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Eight regional branches close as estate agency franchise collapses

PUBLISHED: 15:34 17 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:32 18 February 2018

The former Hunters Estate Agent building on Ber Street. Picture: D Faulkner

The former Hunters Estate Agent building on Ber Street. Picture: D Faulkner

D Faulkner/Archant

An East Anglian estate agency franchise has collapsed into insolvency with the immediate closure of eight branches.

Kudos Residential, which was trading as Hunters, began liquidation proceedings on Thursday .

Estate agent William H Brown is understood to be assisting tenants and landlords in the interim, with staff drafted in to help at the Hellesdon branch – the only of its nine branches which remains open.

Kudos directors Brian Hutchinson and Jacqueline Mowforth have written to tenants saying William H Brown had been asked “to assist” in the management of properties.

The sites closed are Ber Street in Norwich, Poringland, Long Stratton, Brundall, Bungay, Diss, Gorleston and Great Yarmouth.

The Hadleigh branch of Hunters in Suffolk remains open and outside of insolvency proceedings as it is not run by Kudos Residential.

In a statement a spokesman for the national Hunters network said: “We are sorry to hear the news regarding Kudos Residential in the Norfolk area.

“The market has been difficult in certain parts of the country, as widely reported in the media.

“We understand the business is being assisted by William H Brown so customers’ contracts can be fulfilled. We have sympathy for the personal situations of those affected but are unable to confirm exact details at this moment in time.”

A meeting of creditors will be held on Monday by insolvency practitioners Matt Howard and Stuart Morton of Price Bailey.

Hunters is a national estate agent network made up of franchises. Kudos Residential, which was founded in 2009, became part of Hunters in 2015.

On its website the company says it is known for marketing properties ranging from £60,000 to £1m across the region.

Nick Taylor, chairman of the Norwich and District Association of Estate Agents, said Kudos’s low pricing had led to raised eyebrows in the industry.

He said the administration process would likely lead to other agents taking on Kudos’s customers. “Clients will be sold on to another agency. It can be seamless but it depends if you want to work with that agency. For customers buying or renting, they should be picked up by other agents and it should not interrupt the process.”

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