Agent who Conned Tenants Out of Deposits is Jailed
By |Published On: 6th May 2016|

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Agent who Conned Tenants Out of Deposits is Jailed

By |Published On: 6th May 2016|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

A former estate agent who conned student tenants out of deposit money has been jailed.

Barinder Uppal, who worked for Reeds Rains in Coventry, conned overseas students and a man wanting to buy a property into paying deposits for housing that he could not offer them.

Uppal, 29, who allegedly turned up to property viewings in a Bentley, placed advertisements for the student accommodation online.

He would then arrange viewings before taking deposits from the students, some of whom were offered the same properties.

Prosecuting, Paul Dhami said: “All bar one were students who had come to study in the UK, so English was their second language and therefore there was a degree of vulnerability because he appeared to be bona fide.

“Some described him arriving in a white Bentley, giving the impression of being a successful businessman.”1 

Uppal made a total of £13,560 from the scam. He had already been given a conditional discharge for fraud in 2014.

After complaints were made to the police, Uppal said he had carried out the fraudulent activity to fund a gambling habit. He then lost his job.

The court was told that Uppal had only worked for Reeds Rains for six months, and is now going to Gamblers Anonymous.

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano jailed him for one year, after rejecting a defence argument that if he was given a suspended sentence, he could pay back the stolen funds with the help of his family.

The judge stated: “I don’t see why your family should bail you out – and this is not the sort of offence you can buy your way out of. There must be a custodial sentence that will be immediate.

“The message must go out that someone who uses their position to defraud vulnerable people in this way must go to custody.”1

There will now be a Proceeds of Crime hearing.


About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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