Early Days - 1984.
Prime Lettings started trading in 1984 as a lettings and estate agent. In those days it was run by a well-known local man, Dietmar Smith, and for the first few of years was trading from a desk of another agent in the town.
During this decade, Dietmar built the business as a sole trader and moved to dedicated premises as 58 New Bedford Road. In 1999, on advice from his accountant he incorporated the business and took the name of Prime Lettings Limited, and this is the company that still is in existence today.
2000 to 2001
Dietmar continued to trade as a lettings and estate agent, and also began to develop commercial estate agency work, specialising in the sale of local businesses and shops.
12 April 2001
A major change to the company took place on this day in that Dietmar and his wife sold the company to the current owners, David and Bonita Abbott. The reason for this was obvious really, and due to the business having grown more than Dietmar had planned. He found that he was finding greater difficulty in giving good service on all aspects of the business, thus the best solution was to sell the lettings side and retain his work in estate agency.
2001 to 2003
David Abbott was already involved with a lettings franchise, using the trading style of Martin & Co. It was therefore a natural transition for the lettings side to be transferred so it operated under his franchise. The company then restricted itself to business support operations.
During this year the company was approached by a few people who were experiencing financial difficulties, either as an individual or as a small business. The owners were pleased to assist by giving advice, and also on occasions arranging finance or a trying to find a solution through a sister company called Bowday Limited, particularly where repossession was imminent
It is surprising then, as is still the case now, that there is so little published information designed to assist people in financial difficulties, and/or who might be facing repossession. Quite often it is the might of a large legal department of a national mortgage company against a lonely and troubled individual or couple. Even more amazing is that there are many organisations and individuals ready to exploit people in this vulnerable position operating quite legally but totally without ethics.
Finding a significant demand for finance and assistance from a local company with well-known and trusted owners, it was decided to formalise matters. The company therefore applied for, and was successful in obtaining a license (No. 582415) from the Office of Fair Trading enabling it to conduct the business of Consumer Credit. In addition, the company applied for and was awarded category Z approval and this is the main focus as it allowed us the the right to canvass creditor agreements away from trade premises. We used the trading name of Prime Finance for this.
Being responsible lenders, we were also proud to be a member (No. 10347) of the Consumer Credit Association and fully support their aim to promote high standards in the credit industry.
Lastly, we were also an approved money service business (No. 12242538) by Her Majesties Revenue and Customs enabling us to cash cheques from third parties and conform to the stringent money laundering regulations.
Prime Lettings - one of the longest established independent lettings and block management agencies in Luton.