Devon

Directorship ban for lettings boss over £68k deposits

Clear Property, Exeter Image copyright Google
Image caption Clear Property ceased trading in February 2019

A lettings boss used more than £68,000 worth of tenants' deposits to run her company instead of safeguarding the cash, a government agency says.

Kelly Louise Forrester, 40, who ran Clear Property in Exeter, stopped money for more than 50 properties from being paid into a government-backed scheme, the Insolvency Service said.

The move resulted in losses for landlords and tenants, it added.

She has been disqualified from being a company director for six years.

The company ceased trading in February 2019 and the misconduct was uncovered after it entered into liquidation proceedings that April.

'Deterrent to others'

The Insolvency Service said its investigations found "failure to comply with its statutory obligations from at least June 2016 through to April 2019" in connection with at least 54 properties.

Ms Forrester failed to ensure deposits taken from tenants totalling at least £68,356 were safeguarded by its custodial deposit scheme for landlords and paid into government-backed accounts, as required by the Housing Act 2004, the service said.

She would not be allowed to act as a director, or directly or indirectly become involved, without the permission of the court, "in the promotion, formation or management of a company", it added.

Chief investigator Dave Elliott said Ms Forrester's conduct "fell short of what is required of a director of a limited liability company and her disqualification will act as a deterrent to others from similar conduct in the future".

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