Shields Student Homes - Latest News

28/06/2017

The Chair of the Code Tribunal suspended Shields Student Homes from membership of the Unipol Code on 19th January and they are no longer an accredited supplier.

The decision to suspend membership was been taken because, at the time, six students complained to Unipol that they had not received their deposits back at the end of their tenancies and some of these students reported that their deposits were not protected under one of the recognised Deposit Protection Schemes. The suspension was because the Chair believed that Shields Student Homes were in breach of Clause 7.00 and 7.01.

Unipol contacted Mr Mohammed Shafiq, of Shields Student Homes, to respond to these issues at the end of November 2016 and despite a seven day warning issued on 9th January 2017, nothing further has been heard from him.

Action Since the Suspension

Some deposits were protected and those students have now had their money, or will receive their money, back from the relevant deposit protection scheme.

In addition to the students who had originally contacted Unipol on 19th January, Unipol asked any other affected students to make contact and a further 9 students did. Following the suspension of Shields a deadline of 1st March 2017 was agreed after which no further complaints could be processed.

Unipol also circulated landlords to see whether they were owed money if they had their properties managed by Shields and 9 landlords confirmed that they were owed money and Unipol has been informed that there are 8 small claims court orders against Shields amounting to £24,000.

Unipol supported 4 cases (affecting 15 students) in taking legal action against Shields Student Homes or their landlords to seek recompense where there seemed to have been a failure to fulfil legal obligations in respect of deposit protection using Hatch Legal (Solicitors).

2 cases were settled by offers from the landlords of the affected properties reimbursing students’ deposits ad paying additional monies in compensation for failing to ensure the deposits were protected and covering some legal costs.

Two cases were submitted to Nottingham Count Court and both cases resulted in judgements against Shields. The payment dates have no passed and no no money has been received from Shields who look to have gone out of business. The judgements also found against the landlords whose properties were being managed and tenants have now reached a negotiated settlement with those landlords who, somewhat reluctantly, have now refunded the deposits with some additional payment being made. The tenants decided to accept these offers.

Unipol will now apply to strike off Shields from the register of companies in which case the company will be dissolved which would prevent the company from further trading.

If students or landlords have any questions relating to this they can email Megan Blander, Complaints investigator on M.Blanden@unipol.org.uk or use the Web Chat facility.