The Property Ombudsman expels agents in Essex and London

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » The Property Ombudsman expels agents in Essex and London previous nextRegulation & LawThe Property Ombudsman expels agents in Essex and LondonBoth agents refused to pay awards given to landlords and tenants by TPO in shocking cases.18th May 201702,709 Views Two letting agents have been expelled from UK’s largest dispute resolution service The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme following shocking complaints from client tenants and landlords.The agents are London Corporate Apartments Ltd based in Aldgate in London and Letting Solutions Ltd based in Essex.Ombudsman Katrine Sporle (pictured) has revealed details of the two cases, both of which highlight the difficulties of policing agents which either refuse to cooperate with dispute resolution schemes such as TPO or which fail to keep adequate administration or financial records.London agentCricklewood-based London Corporate Apartments (LCA) has one director – Manchester-based Khaled Abed-Alrazek – whose company was reported to TPO over a disputed deposit. The complainant disputed the deductions made from their deposit and complained it had taken a long time for the rest of the deposit to be returned to them. Complaints of a similar nature are to found online about the company, including several damming Google reviews.TPO reviewed the complaint and found that the agent fell short of the standards required of members and instructed LCA to pay an award of £340. This LCA failed to do so and the company has now been expelled from TPO for two years.“Refusing to fully cooperate with a complaint does not make the issue go away,” says Katrine Sporle.“In this case, I had the rental agreement and other information from the complainant but no information from the agent. I therefore decided that the complainant’s version of events should be accepted and the complaint supported. By refusing to pay the award, the agent is now unable to trade and risks a fine from Trading Standards should they try to do so.”Essex agentThe other expelled agent is Essex firm Lettings Solutions Ltd (pictured, right), which at the time of the complaint was based in Witham outside Chelmsford and previously traded as Witham Lettings Ltd.Its one director is Jayne Purdy. Her company was involved in a highly complex case involving three properties. A landlord complained to TPO about Letting Solutions Ltd after discovering that tenants who subsequently disappeared owing rent and leaving behind significantly damaged properties had not been referenced or had proper deposits collected from them by the agent.Other issues included unprotected deposits, and tenancies that were agreed without the landlord’s approval.TPO says the case was hampered by the agent’s poor record keeping and financial accounting, particularly when it came to disputed monies owed by Lettings Solutions to the landlord.“The agent systematically failed to grasp the fundamental legal principle that the landlord should decide who to rent their property to. My investigation found that Lettings Solutions Ltd had failed to follow Code procedures for referencing and documenting tenant applications,” says Katrine Sporle.The agent was instructed to pay an award of £1,423.74 to the landlord, which it then failed to pay. The company has now been expelled from the TPO and will not be able to register for sales or letting redress for two years.Both companies’ websites are live and both are listed as active with Companies House. Lettings Solutions’ website also still claims that the company is a member of TPO.Katrine Sporle Letting Solutions Ltd London Corporate Apartments expelled by TPO May 18, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

