A SOUTHAMPTON-based estate agent is going from strength to strength just months after its sister company went into liquidation.

On the eve of its fourth anniversary, property experts at Bitterne-based Charles Carr are celebrating confirmation of the company's status as the area’s market leader.

Charles Carr has been awarded a five-star rating by online directory View Agents as well as notching up impressive statistics from the national website Zoopla.

Earlier this month it emerged that CE Property Ltd had been told to pay £350 by industry watchdogs after a complaint was partially upheld.

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) announced that the company had been banned from trading until the money had been paid to the landlord who lodged the complaint.

But it acknowledged that the company had gone into liquidation, which meant the cash was unlikely to be handed over.

Now staff at Charles Carr have spoken of the success being enjoyed by the company and their hopes for the future.

Founded in 2015, the company quickly established itself on the Southampton property scene offering valuations, sales and lettings, and enjoyed success that far exceeded its initial ambitions.

Sales director Lloyd Westall said: "We have definitely overcome a few challenges over the past few years.

"We used to have a sister company, CE Property, which managed the lettings side of the business, but after one of our former partners ran into financial difficulty at the end of the last year the entire business was adopted by the Charles Carr brand.

"Since the start of the year we have been working hard to demonstrate our commitment to - and responsibility for - our existing landlords by hiring new staff, reviewing our internal procedures and signing up to both the Property Redress Scheme and the Deposit Protection Scheme.

"As a result, we have attracted a host of new clients who are trusting us with the management of their rental properties."

Now housed in two offices to accommodate a rapidly growing team of staff, Charles Carr is currently responsible for more than185 properties across its sales and lettings business.

Branch manager Shane Clarke said: "When we started in our first office with just four staff, we could not have foreseen how the business would take off.

"We opened our second office in Bitterne’s pedestrian precinct in 2016, now employ 14 staff and have a full-time administrative team to ensure we meet client demand and expectation.

"Despite industry forecasts and news reports, we have found market conditions to be strong in a vibrant property scene and that clients still place immense value on personal service, attention and, ultimately, accountability."