OLIVER-KNIGHTS Letting and Managing Agents | Discuss

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OLIVER-KNIGHTS Letting and Managing Agents
13/08/2015
11:59 am
moyeni
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We have recently discovered that we have been the victim of a fraudulent scam by Oliver-Knights who are presently closing down various agencies, blocking all telephone calls to contact agents and refuse to divulge any information as to whom queries can be directed regarding outstanding rentals. Oliver-Knights placed a tenant in one of properties for an alleged three year contract and subsequently deducted the full commission upfront. The contract is allegedly signed between ourselves and Tulip Hotels. We were informed an employee of Tulip Hotels would be taking occupation. Our investigations have led us to understand that the contract with Tulip Hotels is fraudulent and the tenant is most definitely not employed  by them. The tenant informs us that she advised on a monthly basis to deposit her rental into a different account. According to our statement of account however, she is in arrears.  Oliver-Knights also altered her contract to indicate that we as Landlords hold her deposit. We do not and our contract indicates that it was placed in a protected deposit scheme. Obviously we are now severely out of pocket and have taken immediate steps to place our property with an alternate agency. Could anyone advise on a way forward bearing in mind that we are non UK residents and would have to deal with this matter from South Africa. We are in contact with another owner in our apartment block who has been swindled in like manner. He, like us does not reside in the UK. All assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Dale Roberts

14/08/2015
7:34 am
Wolf Enforcement Services
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Please email us at enq@wolfenforcement.co.uk I will get one of the office staff generate a company report for you with any director details and addresses we can find for you.

 

please enclose in your email as much information as possible about the company like addresses etc 

Wolf Enforcement Services

High Court Enforcement Agents, Certificated Enforcement Agents & Civil Enforcement

Debtor & Tenant Tracing Service, Process Servicing, Repossession Specialist's, Trespasser Removal, Commercial Landlord Services ........

Wolf Enforcement Services Ltd are referral agents for Court Enforcement Services Ltd & their High Court Enforcement Officer Mr Simon Williamson.

19/08/2015
3:27 pm
Adam
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I too am in dispute with Oliver Knight. My position is that Oliver Knight let my flat in Shoreditch to a very nice couple 18 months ago and have been paying me the rent fairly consistently for 16 months. However, the last 2 months rent have not been paid, despite the tenant paying Oliver Knights. It appear from companies house enquiries that Oliver Knights have a 'Proposal to strike off' against them, this is apparently due to non filing of annual accounts. They are still just answering the phone, but I am always fobbed off with 'we are working on it' this has been going on for about 10 days now. I too am wondering how to proceed to recover my money. At least I hold the deposit so am not out of pocket for that too. Is anyone else in this position?

Adam Booth

19/08/2015
5:00 pm
moyeni
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Dear Adam,

I would suggest that you contact the tenants directly, as I did,  and advise them of the situation regarding the possible closure of Oliver-Knights due to fraudulence. The company recently withdraw a large amount of money from their bank account and are now barely solvent. Instruct your tenants to pay the rental into your personal bank account, terminate your mandate with Oliver-Knights immediately and forward a copy to your tenant and then appoint new agents. You have been more fortunate than me. I paid Oliver-Knights an upfront 3 year commission on a rental contract (that has only run for 10 months) and have subsequently discovered that I have a tenant in my apartment placed there with a false AST about whom I know nothing, she is claiming she settled a deposit with Oliver-Knights and is attempting to hold me responsible for it and the actual corporate company with whom I thought I had the 3 year lease, and whose credit references were forwarded to me for approval, are denying responsibility for that contract citing unknown signatures on the lease. Ditto regarding the names and signatures on the false AST signed by Oliver-Knights on my alleged behalf with the tenant in my apartment. I never give agents any authority to sign contracts on my behalf. 

I'm sure that as more people realise that they have been swindled we shall get more posts. 

21/08/2015
3:14 am
Paul Barrett
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Firstly are you allowed to offer 3 year tenancy!!?

Your mortgage provider might have something to say about it!?

Why would you ever agree to a LA receiving rents!!!

It is very easy for the tenant to pay the rent direct to you and then you pay the monthly LA management fee

There is NO way I would EVER allow a LA to receive rent before I received it

If the LA isn't prepared to do business that way then don't use them!