The Human Shuttle

first_imgI spend a lot of time towing my kids around. Literally. I fashion a variety of sleds and actually tow my kids around through the forest, snow, water. It started when they were babies and the jogging stroller became my one and only workout. I got to run and my wife got an hour of sanity in the middle of the day. The babies cried, mostly. When they got older, I created a harness system and sled, so I could cross country ski them deep into the High Country during our too infrequent snow storms. During warmer months, it was the bike trailer. All of a sudden, taking a simple trip to the post office or the park became a workout thanks to the 75 pounds of children I was towing. It might look like an ideal picture of fatherhood, me toting my children into the woods or up a mountainous road (quality time!), but it’s totally selfish. I spend all day with my kids. The only way I’m going for a run, ride or ski is if I take my kids with me. I don’t want to stop doing awesome stuff, and I want my kids to enjoy the same awesome stuff, so my garage is full of various dad-powered, sled-like contraptions. They’re getting older and less content to sit idle while I toil under their extra weight, so the bike trailer is getting rusty from lack of use. They want to ride their own bikes now. The stroller is long gone (we maxed out the weight limit on that thing), donated to another family. And they’re rapidly becoming little rippers on the ski hill, so I don’t have to tow them around in the snow anymore. It’s as if they don’t need me at all anymore. Is this what empty nest syndrome feels like? Luckily, there’s the French Broad River. I’ve started tying a small raft to the back of my paddleboard and trudging upriver for as far as I can go, before setting them free to tube downriver under my helicopter-parent/watchful eye. It’s a brutal workout (the drag that an inflatable raft filled with 100 pounds of kid creates is significant) and the kids love being on the river. Maybe more important, I feel useful again. They need me, out there on the river. Both as a shuttle to move them upriver and as a guide as they float downstream.  And it’s a new way to look at this river for me. Usually, I’m towing a cooler full of beer, ambling downstream without expending much energy. I even developed a paddleboard-specific Koozie that hangs around my neck, so I can paddle and occasionally take a sip. But towing the kids upstream, the river is now a gym. It’s no longer a lazy class I float, it’s a formidable opponent. Something to conquer. I do miss the beer, though.last_img read more

Buzz Bingo to close 26 UK venues placing 570 jobs at risk

first_imgShare StumbleUpon Bookies Corner: Trump Presidency sinks as US 2020 enters its 100 day countdown July 29, 2020 Share Submit FSB selects Glenn Elliott as new COO August 12, 2020 Buzz Bingo has revealed plans to close 26 of its UK venues in a move that will place 570 employees at risk of losing their jobs. The UK’s largest bingo hall operator stated that it had undertaken the drastic actions to ‘protect the future of its business’ as it seeks to mitigate pandemic circumstances affecting the entire leisure and hospitality sectors.The planned closures will see Buzz Bingo reduce its estate capacity to 91 venues. The bingo operator will begin the staggered reopening of its venues from 6 August, initially reopening 12 bingo halls. Buzz Bingo listed the following 26 sites as closing: Chatham, Salford, Salisbury, Banbury, Boston, Bournemouth, Bridlington, Carlisle, Chorley, Cramlington, Derby Foresters, Edinburgh Westerhailes, Harpurhey, Hereford, Kilmarnock, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Stockland Green, Tamworth, Wednesbury, Weymouth, Wigan, Wolverhampton, Worcester and Wythenshawe.Chief Executive Chris Matthews issued a personal statement to affected employees: “We know how disappointing this news will be – especially for those of our customers who are losing their local club, and of course, our colleagues – we know that we are more than just a club, we are part of your community, and for that, I am really sorry.” Buzz Bingo is the rebranded entity of Gala Bingo, formerly a property of Gala Coral who sold the business to FTSE fund Caledonia Investments in 2015 for £240 million, fulfilling a deal requirement ahead of Gala Coral’s merger with Ladbrokes Plc.Operating as Gala Leisure, in 2018 the Buzz Bingo brand was launched as part of a company-wide £40 million restructuring of venues and overhaul of marketing. GVC absorbs retail shocks as business recalibrates for critical H2 trading August 13, 2020 Related Articleslast_img read more

