Greenwich letting agent Maritime Properties fined £12,500 for breaching legal obligations

An estate and letting agent based in Greenwich have been fined £12,500 and seen an appeal rejected after incorrectly claiming to be a member of a tenant protection scheme.

Maritime Properties on Trafalgar Road took more than two years to join a scheme – which is a legal obligation – despite reminders from the authority.

Ina ruling the judge stated “its failures were so negligent that as to be tantamount to deliberate”.

Greenwich Council fined the agents £12,500 after Maritime didn’t meet legal obligations yet claimed to be part of the Client Money Protection scheme.

This was below the £30,000 fines able to be levied since powers introduced in 2019.

Client Money Protection state: “All residential letting and property management agents that handle client money are legally required to join a client money protection scheme.”

Maritime however did not follow that rule, and after being fined took Greenwich Council to court – where they lost.

The agents argued they should pay less or nothing at all despite flouting laws. The Judge did not agree.

Judge Findley stated: “While it took sporadic action to join the CMP scheme, [Maritime Properties] did not follow anything close to a reasonable fashion.

In effect, its failures were so negligent that as to be tantamount to deliberate.”

Councillor Ann-Marie Cousins, the new Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement after the recent election, said:

“I am pleased with the Judge’s findings.

“Examples like this show how important it for letting agents to follow the rules.

“The Money Protection Scheme is there for a reason.

“It protects both renters and landlords, so it’s simply unacceptable that renters’ security deposits could be put at risk through no fault of their own.

“Letting agents must display a certificate on their website to prove they will protect your money should anything go wrong.”

 

 

 

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Murky Depths

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

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