With the advent of Faster Payments it is easy to pay the monthly LA charge via FP

It is very easy to check the status of the rent payment by checking online

You can do this from anywhere in the world with internet access.

How hard is it for a LL to diarise to check the bank account for rent payments

If you had 10 properties that means checking online 10 times a month

Not too onerous is it!!!??

You need to change the way you do business to prevent being ripped off by LA

22/08/2015
1:16 pm
moyeni
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I find your response not only emotionally dramatic but rather unhelpful. I would have prefered you addressing the matter under discussion. And that is Oliver-Knights, a UK based realty agency who appear to be going bankrupt as a result of fraudulent activity. For example would you know of a regulatory organisation in the UK this may be reported to? There can be no doubt, that as this company manages a large portfolio of property, that many more Landlords are going to find themselves victim to this fraudulence. In my country (South Africa) we have an Estate Agencies Board who investigates and punishes rogue organisations. I would appreciate information on a similar Board in the UK if such exists.

Since purchasing my properties some years ago, they have been managed by exemplary Agents ie Foxtons and Life Residential about whom I cannot complain. Your response would have me believe that all managing agents should be suspect and that is not only a slur on those who aren't but a slur on the UK industry as a whole. As a non UK resident, unfamiliar with the regulations that pertain to property ownership and the rental thereof (although I'm fast learning) it has been extremely advantageous having professionals in the property market advise me and coach me as to my rights. 

I take no issue in paying an agent to manage my investments on a day to day basis but I am an extremely "hands on" owner who remains keenly aware of this management. Thus I was able to address the Oliver-Knights non payment of my August rental by contacting the tenant and having her pay me directly and terminating the contract with Oliver-Knights immediately. Up to and until that date, I had not experienced any problems with the company.

I will now be handing the management of this property to Foxtons again. 

I firmly believe that Landlord Referencing plays a vital role in protecting the "buy-to-let" investor in the UK. It is an industry unfairly in support of the rights of a tenant over that of an owner and your organisation is, I think, one of only two who give a voice to owners like myself, and assistance in vetting tenants. Frankly, the UK remains far behind SA in protecting the rights of owners but hopefully this may be improved upon as more of us join organisations like yours to lobby for salient change.

22/08/2015
1:26 pm
Wolf Enforcement Services
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We looked to this and the said company were trading from two sites the limited company is linked to both sites.

we were also supplied with an individual name who also showed he was trading from the same site as the limited company but as a trading as.

this is a clear example why doing some background checks on companies before doing business with them.

Wolf Enforcement Services

High Court Enforcement Agents, Certificated Enforcement Agents & Civil Enforcement

Debtor & Tenant Tracing Service, Process Servicing, Repossession Specialist's, Trespasser Removal, Commercial Landlord Services ........

Wolf Enforcement Services Ltd are referral agents for Court Enforcement Services Ltd & their High Court Enforcement Officer Mr Simon Williamson.

22/08/2015
1:43 pm
moyeni
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I can assure you that I did research this company in May 2014 and found no adverse reviews or information on them. They had also been in business for some years and it is only recently that they appear to be embroiled in fraud.

Would you perhaps know of a government organisation this matter may be reported to if I  am a non UK resident?

Oliver-Knights may, or have, appropriated tenant deposits and this needs exposing and investigation. 

22/08/2015
1:58 pm
Wolf Enforcement Services
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Might be worth trying

Oliver Knights is member of the Tenancy Deposit Solutions Ltd (TDSL) partnership between the National Landlords Association and Hamilton Fraser Insurance.

Their local trading standard for other similar complaints

Contact their head office and found out if the individual is in fact a employee of their company if so you chase them.

if not it may be the individual a rogue agent using their name as a trading as but I find this strange if he does as his trading information on the trace we did showed him trading from their office address. 

Contact your our tenant for bank account details they transferred the funds too as this will acknowledge who may be liable 

Wolf Enforcement Services

High Court Enforcement Agents, Certificated Enforcement Agents & Civil Enforcement

Debtor & Tenant Tracing Service, Process Servicing, Repossession Specialist's, Trespasser Removal, Commercial Landlord Services ........

