Legal fight for firm over rent payment

MBTC-23-10-12- Town & Country Managment.
MBTC-23-10-12- Town & Country Managment.

A lettings agency is braced for a legal fight with The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme over claims it witheld £2,000 in rent money.

Town and Country Lettings, which has offices in Bedford and Ampthill was ordered by TPO to pay £2,243.52 to a landlord but the money was never paid. As a result TPO expelled the company from their scheme.

But Lui La Mura, director of the firm claimed that TPO is acting unfairly.

He said: “We opted out of the TPO scheme earlier this year as we were completely dissatisfied with the way they have conducted themselves in this matter, the first issue we have had cause to involve them with in all our years of being members.

“We can prove that the tenant defaulted severely on the rent an had a terrible history of payment. We have shown the TPO proof from our bank of bounced cheques and explained the non-receipt of payment.”

He added: “We feel so strongly about this case that we wrote to the TPO to confirm that we are willing to proceed legally on the matter in the civil court. Why should we pay the rent to the landlord when it has not been received? It is our intention to seek further legal advice.”

Gerry Fitzjohn, chief operating officer of TPO, said: “The DSC took the view that these were flagrant breaches of the code and that the firm was no longer fit to have membership. The firm was offered the opportunity to appeal its expulsion, which will last for at least two years, but failed to respond.”