Edinburgh landlords left thousands of pounds out of pocket as letting agent goes bust

Landlords have been left in the lurch after the letting agent announced it was calling in the liquidators.
Landlords have been left in the lurch after the letting agent announced it was calling in the liquidators.
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A FAILED letting agent has gone bust leaving Capital landlords thousands of pounds out of pocket, the Evening News can reveal.

Liquidators have been called in to Slateford-based CMC Property Management, owned by former Edinburgh City director Colin Campbell.

The doomed firm is understood to have failed to pass on tenants’ January rents to landlords before folding.

One landlady, owed about £4,000, told the Evening News: “I’m absolutely furious – it’s a feeling of being conned.”

Rents had failed to appear in her bank account as normal in January and she failed to reach anyone in repeated phone calls.

So the landlady, with several properties on CMC’s books, drove to the firm’s offices to find them closed owing to “staff training”, according to a note on the door.

But a few days later, the 56-year-old was advised Glasgow-based WRI Associates had been appointed liquidators.

“I was in shock at first,” she said. “The liquidators have told me there’s not enough money in the client account to pay all the landlords.”

Angry creditors are now expected to flock to a meeting with liquidators on Wednesday to find out how much money, if any, they can expect to claw back.

The total amount of money owed by CMC in unclear but the firm is thought to have had close to 100 properties on its books in Edinburgh and elsewhere in Scotland.

The firm’s last accounts lodged with Companies House show the amount owed to creditors within a year for 2017 of more than £260,000.

Mr Campbell stepped down from Edinburgh City’s board last year but the League Two promotion-chasing club still bears his company’s logo on their shirts as a sponsor.

Leith-based letting agent Clan Gordon has taken on three of CMC’s landlords with more than ten properties across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Co-owner Jonathan Gordon said: “When we started ten years ago we came into an unregulated market.”

Mr Gordon said the number of letting agents in Edinburgh has doubled in the last decade but more recently some smaller operators have been scared off by regulation and selling up.

He added: “The Scottish Government brought in a letting agent code of practice and registration last year which means agents need to train their staff and protect landlords’ 
money.”

“It’s a really welcome move and we fully support it and landlords need to make sure their letting agents are registered.”

The CMC website has been taken down and Mr Campbell was unavailable for comment yesterday.

andy.shipley@edinburghnews.com