogue landlords give the UK private rented sector (PRS) a bad reputation, however not every landlord and letting agent are out to rip off tenants, there are thousands of great landlords and letting agents operating across the whole of the UK.
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