Agent who helped himself to tenants’ deposits is jailed for three years

An agent who failed to pay tenants’ deposits into a protection scheme and spent the money has been jailed for three years.

Timothy Shinners, 31, committed the £80,000 fraud over a six-year period at Platinum Properties in Bolton, cheating his business partner Chris Baron in the process.

After leaving Platinum Properties, he went on to work for online agent YOPA in Manchester.

Shinners was found guilty at Preston’s Sessions House Court on two counts of making false representations to cause loss; and two counts of making and supplying articles for use in a fraud. During his trial, he attempted to blame others.

When the fraud came to light, another businessman in the venture honoured the deposits with £30,000 of his own money, an action which drew praise from the Judge, Graham Knowles.

Judge Knowles, who also disqualified Shinners from being a company director for eight years, said: “You rode roughshod over the protection of tenants’ deposits.

“You and Chris Baron agreed together what each of you would draw from the business and it was not a lot, and he kept to that deal throughout and he thought you kept to that deal – but he and others learned you did not.”

YOPA appointed Shinners, of Bolton, to help lead its push in the Greater Manchester region two years ago.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he was managing director of Platinum Properties between January 2008 and April 2015.

In August 2015 he became regional sales director for YOPA, a position he still appears to hold.

However, a spokesperson for YOPA, which is backed by Savills, yesterday told us: “Tim Shinners’ LinkedIn profile is out of date.

“He was let go from YOPA in December 2016 and has not been involved with the business since.”

His LinkedIn profile shows Shinners has also worked for other agents.


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  1. surreyagent

    Isn’t it about time company directors caught with hands in the till are banned for life for holding directorships……

  2. Peter

    If only he had a drug and alcohol addiction he might have been spared jail.  (see next story)

  3. dave_d

    Pretty sure this company was acquired by Northwood

  4. Eric Walker

    For clarity, Northwood did not acquire the company, rather the assets. The issues reported were resolved sometime ago and every file was subject to strict due diligence as one would expect. We are delighted with another successful acquisition and look forward to many more.

  5. Woodentop

    Deposits should be deposited directly by the tenants into a custodial scheme like the DPS before the start of the tenancy. This would stop dipping into the till.


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