Date Published 22 October 2013
The rent-to-rent agent who apparently disappeared with tenants` deposits but has resurfaced as the owner of a Whitegates franchise lettings business, has said he will pay back what he owes – and fully intends to stand up and be counted.
Daniel Burton ran his agency, Unida Place, in Charlotte Street, London. The business, which has attracted complaints and scathing reviews on allAgents, has apparently shut.
However, Burton has now posted a message on both the Unida Place website and a discussion forum:
`Hi all, I am making this statement, against legal advice, as I fully intend to stand up and be counted for what has happened.
`I can`t comment further due to legal reasons, so I won`t be adding to this discussion.
`Firstly, I have not disappeared, ran off into the sunset with millions of pounds despite some sensationalistic journalism. I am currently working 80-90 hours per week in order to pay back every penny to my creditors.
`Unfortunately, I have made some bad business decisions during the growth of my company. I was young, naive, and took my eyes of the ball. I trusted staff when I shouldn`t have and was slow to react to certain situations. I overtraded and was guilty of burying my head in the sand for which I apologise and I am trying my very best to make amends.
`I am holding my hands up and taking full responsibility for mine and my staff`s actions. Over the next 10-14 days I will be contacting every single person I owe money too and explaining what I intend to do. I can`t say exactly when I will be able to pay everyone back but I have already paid over £30,000 back and I personally guarantee everyone will be paid back.
`I am working all the hours I possibly can to do this and for all you people that think I`m living in the lap of luxury I`m driving a 53-plate Transit van, I have sold all my assets and I`m taking minimum wage so I can pay back as much as I can, as quickly as possible. I`m not asking for praise or compliments but just letting you all know what my intentions are and that they are honourable.
`I wholeheartedly apologise for mine and my staff`s actions and please believe me when I say I am trying my best to put right the wrongs.
`I also apologise for bringing negativity on the landlord community, I only hope I can make things right as quick as possible. Dan.`
A spokesperson for Whitegates, part of the Xperience network which is operated by Legal & General, confirmed that Burton remains the principal at the office in Scunthorpe, but said that he is not actually working in the business while an investigation continues.
The spokesperson added: `I can confirm that Daniel Burton has been in regular contact with the Whitegates management team and is co-operating with us. I can also confirm that no Whitegates clients have suffered any financial loss.
`Whitegates is one of the few ARLA registered agents in Scunthorpe and also subscribes to the SafeAgent scheme to ensure the highest possible ethics and standards in the lettings industry.`
Yesterday he put this update on his site:
"Thought I would post a quick update, as it is just over a week since the original post. More payments are being made, and I will update this page as time allows.
"If you are a creditor and I haven`t managed to get through to you yet, please drop me a message on firstname.lastname@example.org"