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Estate agent who brazenly carried on working despite ban is given six-week sentence

The long arm of the law finally caught up with Amerjit or ‘Bobby’ Singh Dhuga after he pleaded guilty to working as an agent despite being banned.

Nigel Lewis

singh sentenced NTSEALT estate agent

An infamous former estate agent who had been banned in 2013 following convictions for fraud and breaching consumer protection regulations has been given a suspended jail sentence after continuing to work within the industry.

41-year-old Amerjit or ‘Bobby’ Singh Dhuga from Oldbury in the West Midlands was sentenced to six weeks in jail suspended for two years at Wolverhampton Crown Court and fined £4,000.

He had pleaded guilty to unlawfully engaging in estate agency work between August 2016 and November 2020 and engaging in a practice which was a ‘misleading action and contravened the requirements of professional diligence’.

Dhuga was not shy about being an agent. Despite being banned, he featured in huge posters (pictured) placed on several Sandwell roundabouts, several of which led to members of the public reporting him to local trading standards.

His court appearance following a subsequent investigation by the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team.

It found he was rather obviously playing an active role in running agency Love Your Postcode Ltd despite being banned.

He was also expelled from TPO in 2011 for fraudulent use of its logo and the OFT logo on his then agency’s website.

Business model

Love Your Postcode had an unusual business model, providing valuations to consumers which were often £10,000 lower than the market value, with Love Your Postcode retaining the difference as a ‘performance fee’ as well as the usual commission.

Love Your Postcode also pleaded guilty to breaching professional diligence requirements by failing to declare to customers that Dhuga could not lawfully undertake estate agency work.

The company has been fined £16,000 which was reduced to £12,000 because of its early guilty pleas. Collective prosecution costs were £5,000 and there was a victim surcharge of £170.

toby harris ntsLord Toby Harris, Chair of National Trading Standards (pictured), says: “Buying or renting a home is a major financial transaction for people and it is important that the public can rely on legitimate estate agents to provide a professional service.

“Working as an estate agent while banned is against the law and we will take action against dishonest fraudsters who try to con the public.

“This investigation demonstrates the vital role of the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency team in protecting consumers and safeguarding legitimate practice within the estate agency sector.”

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August 27, 2021

One comment

  1. Six years seemed quite a lot glancing at the head line then I read suspended! What a joke it should have been a custodial sentence of two years ! Its rouges like him who give estate agents and property professionals a bad name

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