Letting agent goes bust over missing £500,000

The director of a letting agency that went bust owing almost £600,000 in missing tenancy deposits and rents has agreed not to run a business until 2025.

Peter Leonard, 58, had been a director of Direct Residential Lettings Limited in Hove, West Sussex, since 2007.

An investigation by the Insolvency Service revealed that Leonard had failed to protect deposits handed over by tenants and kept rent paid to pass on to landlords since April 2007.

He also admitted submitting false accounts to the National Approved Letting Scheme.

The company belonged to the scheme that offers trade regulation of letting agents, including client money protection assurances.

The Insolvency Service discovered that £577,865 paid by tenants was missing and that just over £500,000 paid out of the company’s bank account between October 2012 and May 2013 was unaccounted for.

The company went into liquidation in September 2013.

Ex-cop jailed for mortgage fraud

Conman and former policeman Glyn Keatley, 56, was jailed for three years at York Crown Court after admitting 10 fraud charges relating to taking money from homeowners seeking mortgages.

Keatley promised to value their properties and arrange mortgages, but never carried out a valuation.

He conned his victims out of £31,577 and no money has been repaid.

The court heard Keatley, who lives in York,​ was also convicted of similar offences in the United States.