A letting agent in Newmarket has disappeared owing landlords thousands of pounds in rent.
The head of Smart Residential, Frank Smart, was last seen in July and is, according to reports in the local press, not responding to calls from clients, some of whom he owes several months of rent from properties he manages on their behalf.
Some tenants who have rented property through Smart have also expressed concern at the fact that their deposits do not appear to have been put in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme.
The office in Wellington Street closed in July, without prior notice, with a sign on the door informing people that a move to new premises had been ‘delayed due to unforeseen circumstances’.
According to the Newport Journal, Smart took to social media to let customers know that he is “still alive”.
He wrote: “Yes I am still alive and no I have not gone on a cruise (sadly). However, I have had no choice but to close the office this week due to a major glitch with the planned move to the new office premises.”
But with Smart not responding to any efforts to contact him, a Facebook group, which has more than 40 members, has been set up by the agent’s clients, many of which are also concerned that aside from owe them money, he still has keys to their properties and personal information relating to tenants.
One landlord, who had two properties with Smart, told the Journal: “He owes me nearly three months’ rent on one and a month’s rent on the other.
“I have now switched my properties to another agent and don’t hold out much hope of getting any of my money back.
“As landlord I could also be liable for any deposits paid by tenants which have disappeared.”