The Mirror has exposed what it believes is a scam letting agency website attempting to get would-be renters to part with deposits.
“You might think you can spot a scam. But what if you stumble across a letting website that seems to tick all the legal boxes? We did. This is what we found” runs the Mirror headline.
It tells the story of Nicole Welsh and boyfriend Nathanael Teles discovering that what appeared to be a bona fide letting agency website - London Home Let - was showing apartments in Mayfair for only just over £1,000 per month.
Nicole is quoted as saying: “It had all the legal details, it had all the right specifications of all the flats, it had a lot of information and it was a nice clean website with a company registration at the bottom.”
However the agent - one Austin O Dexter - demanded by email a 50 per cent deposit for the first month’s rent, plus an additional security deposit. The agent claimed the way to pay this was by international wire transfer.
The agent then declined to arrange viewings and stopped replying to the couple’s emails - and then the agency’s website disappeared off the internet.
The couple then spotted the same apartment’s photographs and details on a legitimate entry on Rightmove - for nearly four times the price