Ipswich: Property rental company in fraud probe after landlord complaints

Landlord complaints spark fraud probe

Landlord complaints spark fraud probe - Credit: Archant

An inquiry into an alleged fraud is under way after more than 30 Suffolk landlords have told police they have not received sums believed to total tens of thousands of pounds.

The money was due to be passed on to the owners of properties who had let them out through an Ipswich company.

However, Suffolk Lettings in St Peter’s Street, is believed to have closed in either December last year or January this year. Police were contacted by one of the landlords in January. 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 name for a while, the office appeared to be unmanned and locked.

Another unconnected business has now opened up at the same premises.

Over the past nine months following the investigation beginning into the original allegation that money was missing, a further 30 people who carried out business with Suffolk Lettings have come forward to make similar allegations.

Suffolk Constabulary has said its inquiry is continuing, but as yet no arrests have been made.

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The total figure which is claimed to be owed to the landlords has not been revealed.

Lisa Miller, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, confirmed an investigation had commenced after the original complaint alleging fraud was received early this year and the inquiry is still ongoing.

Mrs Miller said: “Suffolk police can confirm they 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.

“Since the initial report, Suffolk police have received a further 30 more allegations of a similar nature against the company.

“An investigation into the matter is ongoing.”