"important that the public can rely on legitimate estate agents"
Banned estate agent Amerjit Singh Dhuga, aged 41, of Oldbury, received a suspended sentence on August 26, 2021, after he pleaded guilty to unlawfully engaging in estate agency work over four years.
Dhuga, known as ‘Bobby Singh’ of Love Your Postcode was banned from engaging in estate agency work in 2013.
However, an investigation by the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team found that Dhuga continued to play an active part in running the estate agency business.
His clients did not know about the ban.
Investigators say that if they knew, they would likely not have instructed Love Your Postcode to provide estate agency work.
Dhuga’s offences spanned between August 2016 and November 2020.
The investigation discovered that Love Your Postcode Limited gave valuations to several consumers which were lower than the ‘For Sale’ price.
In many cases, the sum was up to £10,000 less, to which Love Your Postcode Limited would keep as a ‘Performance Fee’ as well as the usual commission.
At Wolverhampton Crown Court, Love Your Postcode Limited 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 was fined £16,000. Due to its early guilty plea, the fine was reduced to £12,000.
In 2020, Dhuga hit headlines after he called an NHS nurse “low-level trash”.
The verbal attack was in relation to Love Your Postcode offering free accommodation to 50 NHS workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, when the nurse made a complaint, Dhuga launched a verbal attack.
He filmed a series of videos in which he referred to her as a “koothi”, a Punjabi word which translates as ‘b****’.
Dhuga was sentenced to six weeks in prison, suspended for two years. He was also fined £4,000.
Following the sentencing, Chair of National Trading Standards Lord Toby Harris said:
“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.”