All may not be lost for customers of shut-down shop

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CUSTOMERS of a closed furniture store are legally entitled to lay claim to their goods, according to a consumer expert.

Richard Thomson, who writes the People’s Champion column in The News, says that some of the people caught up in the row between Homewood Interiors and their landlords will not lose out.

Mr Thomson said customers are entitled to claim to furniture which has been paid for and delivered to the store.

Homewood Interiors, owned by Right Price Furniture, closed on November 28 due to a row over non-payment of rent.

The shop was emptied by bailiffs acting on behalf of the landlord.

Mr Thomson advised that agents acting for the landlord’s bailiff Cyan Power, must give customers an opportunity to collect their goods as they legally cannot sell the furniture.

He said: ‘A report in The News which said that the bailiff’s agents will try to save customers’ orders may be a little misleading.

‘Bailiffs can only sell stock owned by Homewood Interiors and have no right to sell or retain furniture which may be in the store awaiting delivery.

‘I advise anyone who has a receipt for payment or other proof of purchase to contact Cyan Power immediately and make arrangements.’

Unfortunately, this does not help customers whose orders had not been delivered to the store. They will need to wait for the directors to appoint an administrator.

The directors have said they intend to put the business into administration and in that event, customers will have to make a claim with the administrator to release their furniture

Lynne Porter, 62, from Emsworth, had placed an order of £1,900. She said: ‘We’d been in that shop so many times, we never thought it would go out of business.’

David Hewitt, director owner of Right Price Furniture, said: ‘It’s difficult to give deadlines as we are working with solicitors to pursue a claim with the landlord.

‘It’s an awful thing to happen but we will be in touch when we know more. We are doing the best we can.’

Claimants should write to Cyan Power, 5 Queensgate, Fareham PO16 ONW or e-mail enclosing a copy of proof of purchase (not originals).