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Good news for some of Sarnia's customers

Good news for some of Sarnia's customers

Thursday 20 September 2018

Good news for some of Sarnia's customers

Thursday 20 September 2018


Some money will be repaid to landlords who put their property in the hands of Sarnia Estate Agency to manage for them before the company filed for voluntary liquidation last month.

The liquidators said there are funds available which will be released to landlords under the company's terms - but any tenants who believe they are owed money by Sarnia will have to liaise with their landlords directly as per their contracts.

Grant Thornton was appointed Liquidators for Sarnia Estate Agency when it went into voluntary liquidation on 28 August 2018.

Now, the company said it is "pleased to advise that there has been established a designated fund available to repay the current estimate of deposits held on behalf of landlords under the agency agreements" but it also warns there may not be any money left for other creditors.

Jamie Toynton, joint liquidator, said: “these funds are specifically held for the repayment of deposits not yet paid over by Sarnia to landlords under the terms of managed property agreements, or for the few individuals who so unfortunately had paid over funds for deposit and advance rent at the time of the liquidation but their tenancy was not subsequently agreed.”

The landlords can't claim their money back yet though, as the funds will be paid out once the liquidators have "confirmed the total amount available is sufficient to pay the amounts owed in full."

Time is of the essence for landlords wanting to put in a claim though with a deadline of Monday 15 October.

Grant Thornton said "anyone wishing to make a claim should do so by submitting a claim form to the Liquidators. Any claim received after 15 October 2018 may not be accepted and may not be able to participate in a distribution from the Deposit Fund."

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Pictured: The notice was published in La Gazette Officielle.

Tenants are being dealt with separately to their landlords with the liquidators saying they have to deal with each other directly. 

"Tenants who dealt with the Company should note that their tenancy agreement is between the tenant and the landlord, and not with the Company. Therefore any claims tenants may have in relation to their tenancy should be made directly to the landlord or any new agent the landlord may have appointed. In due course as tenants reach the end of their tenancy, provided the terms of the tenancy agreements have been met, they may claim any refund from the landlords."

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Pictured: Express broke the story of Sarnia's collapse last month. 

Last month Express reported how Sarnia suddenly stopped returning customers calls, with some worried about money they had paid to the firm in the form of deposits and rent.

Lottie Barnes said she was unable to contact Sarnia Estate Agents - which had only recently moved out of its High Street offices - over the previous few weeks, including the day she was meant to be getting the keys to her new home.

Instead she told Express she could have been left homeless as she was meant to be moving out of her current home, and would have found herself with no where to go.

Ms Barnes said she had paid Sarnia Estate Agents just under £2,000 in total which included a deposit, a month's rent upfront and a third payment, to secure the rental of a studio apartment for herself to move in to. She said she had asked Sarnia to confirm receipt of her second payment some weeks prior but was told they could not confirm her payment at the time as the estate agents was in the process of moving office.

Ms Barnes said she tried again to get hold of them ahead of the morning she was due to move, so she could arrange to get her keys to her new home but she was unable to do so. She asked another estate agent to help her out and said they were able to track down the landlord who confirmed he had not received her deposit or first month's rent and she will have to make another payment to secure the flat. 

Ms Barnes current landlord said she could stay at her existing home until she had time to make arrangements to move on but she now needed to find the money to pay her rent there too.

"I cannot afford to lose £2,000," she said this morning. "I'm hoping by going public more people will come forward, or they will reply to me. How is this not public knowledge? There must be more people affected than just me."

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Pictured: Sarnia's been listed for strike off by the Guernsey Registry.

Soon after tenants started raising concerns about their missing money, the scale of the situation with Sarnia Estate Agency became clearer with the company listed for strike off on the Guernsey Resgistry, before filing for voluntary liquidation.  

 

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