PEOPLE left thousands of pounds out of pocket when a holiday homes company ceased trading are unlikely to be repaid, a report has found.

Brighton Holiday Homes suddenly ceased trading on May 28 last year owing landlords, businesses and Brighton and Hove City Council sums ranging from £1 to £500,000.

It was then revealed that the director of Brighton Holiday Homes Ltd Neil Stonehill withdrew £1,024,281 over and above his salary from the company “for his personal benefit” before it closed.

Insolvency firm Quantuma has released an updated report which states that those owed money are unlikely to be paid.

The report states: “As part of the joint administrators’ statutory duties, an investigation into the conduct of the company director was completed.

“In this regard, a confidential report was submitted to the Insolvency Service on September 6 2019.”

The administrator’s progress report, which is given to creditors, states that Mr Stonehill and his wife, Michelle, have now been made bankrupt.

It found it would “appear unlikely” that unsecured creditors will be paid based on the information the investigators have received to date.

The report adds that it is not anticipated that the secured creditor, a £461,395 loan from Funding Circle, will be paid in full.

The company, which opened in 2009, provided accommodation in the city for holidaymakers, with an emphasis on hen parties, which had to pay for their holidays six weeks in advance.

It acted as an agent, letting properties on behalf of the owners.

More than 97 landlords and businesses in the city are owed money.

Among those owed money is HM Revenue and Customs, which is owed £60,000.

Brighton and Hove City Council is also owed more than £5,500.

Neil and Michelle Stonehill, who are company director and secretary respectively, sent an email to customers before ceasing to trade.

It said: “It is with great regret that due to the challenging economic conditions, Brighton Holiday Homes has ceased trading with immediate effect.

“You will not be able to access the property you have booked so please do not travel to Brighton unless you have alternative accommodation.”

The Argus was flooded with emails from desperate customers and furious homeowners.

In response to the collapse, business advisory firm Quantuma was appointed as joint administrators of the company.