Failed estate agency owed more than £500k when it went under

PUBLISHED: 14:17 09 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:22 09 March 2018

The former Hunters Estate Agent building on Ber Street. Picture: D Faulkner

The former Hunters Estate Agent building on Ber Street. Picture: D Faulkner

D Faulkner/Archant

A collapsed estate agent franchise had debts of more 
than half a million pounds 
when it went under, documents reveal.

Kudos Residential, which traded as a branch of Hunters, entered liquidation in February with all but one of its Norfolk and Waveney offices closing immediately.

The business owed £545,833 to creditors including £200,000 to 
HM Revenue and Customs and £220,000 to its directors, Brian Hutchinson and Jacqueline Mowforth.

The figures come from the statement of affairs published by liquidators Matt Howard and Stuart Morton of Price Bailey, who were appointed on February 19.

They estimate only £2,400 could be recovered from the collapsed firm, meaning most creditors are unlikely to see any return.

The largest business creditor is another of Mr Hutchinson’s companies, Eco Digital Print, which is owed £31,771 while NatWest Bank is owed £25,000.

Excluding the £110,000 owed to each of the two directors in loans, employees are owed £17,218. Of that, £3,957 is for wages and holiday pay, while more than £13,000 of that unsecured and unlikely to be paid.

Kudos ran eight Hunters offices in the region including in Ber Street in Norwich, Poringland, Hellesdon, Long Stratton, Brundall, Diss, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth and Bungay.

Estate agent William H Brown has taken on the running of the Hellesdon office after buying Kudos’s sales and lettings order books from its franchisor, Hunters Franchising.

Hunters is a national estate agent network made up of franchises including a site at Hadleigh in Suffolk which is operated separately to Kudos and has remained open.

Kudos Residential, which was founded in 2009, became part of Hunters in 2015. Twenty-one jobs were lost when it went into liquidation.

At the time of the liquidation the national Hunters chain said the collapse had come as a result of a difficult market in “certain parts of the country”.

The former Kudos Residential head office on Ber Street in Norwich has been redecorated with signs for estate agent DPS Lettings.

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