Rogue letting agent jailed after stealing holding deposits worth £15,000

first_imgA “thoroughly dishonest” rogue letting agent in Croydon, South London has been jailed for failing to pay back holding deposits often for the same property and totalling £15,000 following a two-week trial.Thirugnanaselvam Damayantharan, also known as Mr Damo, was sentenced to 19 months in jail for the offences, which included taking multiple deposits for the same property, letting properties he had no authority to do so and failing to return deposits when tenancies fell through, despite being through no fault of the tenant.At the court hearing the letting agent denied two counts of fraudulently trading as two companies – See Own Properties and My Lawn Estates – over the past six years, although the unreturned holdings deposits related to 33 properties.See Own Properties, which is still trading but the annual accounts for which are overdue, is registered at a Regus office facility in central Croydon (pictured, left).My Lawn Estates, which advertised on Rightmove but has now been removed but is still listed as ‘active’ at Companies House, was expelled from The Property Ombudsman in 2015 for two years.During the case, which was brought by Croydon Council Trading Standards, the court heard that Damayantharan, who was convicted of a similar offence in 2013, would take holding deposits and then, after the moving in date came and went would use various excuses.These included that the landlord had decided not to rent the property out, or that the cash had been held up by the referencing agency, before Damayantharan would then break off contact.The court also heard that the letting agent’s actions would leave prospective tenants both out of pocket and often on the brink of homelessness.“Part of Mr Damo’s business model appears to have been premised on his finding prospective tenants for properties he had identified as vacant, and finding tenants which he could introduce to landlords in the hope he could induce the landlords to take them on, irrespective of whether he had been instructed to [by the landlords],” said Andrew Johnson, prosecuting, the Croydon Advertiser reports.rogue letting agent Croydon Thirugnanaselvam Damayantharan March 16, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Rogue letting agent jailed after stealing holding deposits worth £15,000 previous nextRegulation & LawRogue letting agent jailed after stealing holding deposits worth £15,000Croydon sentences Thirugnanaselvam Damayantharan to 19 months in prison.Nigel Lewis16th March 201701,445 Viewslast_img read more