Landlords and tenants concern at Oliver Frank closure
By |Published On: 11th September 2015|

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Landlords and tenants concern at Oliver Frank closure

By |Published On: 11th September 2015|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

Landlords and tenants have been made distraught with the news that London letting agent, Oliver Knights, has been closed down, leaving thousands out of pocket as a result.

Just weeks ago, Landlord Action was instructed to recover in excess of £10,000 for one landlord, and £8,000 for another. However, with the company apparently ceasing trading, the outlook is not good for these sums or thousands of other rents or holding deposits to ever be returned.


In 2010, Mr Tan Chun Keung bought a property in Canary Wharf to generate a stream of retirement income. He appointed a letting agent to manage his property, which he insists was the correct decision. This said, when the tenant moved out of the property and it was advertised as vacant, Mr Tan Chun Keung received notification from Oliver Knights claiming that an international bank had chosen to rent the apartment for staff, at full market price for three years.

Mr Tan Chun Keung understandably thought that the opportunity to secure a three year tenancy with a corporate let was too good to turn down. However, after irregular rent payments were eventually received during the first five months, these eventually finished eventually. Despite many attempts to contact Oliver Knights, the firm has not responded, nor has the tenant.

‘It has since transpired that the tenant living in our property was not the person that signed the tenancy agreement,’ said Mr Tan Chun Keung. ‘Oliver Knights had signed a new agreement with another tenant without informing us. The tenant claims he has passed rent to Oliver Knight but has no proof of payment.’[1]


According to a new potential tenant who has contacted Mr Tan Chun Keung, Oliver Knights actually carried out a viewing of the property as recently as 19th August 2015. Agreeing a weekly rent of £360, the tenant was told that she and her partner could move into the home on the 27th August. As such, they paid a six-week deposit and one-month rent in advance, totalling £4,420.

Just one week later, the tenant was informed that the landlord had decided to retract the offer. Oliver Knights promised the tenants that they would receive a full refund, but the agent has once again been uncontactable.

Landlords and tenants concern at Oliver Frank closure

Landlords and tenants concern at Oliver Frank closure

Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action, has already begun several rent recovery cases against the firm. He said that, ‘it is a bitterly frustrating experience, especially fan an overseas landlord who had previously been using a very reputable agent. We are doing all we can to regain possession of Mr Tan Chun Keung property. Landlords living overseas have to rely heavily on local letting agencies to manage their rental property and scenarios like this are occurring too frequently.’[1]


Shamplina believes that, ‘until the industry is properly regulated and every letting agent is required by law to have Client Money Protection Insurance as well as belong to an association (ARLA, NALS, SAFEagent, The Guild of Letting & Management) and a redress scheme such as The Property Redress Scheme or The Property Ombudsman then unfortunately these nightmare cases will continue.’[1]

‘Unfortunately these rogue agents are tarnishing the vast majority of good agents who are offering an excellent lettings and management service. I believe the Government’s latest plans to tackle this should go as far as combining each trade body’s list of rogue agents to create one ‘black list’.  This data should then be made accessible to the public to protect the consumer i.e. landlords and tenants,’ Shamplina concluded.[1]




About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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