Wolf Enforcement Services Ltd are referral agents for Court Enforcement Services Ltd & their High Court Enforcement Officer Mr Simon Williamson.

22/08/2015
2:31 pm
moyeni
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Thank you.

I have forwarded this information on to my tenant as, although I have requested proof from her regarding to whom she paid a deposit, this information has not been provided.

As a Landlord I will not be held responsible for allegations of financial transactions that cannot be verified.

22/08/2015
2:44 pm
Wolf Enforcement Services
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I would recommend legal rep contacting your tenant as there is discrepancy in the tenancy as well I would request a copy of her tenancy and proof of payments.  

They may recommend if your tenant does not supply this looking at a order to possibly remove persons unknown but a UK solicitor can advise you better

as a tenant I be jumping through hoops to supply you information if I have paid such a substantial deposit.

my concern is going for an eviction if the deposit has not been registered may go against you.  Think your first avenue is see if the tenant has a legal right to be in property based on the contradicting tenancy agreements. 

Wolf Enforcement Services

High Court Enforcement Agents, Certificated Enforcement Agents & Civil Enforcement

Debtor & Tenant Tracing Service, Process Servicing, Repossession Specialist's, Trespasser Removal, Commercial Landlord Services ........

Wolf Enforcement Services Ltd are referral agents for Court Enforcement Services Ltd & their High Court Enforcement Officer Mr Simon Williamson.

22/08/2015
5:54 pm
moyeni
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Again thank you. You have provided me with much needed information.

At this stage I am equally concerned as to the validity of the present tenant's occupation of my property, especially as she has avoided supplying me with any information regarding her deposit and secondly, any information on herself. My original contract with Tulip Hotels is the one all the credit information was supplied for regarding my approval for their uptake of my property. 

I have every intention of insisting my new managing agents re-negotiate a rental contract with this tenant if her credit history indicates a tenant of good standing. 

Should she prove reluctant to agree to this proposal I will contact a Solicitor.

22/08/2015
6:03 pm
Wolf Enforcement Services
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Did your current tenant agree to credit referencing also a trace trail on the current occupier may bring up some more information.

 

we can obtain this information on your behalf for the credit check we would need notification of a credit agreement.

 

you have our contact details if you wish any further help in obtaining information and our charges on the services 

Wolf Enforcement Services

High Court Enforcement Agents, Certificated Enforcement Agents & Civil Enforcement

Debtor & Tenant Tracing Service, Process Servicing, Repossession Specialist's, Trespasser Removal, Commercial Landlord Services ........

Wolf Enforcement Services Ltd are referral agents for Court Enforcement Services Ltd & their High Court Enforcement Officer Mr Simon Williamson.

22/08/2015
6:24 pm
Paul Barrett
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You need to stop judging the UK LA market on the SA model

The UK LA industry is UNREGULATED

A criminal could start up as one tomorrow

Indeed many have!!!

All LA are now required to belong to a redress scheme

That's it!!

NO compulsion for CMP at all!!!

As for using F#####s you need your head examining!!

You clearly have no idea as to how much you are being ripped off and have never read their contracts and terms of doing business

You are very naive in the way you have conducted your business and look like heading for an almighty fall!!

I hope for your sake this doesn't happen

But you need to educate yourself rapidly about the reality of the UK lettings industry

I take your point about the way it is in SA and yes it would be better if perhaps things in the UK were like in SA

But we are where we are!!

You are an unfortunate LL who has been ripped off by all and sundry; but don't fully realise it yet!!

You would have done better to use a well known R2R supplier who would have covered everything for you and only charges about 14% of rental income

This would cover even when any voids occurred

I bet that is about the same  or even LESS than silly F#####s are charging you!!

It would be far better for you if you have anyone over here to assist, like a relative to advertise your rental property online for NOTHING with movebubble and then use the FULL LRS services to check out the tenant

Total cost about £150!!!

Now how much do F#####s charge you!!!??

I feel sorry for your plight; but you must understand that LA aren't interested in you, they just ant to make as much money out of you as they can

Fixing you up with a duff tenant means nothing to them as they won't have to pay anything to you if it all goes wrong

This you are now only discovering

These and many others are why I DON'[T use normal LA anymore!!!

