Letting agent closed down following investigation
A letting agent, which traded as Property Express, and its associated
companies have been shut down following an investigation by the
Companies Investigation Branch (CIB) of The Insolvency Service.
West End Property Development (Rentals) Limited ("Rentals") based in
Maidenhead, Berkshire and its four associated companies claimed to
provide a property rental and letting service. However, an investigation into
the company's activities revealed that; the company directors provided
false details about their status as company shareholders; the
registered offices of the company was an area of bare land in West Bromwich, in
the West Midlands; the company had failed to pay taxes, national
insurance contributions and VAT and disputed amounts owed to tenants and
landlords was in excess of in excess of £55,000.
CIB's investigation also revealed that West Property Development and
its associated companies conducted their affairs in a dishonest manner,
seriously lacking in commercial probity. The company failed to honour
its contracts between landlords and tenants; incorrectly charged late
fees for monthly rental payments; either refused to refund deposits in
their entirety or made unwarranted deductions; despite money being
collected from tenants, landlords complained that they had not been paid their
rental income; and two directors failed to cooperate with the
The High Court, Mr Registrar Rawson commented that there was a "clear
cut case in each case and there is no possible answer to the petitions.
The evidence speaks for itself".
1. The petitions to wind up the company in the public interest were
presented to the High Court on 7th September 2006 and the Official
Receiver was appointed provisional liquidator. The petitions were presented
following enquires conducted under Section 447 of the Companies Act 1985,
and Section 124A of the Insolvency Act 1986. All companies were put
into compulsory liquidation when the companies were wound up by the High
Court on the 8th November 2006.
2. West End Property Development (Rentals) Limited ("Rentals") was
associated to four other companies. The registered office of the companies
was 103A High Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1JX. Where a trading
office is different to the registered office, those have been set out
below. The associated companies were:
* West End Property Developments (Holdings) Limited ("Holdings"),
* West End Properties Developments (Overseas) Limited ("Overseas"), and
West End Property Developments (Sales) Limited ("Sales"), First Floor
Offices, 18 Claypit Lane, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B70 9UN.
* Summit Properties Management Services Limited ("Summit"), 35 Firs
Avenue London N11 3NE.
'Rentals' and 'Sales' traded under the name Property Express as letting
and estate agents respectively.
3. Windsor and Eton Trading Standards received 68 complaints concerning
the conduct of West End Property Development (Rentals) Limited
4. The recorded company directors other than for Summit were Mr Abdulla
and Mr Zadran. Ms Vivian Kelsey was a director of 'Summit'. Mr Philip
Elkington-Martin, the former company secretary and Ms Kelsey both failed
to co-operate with the investigation, which included the failure to
provide company records when requested.