2011 - It 's 25 years since Suzy Lamplug disappeared and her parents founded
the Suzy Lamplugh Trust - On the 28th July 1986, young estate agent
Suzy Lampluugh disappeared while showing an inknown client around a property...Click
on the image below to read this interesting article from "The Estate Agent"
- July/August 11.
safety for Letting Agent and Estate Agents
within the industry and outside will know the stories of Suzy Lamplugh and
Stephanie Slater two Estate Agents in the UK who showed the "wrong
applicant around" a property
In 1986 estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, a 25 year old estate agent disappeared after
she went to meet an unknown client. So far her body has not been found. However,
she has been presumed murdered and legally declared dead. Her parents, Paul and
Lamplugh, believed that Suzy, like most people at that time
- and even now - was simply unaware of the possible dangers that individuals can
face in society.
Paul and Diana founded the Trust to highlight the risks people face and to offer
advice, action and support to minimise those risks. I was privilidged to hear
her mother Diana speak at a meeting of ARLA The Association of Residential Letting
Agents at Pall Mall. London.It was a very moving talk and memorable. More
Slater On 22nd January 1992 whilst working as an estate
agent in the Great Barr area of Birmingham, UK Stephanie Slater was showing a
'prospective buyer' around a house in Turnberry Road. Unknown to her, this simple
part of her day to day work would now horrifically change the rest of her life
forever. Her 'client', it transpired, wasn't interested in buying the property
at all; he was a murderer, kidnapper and extortionist who held her for 8 days
in a coffin sealed inside a wheelie bin whilst he negotiated a ransom of £175,000
from her employers. She survived to tell her story More
being in the business for over 25 years I know that people cut corners. They need
the let or sale. They might be on commission or have targets to meet and it is
all to easy to immediately go off with an applicant who has just walked into your
office.It does not matter whether you are Female or Male....the
same rules must apply.
below are some basic ground rules
an appointment for an applicant to view a property - (Either accompanied viewing
by agency staff or by the property owner or tenant) - Record the applicants name
and address in a proper viewing record book. Take his/her contact telephone
number (usually these days they will offer a mobile, but try and get a home number
and work number as well). If the applicant refuses to give an address, politely
explain that this is your agency's security policy and they will probably find
the same situation at other agents. You are not allowed to set up an appointment
without that information.
should call the applicant back to confirm the appointment.
some agents will offer to take an applicant to the property, this can be unwise.
If the situation is diplomatically put - Your car is not covered by insurance
for this is usually a good reason. If the applicant has come into your office,
say you will go in separate cars. Take a note of the applicant's car registration
number. Consider always locking your car doors when you are driving. People have
often had handbags snatched at traffic lights for example.
it is a member of your agency's staff that is meeting an applicant (and the applicant's
telephone number) always write details in the office diary or if you run your
own independent office diary (either in a physical diary book or on computer).
Although details will have been recorded in a proper viewing record book they
must be recorded in diary so that other members of staff are aware of the appointment.
another colleague where you are going. If you don't return, they can at least
inform the right people.
very carefully before giving out your personal mobile phone number or your home
you are showing more than one applicant a property, every applicant's details
must be recorded together with the time of the appointment.
you are showing the same applicant more than one property all those details must
be recorded in proper viewing record book and diary.
the property - Put yourself in an alert frame of mind and if you have
a personal alarm (a wise investment that does not cost a lot) keep it at
hand in a pocket. Always let the applicant go into each room first ahead of you
and where possible keep yourself between the door and the applicant (this applies
at the entrance door to the property as well). Always keep your line of escape
open. If you feel the applicant's behaviour appears suspicious leave the property
immediately, telephone your office and if necessary the police. If you are delayed
(traffic problems - applicant turning up late etc) phone into your office. Always
keep car keys to hand so you can make a fast escape.
of the business you are in often involves "out of hours" appointments,
it could be that there will be no one at the office. In that case try and let
a colleague know the appointment is over (practically everyone now has a mobile
phone) and if you can't do that let a friend, relative, partner know. Take extra
care when there is no daylight and if the lighting does not work at a property
do not attempt to show anyone around. Explain to the applicant if he/she
says they have a torch that it is breaking Health and Safety regulations.
a sales or rental valuation - Ensure that all details have been recorded.
You should check to see if the Owner (Vendor - Landlord) actually lives at the
property. Details should be recorded in a diary. You should then follow the same
guidelines as in section above.
property world is very competitive these days, a lot more than in the 1980's and
1990's, however those working in it must always be vigilant on their account and
others they working with or working for be it an employer or client.18th
August 2011. The death was announced od Dian Lamplugh OBE following a massive
Here from the Independent
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