A SLOUGH based estate agent is being investigated by trading standards after ignoring orders from the property ombudsman to back thousands of pounds to angry clients.

Nick and Angeli Sahota say they entrusted two properties they owned to Lee Clarke - director of Berkshire Estates Ltd in Windsor Road, Slough to manage.

Mrs Sahota said: "The understanding was that he would put tenants' deposits into a DPS scheme. When we discovered he had not paid it in he fobbed me off and finally became abusive on the phone."

She said the couple had to reimburse their tenants for the lost deposits and are still owed the compensation Mr Clarke was subsequently ordered to pay by the property ombudsman - a total debt of £4,600.

The couple have made contact with other Slough landlords who say Mr Clarke's company owes them money for rents and deposits that were not passed on.

They gathered to protest at the weekend outside his now deserted office in Windsor Road.

This week a spokesman for Slough Borough Council, which is Slough's trading standards authority, said: "We can confirm we are doing everything within our powers to establish the scope of the issue. It is a live investigation and is very complex. We are working with our partners including Thames Valley Police and the Property Ombudsman."

A statement by Katrine Sporle, the property ombudsman, confirmed that Berkshire Estate Agents had ignored its orders to pay money back to several complainants and had been reported to Slough Trading Standards and the industry regulator NTSEAT.

Slough Council has confirmed that Berkshire Estates is no longer part of any redress scheme which could render the company liable to a fine of £5,000.

Lee Clarke. who is a director of the company has not answered emails sent by the Observer asking for his comments and the office in Windsor Road has been closed with the telephone number no longer functioning.

A neighbouring business said that Mr Clarke had last been seen in the office on December 20 when he popped in for five minutes.