Daniel Burton: police called in after agency audit

Daniel Burton, the rent-to-rent agent whose letting business Unida Place was at the centre of a scandal over missing money, has quit two other property businesses that he went on to acquire.

Police confirmed to Eye yesterday that they are making inquiries.

Burton is no longer a Whitegates franchisee in Legal & General’s Xperience network.

And he is nothing to do with David Parkinson Residential Lettings & Estate Agents in Cleethorpes after the original owners – who had hoped to retire – took their business back.

However, it is understood that Burton may now be operating in the Leicester area.

In April, Burton – for a second time – featured in a Channel 4 News item in which it was alleged that at Unida Place, Burton had taken £140,000 of tenants’ money.

The programme revealed that Burton had been expelled by MyDeposits, leaving tenants’ deposits unprotected.

Daniel Burton

On the Unida Place website, Burton promised to repay tenants, last posting up on December 7 last year to say that “repayment plans are progressing well”. However, the C4 item said that not all tenants had been repaid.

Yesterday, a Legal & General spokesperson confirmed to Eye that Burton had left the Whitegates office in Scunthorpe. The spokesperson said: “Whitegates are pleased to confirm that the Scunthorpe branch has been re-franchised to Mr Ian Gibson, an existing Whitegates franchisee. We look forward to working with Mr Gibson and the staff.”

Meanwhile, in Cleethorpes, David and Geraldine Parkinson – who believed they had been disposing of their business in good faith when they wished to retire after 30 years of highly reputable operation – have revealed they took the business back on April 14.

They say they signed a three-year agreement last December for Burton to buy the business, making monthly payments. However, by early January, they became aware that they had made a wrong decision.

When Burton allegedly defaulted on a payment, they were able to get their business back – causing, said Geraldine Parkinson, enormous difficulty.

She told Eye yesterday afternoon: “We had hoped to retire. Instead of which we have both worked harder than ever to sort things out, and my husband has suffered terrible stress.”

She said the original David Parkinson business is in the process of being wound up, while the portfolio of some 200 tenancies has been taken over by another firm, Lovelle Bacons, based in Grimsby.

The Parkinsons have been working with Lovelle Bacons on an intensive audit.

Lovelle Bacons, a firm of chartered surveyors that also runs property businesses in the area, has written to all the landlords.

Jonathan Lovelle, a partner, told Eye yesterday that a file has now been handed over to Humberside Police.

A spokesperson for the police authority said: “Police received a call from an estate agents in Grimsby reporting a theft.

“The investigation is now in the early stages and no arrests have been made.”

The spokesperson said there was little more she could say at the moment in the light of “very lengthy inquiries” ahead.

It is unclear what Burton is now doing, and he has not responded to an email from Eye inviting him to give his version of events.

However, it is thought that he may be involved in some kind of property management in Leicester.

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12 Comments

  1. Peter

    Deposit protection working as it should!!!

    landlords should be insisting that their agent only uses a custodial scheme, which should be the only type of scheme available, as it is the landlord that is losing the money and must repay the tenant.

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  2. wardy

    Never trust a man who's tie knot is bigger than his face.

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  3. ampersat

    Actually wardy the size of the knot isn't the problem, it is wearing the incorrect collar with that tie and a shirt that doesn't fit which are the real give away.
    Plastic shoes, shiny suit and an ill fitting shirt are the outwardly obvious signs of a Cad.

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  4. Peter

    Let's mot forget about white socks.

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    1. ampersat

      White socks are not the mark of Caddishness but of inexperience. I quick look beneath the modesty panel of any agent's desk is an instant giveaway to the hierarchy of the office.
      I wonder how many senior negs will now come back after their 10:30 with the correct colour socks on.
      Just for the record no belt and a waistband turned over at the front usually indicates a manager. Whereas totally unkempt or immaculate is the boss.

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      1. wardy

        so true, my shirts usually have the contents of my lunch down them as well.

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        1. ampersat

          Ahh, a Partner then

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          1. wardy

            Got it in one!
            Jeeze your good at this!

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          2. ampersat

            That is an easy one, staff get a lunch break as do corporate 'executive' it is only owners and partners who end up working through, grabbing lunch while catching up on emails and stuff before charging out for a full aftenoon of appts. Everything is normally good till you have a sarnie in one hand, the phone wedged between your ear and your shoulder and are scrabbling around for a bit of paper from the printer to make a note that Verity's mum wants Chicken Dippers picked up from Iceland on the way home.

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  5. Eric Walker

    If these episodes don't merit a banning order, then the industry's credibility will be further tarnished by the toothless policing of regulations already in force. This serves to further illustrate why regulation would, at this point in time, be little more than a rubber stamp for compliant agents.

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    1. MF

      Exactly.

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  6. chris.perring

    Its about time the industry got its act together to tighten up regulation so we can effectively stop these idiots from dragging the industry down even further! Chris P

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