Steelers move forward after very surreal tie with Browns

first_imgPITTSBURGH (AP) — It wasn’t a win. It wasn’t a loss. It was … weird. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) runs for a first down under pressure from Cleveland Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun (20) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard) Seventy minutes of flags, fumbles and the occasional fight. Forgive the Pittsburgh Steelers if they’re not quite sure what to make of their 21-21 tie against Cleveland in the season opener.A full day removed, they still can’t quite put a finger on how to feel after a 14-point fourth-quarter lead somehow morphed into the franchise’s first tie in 16 years.“Very surreal,” guard David DeCastro said on Monday. “I don’t think it’s really settled in yet. It feels like a wash … It’s a very foreign feeling in terms of football. Really hard game all around, kind of hard to describe.”And for the defending AFC North champions, maybe the less said the better.The Steelers (0-0-1) outgained the Browns by 150 yards and received a breakout performance by running back James Conner, who had 192 combined yards.They sacked Tyrod Taylor seven times — including four times by outside linebacker TJ Watt, they were also called for a dozen penalties and couldn’t hold on to the ball.Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell (9) misses a field goal during overtime in an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Cleveland. The Browns and the Steelers tied at 21-21. (AP Photo/David Richard)Ben Roethlisberger threw three picks and fumbled twice. Conner scored twice, but also fumbled in the fourth quarter to give the Browns all the momentum they would need to start a stunning rally. It also started what the Steelers understand is a familiar cycle once the games start to count. Every Monday, everybody overreacts.“Win or lose going to get the same questions from the fans, question from the media, they want to frame it every week the same way,” said left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who had trouble keeping Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett in check on a day Garrett had two sacks and two forced fumbles.“It is upsetting when you come up with results like Sunday against a team you should potentially beat.”Something the Steelers have done with regularity against the Browns since Cleveland re-entered the league in 1999. Yet instead of the typically raucous two-hour bus ride back to Pittsburgh, the Steelers drove quietly through the remnants of a hurricane trying not to get caught up in the storm.Getting buried in penalties is nothing new for Pittsburgh, at least early on. They’ve averaged nearly 10 penalties a game over the course of their past five season openers.Over time, they tend to clean things up. They have finished in the top 10 in most penalty yards in a season just once since 2013. They believe they’ll get better. After becoming the first team in more than 600 days to not beat the Browns, they don’t really have much choice.“There’s a lot of things that could have been better,” DeCastro said.Save for the fumble — which came when Garrett expertly punched the ball loose — the play of Conner wasn’t among them. Thrust into the starting lineup while All-Pro Le’Veon Bell continues to wait to sign his one-year franchise tender, Conner ran 31 times for 135 yards and two scores and caught five passes for another 57. It was, in many ways, Bell-esque.Not comes the hard part. Doing it again. And again. And again.“It’s the nature of the game,” DeCastro said. “It’s a war of attrition.”Bell’s locker remained empty on Monday, though Joe Haden’s was not. The veteran cornerback underwent an MRI on Monday after tweaking a hamstring on the wet turf in Cleveland. Haden made a brief appearance in the locker room and walked without any visible distress.Overall, Pittsburgh’s revamped secondary acquitted itself just fine. Taylor finished 15 of 40 for 197 yards with a touchdown and two picks, one by Sean Davis and one by Cam Sutton, who replaced Haden. Sutton, however, also gave up a score when Josh Gordon made a spectacular leaping grab at the goal line to tie the game and Artie Burns briefly found himself on the sideline after losing his composure thanks to a little trash talk from Cleveland wide receiver Jarvis Landry.Burns knows that can’t happen moving forward. Then again, neither can a lot of things that transpired on Sunday.“We’ve just got to finish the game out,” Burns said. “We can’t give up 14 points at the end of the game. We’ve got to close the game out and win the game for the team.”___For more AP NFL coverage: and read more

