Let­tings agency boss posed as a ten­ant to get de­posits

Ex­clu­sive

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Repton Manor Barn - By Paul Hooper

only be re­leased af­ter the ten­ant is given a spe­cial ID num­ber from the gov­ern­ment-ap­proved DPS.

Martin has now ad­mit­ted mak­ing phone calls on sev­eral oc­ca­sions in 2012 and 2013 pos­ing as ten­ants to re­ceive the num­ber which was then used to re­lease funds.

Martin is be­lieved to have bought the busi­ness five years ago, let­ting out residential prop­er­ties in Kent.

The DPS was set up un­der the 2004 Hous­ing Act to pro­tect funds dur­ing a ten­ant’s stay in prop­er­ties.

One of the vic­tims was a teenager who moved into prop­erty in St Michael’s Street, Folke­stone.

In May 2012, a call was made to the DPS by Martin pre­tend­ing to be the ten­ant and ask­ing for the spe­cial re­lease ID.

That was re­peated on other oc­ca­sions for prop­er­ties in Rom­ney Marsh and High Halden– although the judge was told that all monies have now “found their way” to the right­ful own­ers.

Martin and his com­pany also placed an ad­vert in a news­pa­per falsely car­ry­ing an ARLA logo – the As­so­ci­a­tion of Residential Let­ting Agents – to which the com­pany was not as­so­ci­ated.

The let­tings boss was re­leased on un­con­di­tional bail un­til Oc­to­ber. Seek­ers Es­tate Agents. Inset, Keith Martin, who has been found guilty of fraud

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