2011 - It 's 25 years since Suzy Lamplugh 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.
Click on image for article from "The Estate Agent"
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
believed that Suzy, like most people at that time - and even now -
was simply unaware of the possible dangers that individuals can face
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
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
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 phone number.
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
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.
Bucks Free Press on the 8th August 1986 reported on
the concerns of local High Wycombe estate agents following Suzy Lamplugh
two weeks earlier on the 28th July. Click on image to open as PDF
August 2011. The death was announced of Dian
Lamplugh OBE following a massive stroke. Obituary
Here from the Independent
article was located at the jml Property website until August 2017
to Philip Suter Index
of images, unless otherwise stated - Suter family archives