Ipswich: Landlords lose out on £50,000 as lettings agency fraud probe continues
09:24 07 April 2014
An alleged fraud involving an Ipswich letting agency is said to have led to landlords losing out on just over £50,000, it has emerged.
Police said the 15-month inquiry into Suffolk Lettings, which closed its office in St Peter’s Street around December 2012, is still continuing.
However, at this stage no arrests have been made.
Around 30 landlords, some with more than one property, have reported not receiving money owed to them for renting out their premises.
Suffolk Constabulary has confirmed the investigation encompasses 48 properties.
The inquiry began in January last year when police were contacted by one of the landlords.
The property owner said the money they were due from renting out premises had not been passed on and they were unable to contact anyone at the company.
Although the shop front remained under Suffolk Lettings banner for a while the office was left unmanned and locked.
Another unconnected business subsequently opened up at the same premises.
After the initial report by one of the landlords others came forward to contact police when they were not paid and found themselves unable to get in touch with anyone from Suffolk Lettings.
Lisa Miller, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “Suffolk police received a report in January 2013 from a person claiming that they had been a victim of fraud.
“The allegation was against a company which had been based in St Peter’s Street, Ipswich.
“After the initial report, Suffolk police received further allegations of a similar nature against the company. Enquiries are continuing.”
Anyone with information which could help the inquiry should telephone Detective Constable Donna Whelan-Smith at Suffolk Constabulary on 101 quoting crime reference IE/13/217.
Alternatively they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 55511.