Young mum suffers as Falkirk lettings agency shuts

Avenue Lettings has shut down
Avenue Lettings has shut down
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A single mum has been left over £600 out of pocket following the collapse of a property rental firm.

Adele Kerr cancelled her tenancy with Falkirk Council and paid Avenue Lettings a £635 deposit for the keys of a three-bedroomed terraced house in Randyford Street on March 28.

She had hoped to move in on Monday, but the shock news the business in Meadow Street, Falkirk, has ceased trading has left her with no new home to move her and her three children, all aged under six, into.

Fortunately the stunned 24-year-old has managed to persuade Falkirk Council to allow the family, Karis (6), Millie (4) and Thomas (17 months) to stay at her present address in Woodburn Road so they still have a roof over their heads, but now she is worried about getting her money back.

She said: “After I paid the deposit and signed all the paperwork I was told I would get the keys within a few days. When that had not happened by Monday I went to their office.

‘‘There were people waiting outside saying they had come to collect rent they were owed from months ago but the place was shut.

‘‘I’ve lost money I can hardy afford to lose and don’t know if I’ll see it again.”

It is feared the business owned by Linda Newbigging and managed by her brother Colin Robertson has folded owing landlords they were supposed to be representing thousands of pounds in rent.

Concerns about the way the business was being run were highlighted in The Falkirk Herald in February. Frustrated Debbie Little complained she was still waiting for Avenue Lettings to pay her rent they had collected last October.

Mr Robertson immediately apologised for the delay. He blamed “banking issues” for the cash not being passed on and promised it would be deposited “within days”.

Ms Little was finally paid 10 days later - but in the meantime over a dozen other buy-to-let home owners also hit out at the time it was taking for them to get their money.

After waiting for five months for the £1500 rent he is due, pensioner Ken Brown is considering taking legal action to recover the debt.

He has now cancelled his contract with the firm and made arrangements for his tenants to pay him direct.

Barry Johnston, who now lives in Canada, has done the same thing, but is still owed over £800.

He said: “They have told me about their ‘banking problem’ but the whole set-up is a joke.”

The Falkirk Herald tried to contact Avenue Lettings through its ‘call minder’ message service but was told the system is full and was advised to try again later.