Norwich estate agent D&G Residential bought out of administration - but uncertainty remains over money still owed
- Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk Ltd
A Norwich estate agent has been bought out of administration in the wake of a wrangle over an unpaid tax bill - but questions remain whether tenants and landlords may have been left out of pocket in the wake of its demise.
D&G Residential was sold to Kudos Residential on Friday for an undisclosed figure - 24 hours after being placed into administration.
Directors placed the firm into administration after HM Revenue and Customs issued a petition for unpaid VAT and PAYE bills totalling about £100,000.
Its sale to Kudos, which has offices in Brundall, Poringland, and Great Yarmouth will see Kudos take over to contracts to market nearly 100 properties in and around Norwich including those sold subject to contract.
However the deal could not save the jobs of the 11 D&G staff while its offices in Dereham Road, Reepham Road, Hellesdon, and Thorpe Avenue, Thorpe St Andrew, look set to close.
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Jamie Playford, from East Anglian business rescue firm Parker Andrews, which brokered the sale using an online data room, said it represented the best deal for creditors.
'For people selling their houses its business as usual, albeit they are going to be dealing with Kudos staff,' he said. 'I have had landlords contact me because they are owed rent money, and tenants have asked if I can confirm their deposits are safe. What I can say is that there isn't any money in the bank, and I haven't been able to clarify if deposits have been dealt with properly. The lettings business has been wound down over the last few months and fingers crossed it won't get any worse.
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'The sale was completed late on Friday afternoon and the whole process took three weeks. This represents the best offer for creditors as well as providing continuity of service to people selling their homes with the company. Unfortunately 11 employees have been made redundant across the four branches as it has not been possible to secure those premises. However, Kudos has confirmed that it is exploring the possibility of opening additional branches in the Norwich area.'
Kudos director, Chris Starkings, said: 'The business is a similar size to our existing operations and now gives us the capacity to expand further into Norwich. The sale process was very fast and, to a certain extent, we had to take a risk – people are often concerned when a business enters administration, but we want to reassure clients that it is very much business as usual. We will be contacting clients shortly to ensure they receive continuity of service.2
Any creditors of the D&G companies are asked to contact Parker Andrews on 01603 284284.
Anybody buying or selling a property and wish to discuss the arrangements are asked to contact Kudos Residential on 01603 716799.