Smart suits, flashy business cards and a FAKE agency – could you spot a fake agent or are you at risk of losing your hard earned money? Landlords and Tenants alike need to be more aware of what to look for when choosing a letting agent.

The Right Place is delighted to hear of these fake letting agents being jailed !

Landlords and tenants were being ripped off in a fradulent scam by agents at the following named fake letting agents –  Belgravia Property Group, Carlton Residential, Park Lane Residential Ltd and Mayfair Residential. The companies were actually operating from serviced offices in London, Birmingham and Bristol.

The scam involved real properties with real landlords who had no idea that the agents were fake. The companies would take fees to reference the tenants and then tell them they didn’t qualify. However, if the tenants paid 6 months rent up front they would be accepted. Sadly, the rents were never passed on to the real landlords and the utility bills were never paid and the agency would vanish overnight, leaving the landlords and tenants to sort out the mess

Following a joint investigation by Trading Standards officers, the Police and a local authority, the prosecutions resulted in Adam Coote being sentenced to 28 months in prison, Andrew Rickard received 18 months in prison and Sahila Kauser was also sentenced to an 18 month custodial sentence suspended for two years, with 140 hours unpaid work and a 12 month supervision order.

The Landlords Union recommends that landlords and tenants only use agents that are members of ARLA, NALS, RICS, UKALA or The Law Society and that they are also registered with an consumer redress scheme.

You should also ask to see copies of their Client Money Protection and Professional Indemnity insurance policies.

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