Students at Huddersfield University are being warned not to enter into contracts with an estate agent business accused of owing landlords and tenants thousands of pounds.
The Examiner has been inundated with complaints since we first revealed the allegations against Dennis Goodridge’s Gallery@HD1 based at John William Street in Huddersfield town centre.
And it seems so has the Students Union at Huddersfield University.
He is said to have withheld tenants’ rents from landlords and is accused of keeping tenants’ deposits.
Rachel Prior told how she let her Greenhead home via Gallery@HD1 only to find she was owed £2,500 in rent while her tenants have not received their deposit back.
Although she won her case against him in the small claims court she said he told her he could not pay the outstanding amount and offered to pay a set amount each month.
Recently we reported that Mr Goodridge had been expelled by industry regulator The Property Ombudsman for withholding rents from two landlords. He then liquidated his company leaving debts of more than £190,000.
Charlotte Jackson, Education Officer for University of Huddersfield Students’ Union said: “I would like to thank the Examiner on behalf Huddersfield Students’ Union for your recent reports, highlighting issues with Gallery@HD1 and the practices of the owner, Dennis Goodridge.
“Over the past 12 months our advice centre in the Students‘ Union has dealt with many student complaints regarding Gallery@HD1 letting agents in Huddersfield.
“Topics have ranged from unprotected deposits, non return of deposits, disrepair issues with accommodation and several cases where students have paid for accommodation but have not been able to move in and their money has not been returned.
“We have had several meetings and conversations with Gallery staff and Dennis Goodridge which have resulted in favourable outcomes for students.
“After a meeting in October 2015 with Mr Goodridge he made the admission that after his current contracts had ended, Gallery would no longer be letting student accommodation.
“Following press reports and the fact Gallery are still trading in student accommodation, we have taken the decision to warn the students of Huddersfield University not to enter any new contracts for accommodation with Gallery until such time that we have assurances that recent problems have been resolved and that future commercial enterprise will be regulated and meet all letting industry standards.”
Students concerned about any current contracts or transactions they have with Gallery should get in touch with the Students Union advice centre on 01484 473446 email@example.com for help resolving problems.