There are very few trustworthy LA out there

In fact I am just giving references for a tenant and I am appalled at the referencing being carried out

I know the tenant very well and there is no way I would give him a tenancy as he would never qualify for RGI

Yet the new LL will be taking on this tenant who I know does NOT have a guaranteed income; but the poor old LL will be told he has passed referencing!!!

No wonder so many LL get stitched up by these very poor LA.

LRS is the service to use for all your tenant requirements

Forget using anyone else

22/08/2015
6:51 pm
moyeni
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My original contract is with Tulip Hotels which I agreed to and signed a contract with once the financial fundamentals appeared satisfactory. The tenant presently occupying my property has a signed AST in her possession for the same period, with a deposit amount noted, but signed by persons unknown to me although it is an Oliver-Knights contract. I have absolutely no information on her at all as my contract is with Tulip Hotels. Tulip Hotels are denying the legality of this contract and advise me that they never took occupation of my unit. To date I have received all rental due but minus the upfront commission on the 3 year contract with Tulip Hotels. The tenant in my unit is also claiming that I am responsible for her deposit but has not supplied proof of payment thereof. She advises me that this is a directive from her solicitor and that he has pronounced her AST valid and enforceable. 

I cannot do any checking on the tenant without some proof of her identity - all I have is a name, mobile number and email address - and I consider the collection of this information a categorical imperative once I hand management of my property over to Foxtons on the 1st September. 

24/08/2015
10:11 am
moyeni
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Dear Paul Barret,

I own property in more countries than South Africa and the UK and am supremely confident in my ability to not only negotiate the rates by which I buy, sell or rent property but I also negotiate the management fees to an amount I consider acceptable for the expertise and advice offered. I can assure you I do not pay anywhere near the percentage you have quoted. Perhaps you need to make yourself au fait with present charges? It would be extremely naive of me to believe I could operate as a stand alone in the quagmire of protocol required by the UK authorities as a non-resident Landlord. To date, and in 6 years of UK property ownership I have not lost any rental money and the capital appreciation has been most satisfactory. Perhaps you would like to tender an apology  for describing me as foolish? 

Furthermore, I have coached the agents I have used, to provide me with the same standard of credit checks I insist on in South Africa. They may have baulked in the beginning but I believe they now understand the very justifiable demands I make. On the one occasion a tenant vacated earlier due to becoming unemployed, my finders fee for the second was reduced by the amount of the early vacate. 

I like to consider myself as a professional "buy-to-let" investor. And I conduct that business accordingly. Therefore utilising the expertise of professionals in the market and paying for that service in order to attract A-grade tenants, is of paramount importance to me. The "do it yourself" version of landlording may be agreeable to you, but it isn't to me. I delegate if possible. 

I've contained the damage of Oliver-Knights without loss to myself and did so within one week of my original call to them. 

The existing tenant is not only fully up to date with her rental but I've confirmed with the relevant utility departments that she is also up to date with those accounts including Council Tax. 

I'm extremely pleased at having rid myself of Oliver-Knights and placing my property once again with a managing agent I trust. 

I see this topic has had 10 000 hits. Landlord Referencing has my appreciation for providing a platform for discussion that can inform other interested parties on issues that need this type of exposure.

All of us gain if knowledge can be shared.

26/08/2015
7:20 am
Paul Barrett
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Indeed it maybe that you were unlucky in being caught out by a rogue LA and that your usual DD is and has been very effective

That is good to see

My DIY  methodology is very effective now I use proper referencing instead of using useless LA who cost me hundreds of thousands of pounds!!!

But of course being abroad and not having any associates here in the UK to assist you leaves you exposed to using alleged professionals

This will always be a risk because of the unregulated LA market

But the mere fact you have only been stitched up once is testament to your effectiveness in managing your affairs from abroad!!!

All I would suggest is using one of the LA who post regularly on here

Rybec is one of those and they have received many testimonies from LRS members

You will then receive the most effective service from a LA that also use LRS

Of course there are other LA

I would suggest only using those who use LRS

F#####s are the worst operation to be used

They charge an arm and a leg!!

But hey your choice; it's your money after all!!

26/08/2015
10:54 am
moyeni
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I appreciate the advice regarding a Management and Letting Agency and shall certainly consider such if the necessity presents itself.

