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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Mum's Ulverston house scam warning

ROGUE letting agents are allegedly operating in South Cumbria.

The Evening Mail has received complaints relating to a house owned by property tycoon Brendan Kiely.

One customer, Michelle Bentley, was told she could secure a property in Steel Street, Ulverston, for £200, only to find out at the last minute that the move had collapsed.

The single mum from Barrow said she wanted to warn others about the property after seeing it re-advertised with a new company, Hometrader Group Plc, that is registered to the same Middleton address as the one she dealt with, Bentley Residential Letting Ltd.

Ms Bentley said: “I handed in my notice on my house, pulled my boy out of school and moved him to Ulverston.”

But despite being told in April 2011 that they could move in on May 27, when Ms Bentley rang the day before to confirm the arrangements she was told the deal had not gone ahead.

She said: “I am still trying to get my money back but they have changed the phone number.

“To come back a year later and start it all over again, they must have got away with it. I am really worried people are going to get conned.”

Similar complaints have been made about Mr Kiely’s companies in the past, with BBC Watchdog investigating Bentley Residential Letting, which has since gone into liquidation, earlier this year.

Natalia Wirkus, of Dalton, lived at the same Steel Street property for seven months in 2010.

She said during their tenancy the company they dealt with changed from Bentley Residential Letting, but the people involved remained the same.

She said: “On the second day we realised there was water coming through the roof.

“We used to stay up in the night when it rained to empty the buckets.”

She said the landlord ignored their complaints about a leaky roof and then when they finally got a contractor in failed to pay him.

In a letter to the Evening Mail, Brendan Kiely strongly refuted the allegations.

He said: “As a company we strongly feel that all of our tenants are treated fairly and professionally and we endeavour to provide a high level of service during the period of their tenancy.

“I can assure you that our records show we have not received any complaints about our property on Steel Street in Ulverston and are certainly not aware of any failing to look after our tenants.

“At no point has money been taken unfairly and with specific regards to Steel Street in Ulverston, we have not taken any money from anyone in over three months for this property.

“There has not been any work carried out by ourselves or anyone acting on our behalf that needs to be paid.

“I can assure you on the occasions that we do engage workers to carry out repair works to any of our properties we pay for the completed work upon receipt of the worker’s invoice.”

Mr Kiely said the problems with the property stem from damage to the roof that has not been adequately repaired.

But he added that he suspects the problems with Ms Bentley’s application were the result of the property being uninhabitable and said if that is the case she will be entitled to her money back.

He said he is looking into the matter.

Have your say

they are trading now asking £20,000 to buy houses for resale and you earn 20% and more nearle invested thankyou

Posted by eddie on 14 July 2013 at 11:44

This company requested £1000 as a retainer for a commercial property we were planning to purchase and then they withdrew from the sale the day before we were due to exchange contracts. After numerous telephone calls and emails we have not had a refund and have now had to resort to making a claim through the Small Claims Court.

Posted by Dennis Wright on 2 July 2013 at 11:18

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