Letting agent facing trial after denying fraud charges

An agent is to face trial after denying accusations that he conned a prospective tenant into handing over money to rent a home that was allegedly not his to let out.

Thirugnanaselvam Damayantharan, 50, said in court to have been trading as Kingswood Estate Agents, allegedly showed Elaine Woodside around the property in Purley, Surrey.

Francesca Levett, prosecuting at Croydon Magistrates’ Court, said: “He was purporting to be the letting agent when he had no right to.

“The previous tenants were there, but he took a £250 holding deposit and then told her to come back and supply a further year’s rent in cash to secure the property.

“She said ‘I can pay you for two months’ so the total she gave him was £3,235. She has not received that back and has not moved into the property.

“Despite a number of calls and visits asking when she could move in, she was not let in and it had been let by another agency.”

Miss Levett said complaints from other potential victims were being investigated.

Damayantharan denied three counts of fraud and three of misleading actions, but pleaded guilty to failing to provide the prospective tenant with documentation after accepting her deposit.

Kate Austin, defending, said: “The defendant states he was acting under the authority of the landlord. He says he was acting in good faith and was not being misleading.”

Damayantharan has been bailed until February 5 for trial.

According to the local newspaper, Kingswood Estate Agents is now a RE/MAX under a new owner.

According to company records, Damayantharan now runs an agency called See Own Properties based in Purley Way, Croydon, and incorporated on November 11 last year.

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