Attack on Jemele Hill is typical, right-wing talking points

first_imgJemele Hill John N. Mitchell, Philadelphia Tribune Staff WriterThe stories that came up on Monday when I Googled the name of award-winning journalist Jemele Hill did not surprise me.I searched Hill’s name because I wanted to see how far conservative pundits would go in an effort to contort the words from her recent opinion piece for The Atlantic into something nonsensical and fallacious.Hill, now a staff writer for The Atlantic, saw her star ascend in September 2017 when she infamously called President Donald Trump a white supremacist on Twitter. At the time, Hill was a co-host on ESPN’s Sportscenter, the sports network’s most high-profile show.She has since become a favorite target of the right.Hill argued that now is the time for elite Black athletes, who make hundreds of millions of dollars for predominantly white colleges and universities, to begin attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).Her position is that the billions of dollars in television money and other sizable financial windfalls that predominantly white colleges and universities reap by having Black athletes, such as Zion Williamson and Kyler Murray, the top selections in this year’s NBA and NFL drafts, respectively, would eventually find their way to Black schools if athletes such as these opted to attend them. And she’s right. Sports fans will want to watch the very best athletes, and television networks will find them wherever they attend college.The struggles of HBCUs are well documented. They are fighting daily for their existence. The reasons for this are manifold and in many cases institutional.HBCU graduates don’t have as much money to give because they’re not earning as much as their white counterparts.Pay gaps continue to widen between African Americans and whites, and the disparity is most acute when factoring in a college education. According to research by the Economic Policy Institute, Black college graduates earned 13% less per hour than their white counterparts in 1979 and 22% less per hour in 2015.Hill’s premise is rooted in what minority communities have understood for years — that when the American Dream, as it frequently does, is not working out for the vast majority of the members of marginalized communities, changes must be made. And what could be more American than using the natural resources of one’s community — in this case the athletic gifts of young African-American student athletes — to strengthen the financial health of HBCUs?Still, FOX News’ Tucker Carlson, whose show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” has lost advertisers due to its often unpalatably racist nature, offered up the ridiculous notion that Hill was advocating for the resegregation of higher education.Carlson literally told University of Maryland professor Jason Nichols that the “triumph over segregation was held up as comparable to storming the beaches at Normandy.”He might be right, but it is disingenuous of him to cloak Hill’s suggestion that elite Black athletes opting to attend HBCUs would be an effort by Blacks to resegregate. More realistically, it is a typical right-wing talking point that comes from the same playbook that also tells African Americans that a “victim mentality” and the “Democratic plantation” are bigger problems than actual racism and a bigoted commander in chief.If handfuls of African-American blue-chip athletes decide they are going to go to Howard University or North Carolina A&T, it will not be an indication that the sky is falling or that the status quo is no more. And it certainly won’t be evidence that there is some desire among Blacks who did experience what life was like before Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka have an urge to do so.But something radical must happen to help struggling HBCUs in need of money, resources and revenue streams that presently aren’t getting it done.Hill’s idea could begin changing this in small increments. And what better group for this to begin with than members of Generation Z?John N. Mitchell has worked as a journalist for more than a quarter century. He can be reached at [email protected] and Tweet at @freejohnmitchel. read more

Field is set for 2016 Canadian Direct Insurance BC Men’s Curling Championship

first_img The teams that qualified in regional playdowns include Buchy and Ducharme, Team Richard, from Kelowna Curling Club, Team Longworth, from Vernon Curling Club, Team Craig, from Victoria Curling Centre, Team Dangerfield, from Victoria Curling Centre, Team Johnson, from Royal City Curling Club, Team Martyn, from Royal City Curling Club, Team Schneider, from Vancouver Curling Club and Team Wenzek, from Langley/Royal City Curling Clubs. The field for the 2016 Canadian Direct Insurance BC Men’s Curling Championship in Nelson is now set.Three teams have earned the final berths in the 16-team BC Championship field, a tournament that includes Tom Buchy of Kimberley and Creston’s Chris Ducharme, during qualifying this past weekend in Salmon Arm. Team Montgomery were the first to qualify by capturing the A event, with three straight wins. The team, of Skip Jason Montgomery, Third Miles Craig, Second Cameron De Jong, and lead Dave McGarry,  represent Victoria Curling Centre, but two of the team members (Montgomery and Craig) hail from Shawnigan Lake and also curl at Duncan Curling Club. This year’s Championship, which will be televised on Sportsnet, takes place at Nelson Curling Centre from February 10-14. For ticket information, and to find out more about the event, visit Ten teams had previously qualified at regional playdowns in December. In addition, Team Cotter, from Kelowna/Vernon, earned a trip back to provincials as the defending champions, along with the top two CTRS (Canadian Team Ranking System) points winners, Team Joanisse and Team Geall (both from Royal City Curling Club). The third and final team to qualify was Team House. The team of Skip Will House, Third Kelly McQuiggan, Second Greg Davis and Lead Thomas Sayer will represent Richmond Curling Club at the Nelson event.center_img Team Jackson, also from Victoria Curling Centre, grabbed the second spot with their only loss against Team Montgomery. Skipped by Glen Jackson, the team also features Third Andrew Komlodi, Second Corey Chester and Lead Joel Cave. Two Vancouver Island teams, Team Montgomery and Team Jackson, will be joined by Team House, from Richmond when the top curlers in BC flock to the Nelson Curling Club February 10-14 for a chance to represent the province at the Tim Hortons Brier in Ottawa. Team Wenzek had qualified for the BC Men’s event as a five-player team skipped by Tyler Tardi, but Tardi and the team’s fifth, Sterling Middleton, will be travelling to Norway for the Youth Olympics during the event. The team will now be playing as a three-player team of Daniel Wenzek, Jordan Tardi and Nicholas Meister. Team Buchy consists of the skip, former Brier rep Deane Horning at third, second Dave Toffolo and lead Darren Will while Ducharme is joined by third Josh Firman, second Jim Stewart, lead Jim Maccaulay and fifth man Brendan Stead. Visit to view past scores and to follow the scores and standings from the championship event.last_img read more


