BIG FINE FOR LYING LETTING AGENT - <<Back

A West Bromwich letting agent has been fined £3,120 and ordered to pay £3,417.53 in costs for fraudulently making false claims about his business.The matter came to light following a complaint made to Sandwell Council's Trading Standards Service.At Warley magistrates Amerjit Singh Dhuga, trading as wli.uk.com based at 101 High Street, West Bromwich, pleaded guilty to 26 offences including three under the Fraud Act for fraudulently making false claims about his business.Dhuga admitted making the false claims concerning his business in that wli.uk.com was a member of The Property Ombudsman lettings and sales schemes, the OFT approved code, the National Approved Letting scheme, Midland Landlord Accreditation Scheme, the Association of Residential Letting Agents and the statement "2010 Independent Award Winning Accredited Agency".The court heard that these claims were made on his website and on his business premises between January 15, and April 12, last year.Investigations revealed that despite previously being warned by The Property Ombudsman about the use of unauthorised claims, Dhuga continued to make the misleading claims.Cllr Derek Rowley, Sandwell Council's cabinet member for safer neighbourhoods, said, "I would like to congratulate Trading Standards for obtaining a successful criminal conviction against this individual."I am aware that the defendant had been quite abusive to council officers."I hope this conviction will send out a strong message to other traders that illegal trading practices will not be tolerated."Making fraudulent claims as to the quality of the service and the financial protection afforded to them is misleading to the public. It is also gaining an unfair competitive advantage over honest and decent traders who are complying with the law," he added.

 

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