Yet another sales and lettings agency is believed to be under investigation by Trading Standards.
Mystery surrounds the fate of the firm and its sole director Dennis Goodridge.
Gallery@HD1 was a trading name for a number of companies set up by Goodridge but it vacated its offices earlier this month and now it transpires that at least 14 landlords have complained to Yorkshire Trading Standards about the firm.
The offices, in John William Street, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, are now filled by law firm Ascroft Whiteside and its associated estate agency brand Beaufort Finch. There is no connection between Gallery@HD1 or Goodridge with Ascroft Whiteside or Beaufort Finch.
Listings for Gallery@HD1 properties were still being displayed under the agency name on Home.co.uk and MousePrice as of last week, while listings on its Rightmove profile now show the Beaufort Finch logo.
When EYE phoned the number on some of the old Gallery@HD1 listings we went through to a Beaufort Finch representative who said they had taken over some of the properties and said some former staff had joined from Gallery@HD1.
We have asked both Ascroft Whiteside and Beaufort Finch to clarify the process in which many of the Gallery@HD1 properties switched to them.
Amar Zarif, a solicitor for Ascroft Whiteside, who is in charge of the Huddersfield office, said: “For the avoidance of doubt, we have nothing to do with the previous occupier, Mr Dennis Goodridge, and the various companies that operated under the business name HD1.”
The Property Ombudsman expelled Miaisa Ltd, trading as Gallery@HD1, in October 2016 after it was ordered to pay £2,312 owed in rent and to transfer £975 of tenant deposits.
A month later, another firm trading as Gallery@HD1 and linked to Goodridge, Robert Charles Esq Ltd, was expelled by the Property Redress Scheme, having joined in April.
A PRS spokesman said: “The local Trading Standards Team are aware of this company and we would advise any landlords that are owed money to contact them and also seek some legal advice.”
Companies House records show that Miaisa Ltd is now in liquidation while Robert Charles Esq Ltd is still active but has missed the deadline to file its confirmation statement.
This can result in a company being struck off and a director being prosecuted.
A West Yorkshire Trading Standards spokesman said: “I regret we cannot confirm the existence or progress of any ongoing criminal investigation.
“If landlords wish to report losses we would wish to hear from them via Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline 03454 04 05 06.”
Yesterday, in an unconnected case, we reported on a letting agent, Carter Stones, also expelled by a redress scheme and also said to be under investigation by Trading Standards.