first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (March 5, 2017)–In a driving rain, comebacking Pretty N Cool surged to the front five sixteenths of a mile from home en route to a decisive 1 ¾ length win over favored Constellation in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes at Santa Anita.  Ridden by Martin Garcia and trained by Bob Baffert, the 4-year-old grey daughter of Scat Daddy got six furlongs over a fast track in 1:10.49.“She was ready today and I think this is her best distance, six furlongs,” said Garcia.  “She has a lot of natural speed.  She likes to run with time in between races and does well when she gets it.  It was a tough race today but she was pretty impressive.  She came back strong.”A multiple graded stakes winner who had been idle since Sept. 2, Pretty N Cool was off at 9-2 in a field of five older fillies and mares and paid $11.80, $4.60 and $2.80.Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Pretty N Cool picked up her third graded stakes win and improved her overall mark to 11-5-1-1.  With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $498,905.“If you look at her work pattern, she was ready to run today and Bobby is pretty good off a layoff,” said Pegram.  “She looked pretty good today.  With this rain, this one was for the love of the game!”Constellation, who came off a win here in the Grade I La Brea Stakes going seven furlongs on Dec. 26, was gaining gradually on the winner late, but the verdict was never in doubt through the drive.  Off as the 4-5 favorite with Flavien Prat, she finished three quarters of a length in front of Ponder Lea and paid $2.80 and $2.10.Ridden by Rafael Bejarano and dispatched at 17-1, Ponder Lea overhauled early pacesetter Sensitively to finish third by 2 ¼ lengths and paid $3.60 to show.Fractions on the race were 21.88, 44.63 and 56.87.Racing resumes at Santa Anita on Thursday, with first post time at 1 p.m.last_img read more


first_imgKENNY BLACK, TRAINER, WHAT A VIEW, SECOND: “That is just brutal. I thought he was home free turning for home. It looked like Tyler had a ton of horse. This horse has gotten really good, that’s obviously the best race he’s ever run.” ART SHERMAN, DORTMUND, SIXTH: “It was kind of a bad mistake, but you don’t know until you try him. He’ll be on the dirt from now on.” RICHARD MANDELLA, BAL A BALI, WINNER: “I like winning better. The horse got sour last year, and with a little time off and some freshening up, he responded and came back good.” TRAINER QUOTES VICTOR ESPINOZA, DORTMUND, SIXTH: “He was not [comfortable] on the turf. I think he should go back to dirt again and recover, recuperate, and I think he’s going to run big on the dirt. Big difference when you take them off the turf to the dirt. We’ll be ready for the next one.”center_img JAVIER CASTELLANO, BAL A BALI, WINNER: “I feel great. I’m very lucky and fortunate to have been able to ride the horse. I give all the credit to Mr. Mandella and what he did; the way he trained the horse.“He came from way back and gave a great performance. Richard kind of told me how to ride the horse a little bit. I did my homework, watched past races, handicapped the race. Everything turned out well, worked out great. I’m very fortunate and was very lucky to ride this horse.” JOCKEY QUOTES NOTES: The winning owner is Calumet Farm.last_img read more