A private landlord who was reported to police for sending what has been described as a “threatening letter” to a letting agent about his tenant's deposit, which went missing along with £30,000 of other customers' cash, has been questioned by officers.
Tony Molyneux, based in Ipswich, wrote to director and owner of Jonathan Waters Estate Agents Ltd (JEWAL) Jane Russell looking for an explanation for the £975 that went missing when the firm went into liquidation last year.
According to the police, the 72-year old landlord threatened to protest outside Russell’s home in Frinton on Sea if the money was not returned, but Molyneux denies harassing her.
JWEAL was instructed to manage Molyneux’s rental property but learned after it folded that his tenant's deposit had not been transferred to a government-backed protection scheme, which is a legal requirement.
But rather than answer Molyneux request to know where the money went, Russell reported the landlord to Essex Police.
“I couldn't believe it,” Molyneux told the press. “More than £30,000 has gone missing from this company and nothing has been done about it but when I write to its director, I get reported for harassment.”
Molyneux has been trying to find out what happened to the cash, which he is liable for. He has contacted liquidators, Action Fraud and Ipswich MP Sandy Martin, in his quest for answers.
According to the East Anglian Daily Times, more than £30,000 of tenants' deposits has been unaccounted for since the company agreed to be voluntarily wound up in August last year, owing more than £500,000.
Pauline Scott Property Management, which took over the running of properties for landlords after JWEAL dissolved, confirmed the deposits were missing.
It is believed that around 20 Ipswich landlords have been affected.