DOZENS of angry people from across Mansfield and Ashfield who have lost hundreds of pounds following the closure of an estate agents have begun the process of trying to get their cash back.
Nottinghamshire Police say they have received reports from at least 17 ‘victims’ since Chad highlighted the problems suffered by Eazi-Move customers and say they are fully investigating the matter.
Concerns were raised after the closure of Eazi-Move Estates and Lettings in Southwell Road East, Rainworth, left landlords chasing rent and tenants seeking a return of their deposits. Money owed could run into tens of thousands of pounds.
All deposits should be kept in a secure, ring-fenced account under the Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme - failure to do so is a criminal offence.
A spokesman from the online property site Zoopla said yesterday that Eazi-Move has now been suspended from its site and is due to be removed completely at the end of the month due to non-payment.
When Chad called the Eazi-Move office in Kingsway, Kirkby, last week we were told they had ‘nothing to do’ with the Rainworth office and people had to follow the matter up through the courts.
The Rainworth and Mansfield Woodhouse branches of Eazi-Move were set up by former owner Dawn Broome, who also uses the name Hollingworth.
More than 20 people have contacted Chad claiming they are out of pocket after dealing with Ms Broome but can’t get hold of her or anyone at Eazi-Move.
Many customers were told the Kirkby office was taking over their business following the closure the Rainworth and Mansfield Woodhouse offices.
Chad visited the Eazi-Move office in Kirkby but no one was there and the home of Dawn Broome, in Forest Town, was empty when we attempted to contact her.
In the past week some of the reports we have received include;
* A woman claiming her granddad’s empty property had been put on the market by Eazi-Move but she is now worried about them having the keys.
* A self-employed plumber who carried out work on six Eazi-Move properties claims he is owed nearly £300.
* The owner of the property where Dawn Broome was living in Mansfield claims he is owed thousands in unpaid rent.
* A landlord claims four weeks of housing benefit payment paid to Eazi-Move was not passed on to him.
* A man from Kirkby fears he has lost £475 paid up-front to put a property on the market.
One man, who did not want to be named as he is pursuing legal action, said: “I’ve pretty much written off the money, I don’t think I will see it again. But I want some justice, someone has to be accountable for what has happened.”
Many other people have also instructed solicitors in a bid to re-coup their losses from the courts but have also been left frustrated at a lack of action by the police, trading standards and Action Fraud.
A spokesman from Nottinghamshire Police said: “We are investigating this fully. We are aware of at least 17 ‘victims’. It is a very complex matter as there are a mix of criminal and civil allegations involved.
“There is a lot of information to go through.”
The spokesman added how PC Steve Owen will be liaising with the Fraud Squad and contacting all of the ‘victims’ in person to reassure them there case is being investigated.
Sarah Houlton, Trading Standards Manager at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Trading Standards was unaware of a number of these complaints relating to the trading activity of Eazi-Move Ltd.
“There would only be Trading Standards criminal offences if there was a pattern established of Eazi-Move Ltd intentionally misleading tenants.
“In light of further information from The Chad we will be looking into whether Eazi-Move Ltd has intentionally misled tenants in some way to gain money.”
To report problems call police on 101, Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506.