SJM clients in Fife urged to contact sequestrators

David Torrance MSP outside the SJM premises in Factory Road, Kirkcaldy
David Torrance MSP outside the SJM premises in Factory Road, Kirkcaldy

Former clients of SJM Mortgages & Estate Agents in Kirkcaldy are being urged to come forward with their details following the news that its owner has been sequestrated.

Concerns regarding SJM were first raised with David Torrance, Kirkcaldy’s MSP in September last year.

Many constituents approached Mr Torrance’s office and the Fife Free Press to raise awareness that rent payments from tenants had not been transferred to landlords for several months, as well as reporting that tenancy deposits for leases had failed to be lodged.

Following numerous reports that clients were having difficulty contacting staff, with reports of very erratic and inconsistent opening hours, the SJM premises then appeared to have closed permanently.

The management of the property could also not be contacted – despite repeated attempts.

Since then, both Police Scotland and Fife Trading Standards have launched their own investigations into the situation.
The estate of SJM’s owner, Paul Maksymuik, was sequestrated with effect from November 10, 2016 by Begbies Traynor, an insolvency practitioner, which has placed a sign in the window of the Factory Road premises appealing for landlords and tenants to contact the Edinburgh-based firm.

At present, Begbies Traynor have been unable to contact all of the affected landlords and tenants, and have approached Mr Torrance for his support.

The MSP said: “The bizarre events of last year involving the erratic behaviour and sudden disappearance of

SJM’s management has caused considerable distress for landlords and tenants.

“Many of my constituents and others trusted SJM to manage their leases, deposits and other services, and have come forward to express their shock and frustration at the situation.

“In many cases, constituents have been financially affected with no knowledge of whether or not their lost money could be recovered.

“I have repeatedly called for anyone who may be able to shed further light on the situation to come forward and speak to the appropriate authorities, and I repeat that call today.

“It is important that anyone who has been a client of SJM, whether a tenant or a landlord, comes forward to Begbies Traynor to discuss their situation following the sequestration of the business.

“I know that everyone affected will be anxious to move forward and know where they stand.”

Landlords and tenants can contact Begbies Traynor on 0131 222 9074.