Purplebricks prepares to offload troubled lettings business


The online estate agent Purplebricks is drawing up plans to offload its troubled lettings business after regulatory failings pushed its share price to new lows.

The chief executive, Vic Darvey, and other senior employees have recently discussed plans to sell the embattled division of the estate agent and have approached auditors to assess the business prior to sale, sources told The Telegraph. 

Internal audits have also been planned, with checks being conducted to ensure there are no undiscovered problems.

It follows revelations that Purplebricks’ lettings business, which accounted for only £6.6m of £91m total turnover last year, had failed to register tenant deposits and could be liable for up to £30m compensation.

Failure to provide such paperwork means that tenants can claim back up to three times the value of deposit from either the landlord or the estate agent. It could also limit landlords’ ability to evict tenants in arrears.

After The Telegraph revealed the oversight, which forced Purplebricks to delay its half-year results, the company claimed it would only cost between £2m to £9m. It nevertheless lost a further 20pc of its stock market value on a single day.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

7 + 2 =