Actor who played conman tells how he was ripped off by agents
Thursday 16th May 2013
Actor Nigel Havers – who ironically rented his property while playing a conman in Coronation Street – told how he was ripped off by a rogue letting agent who vanished without trace. Havers spoke of his case on last night’s Watchdog programme.
He is the most high-profile victim of an unregulated agent who has allegedly run off with a member of the public’s money. Havers said he paid six months’ rent in advance – but apparently not a deposit requiring protection – to Manchester agents Medlock Apartments, run by brothers Umer and Adnan Ali.
Five months into his tenancy he had to leave because he was told the apartment was being sold. He then found he was unable to get a refund for the final month’s rent of £1,300. “Just like my money, Medlock Apartments had disappeared,” he said. Havers took the firm to court and won an order for payment. However, he is still out of pocket and has been unable to contact the Ali brothers, although he has been told that one of them is in America.
Havers said that his experience made him realise that the lettings industry is unregulated, with anyone being able to set up as a letting agent without experience or qualifications. He also found that membership of a redress scheme is – for the time being – purely voluntary.
He said that the Government had not yet announced when a law compelling letting agents to belong to an ombudsman scheme is to come in. However, he argued that just belonging to a redress scheme will not solve all problems. Havers also went on to criticise letting agents for imposing high service fees. He said that while they were allowed to make “reasonable” charges, the law failed to define the word.
Source: Letting Agent Today.
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