Employees at Ilford letting agency given suspended sentences after admitting fraudulent trading

The two men pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading. [Picture: PA]

The two men pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading. [Picture: PA] - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The owner of a letting agency and one of his employees have been given suspended sentences after scamming landlords and prospective tenants.

Ali Raza Hussain Syed, from Barking, and Syed Faizan Ul Hussain, from Ilford, pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading following an investigation by Redbridge Council’s Trading Standards team into the Danyal Adam Letting Agency.

The action took place after members of the public put in more than 40 complaints and enquiries about the business, based in Cranbrook Road.

Deposits, averaging £2,000, were taken from prospective tenants for flats which became unavailable close to the moving-in date.

This left some people homeless and unable to receive refunds.

No deposits were lodged under the Deposit Protection Scheme and when flats were tenanted for landlords, the rent was not passed on.

The agency also claimed to be a member of a number of professional bodies when it was not.

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The owner was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court last week to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years, and 200 hours of community service. His employee was sentenced to six months in prison, also suspended for two years.

Both were given electronic tags and ordered to adhere to a curfew between 8pm and 6am, for three months. Confiscation will take place at a later date for an outstanding sum of £42,000.

Cllr Ross Hatfull, cabinet member for community safety and enforcement, said: “We will always fully investigate any concerns residents have about businesses operating in the borough and will prosecute anyone found to be operating fraudulently.”

A spokesman for Redbridge Council said residents are urged to check that their letting agent is a member of a reputable professional body and that the body has a code of conduct, a complaints procedure and a client money protection scheme.