You do realise of course that it is UK based Landlords and Tenants who have been most affected by the recent activities of Oliver-Knights? Prior to this matter they appear to have operated without cause for complaint. 

As a non UK resident I am coerced into employing an agency to manage my properties. I would not wish to fall foul of the law through ignorance of the draconian regulations that pertain to the "buy-to-let" investor. I negotiate a fee around 6% for this service. This cost assures me "peace of mind".

In South Africa I manage all my properties, both residential and commercial, personally, simply because I am au fait with the sector. 

I once again thank you and Wolf Enforcement Services for your assistance.

27/08/2015
7:32 am
Paul Barrett
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moyeni said
I appreciate the advice regarding a Management and Letting Agency and shall certainly consider such if the necessity presents itself.

You do realise of course that it is UK based Landlords and Tenants who have been most affected by the recent activities of Oliver-Knights? Prior to this matter they appear to have operated without cause for complaint. 

As a non UK resident I am coerced into employing an agency to manage my properties. I would not wish to fall foul of the law through ignorance of the draconian regulations that pertain to the "buy-to-let" investor. I negotiate a fee around 6% for this service. This cost assures me "peace of mind".

In South Africa I manage all my properties, both residential and commercial, personally, simply because I am au fait with the sector. 

I once again thank you and Wolf Enforcement Services for your assistance.

 

Just a small point

You CANNOT pass on your obligations as a LL  cos that is what you are and NOT a BTL investor

If your LA fails to carry out YOUR legal obligations then it is YOU who will be prosecuted and NOT the LA

So much for peace of mind!!!?

What you would have to do is then sue the LA for breach of contract

But believe me you are on the hook as a LANDLORD

You wouldn't make any mistakes

It is pretty easy to detail what you need to do

So I wouldn't worry to much

Very few LA know what they are doing anyway!!

The likes of Rybec etc are a obviously a cut above the usual suspects!!!

You CANNOT buy your way to peace of mind!!

You the LL are in the frame whether you like it or NOT!!?

There are inherent risks in being a LL

You could end up in jail on manslaughter charges for failing to have a CP12 Gas certificate done!!!

A LA will NOT save you from prosecution!!

Therefore better to do it yourself if you can than rely on a LA who could easily let you down

I appreciate distance makes things awkward for you

But you need to ensure your LA complies with ALL the legal requirements that YOU as a LANDLORD are subject to!!

So as a small example has or does this LA you use show ANY tenant viewing a property of yours an EPC which must be less than 10 years old which they must hand to the viewing client at the time of the viewing!!?

Is a copy of the CP12 handed to the tenant at the time of tenancy signing!?

Is a complete inventory carried out with copies issued to all relevant tenants!?

Do they hand the tenant  and anyone else who has contributed towards the deposit a copy of the DPC and PI!?

Does the LA obtain RGI on your tenants for you or don't they bother!!??

If not then they are pretty useless LA

RGI could save you a fortune in losses if a tenant has to be evicted

Do you have LL insurance which INCLUDE malicious damage and theft!!?

Just a few things that your LA should do which I doubt they have

And you are paying 6 % of your gross rent for that!!!!!???

You are of course very much a hostage to fortune because of your distance from the UK

This does expose you to risk which you have recently discovered

This I appreciate puts you in a vulnerable position

But DON'T for one moment think a LA can buy you peace of mind

If things go wrong; they'll just say nothing to do with us Guv!!!

It is a shame you have no trusted parties known to you who have relocated to UK from SA

They could be of great assistance to you!!

28/08/2015
10:14 am
Trevor Mealham INEA
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Anyone scammed should report to Trading Standards:

Property CPR's and BPR's (Consumer Protection Regulation and Business Protection Regulation) is handled at Powys TS - NTSEAT (National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team) - their team leader is James Munro.

Whilst general scams are dealt with by East Sussex Trading Standards

Letting agents are required to also be registered with a UK property redress scheme (as are property sales agents): 

being: TPOS, PRS, Ombudsman Services

links to their websites can be found here. Consumers deserve decent property service providers that are lawful and fair: main bodies can be found here:

http://inea.co.uk/a/Official-Bodies

Good luck. Trevor (founder of INEA) The Independent Network of Estate Agents Wink

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