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    Me and my friend saw a flat on zoopla advertised by a company called ‘Upad’. We saw the flat, made an offer, and put down a holding deposit.

    Upad gave us a phone number who we contacted to view the flat. The man claimed to be from ‘London City Properties’. His emails though were only signed with his name and phone number.

    When they sent us the tenancy agreement and guarantor forms, they barely required any details, only things like address and occupation and not references. They also asked for the last three months of our bank statements.

    After some digging like putting his phone number, email, and bank details into google, I barely got any results. The email led me to a construction company. When I put the company name into the government companies house checker, I got the result that this company was dissolved and his name is on the people page.

    We don’t know whether we are being paranoid since we did actually view the property ourselves and did not feel anything out of the ordinary. However this company claims to have been dissolved and it’s illegal to trade under it.

    Does anyone have any advice? Has anyone heard or dealt with this company before? Is there a number I can call? Any help at all would be appreciated.
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    You do seen a bit paranoid. You have a tenancy agreement and all paperwork so you shouldn't worry.

    You said his email was just his name? Then he's not operating under the dissolved company, he never even mentioned it. A lot of people who want to be self-employed have a few companies they start and dissolve after it doesn't work out. A lot of those people also have properties that they rent out so that they have income if the company they create doesn't provide profit. It's a pain having to create new emails and change the information everywhere each time.

    References and all of that are only required by agents. Private people make their own choice, for most it's only important that you can afford it. My first flat all the guy wanted was 3 months bank statements to show I get enough and my current address so that it is clear who he's renting it out to (cause there could be many people with the same name). He didn't ask for any ID or references and was fine as long as I paid the rent on time.
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    So you do think I'm just being paranoid? I though for things like renting a flat, there would be a lot more paperwork involved and way for details.

    My parents and all my friends have all told me that they never required the bank statements or that it was odd for them to ask so I was really confused.

    And his email is [email protected] and the company he told us to make the deposit to was the same name. The agreements and forms also have the logo.

    But thank you, a part of me thinks I am just being paranoid because he was nice when I met him but the difference between my experience renting and all my friends has been so different so it set off so many bells.
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    It is right to be suspicious as there are many rent to rent or other scams in the London property market. That said, there's nothing immediately suspicious about a dissolved company. Is the reason for dissolution mentioned anywhere?

    Does your tenancy agreement specify who the landlord is going to be? For £3 you can find the details of the owner of the property via the land registry and check the names match up.

    Has the agent mentioned who the current tenants of the property are? You could speak to them to see if details match up or you could speak to neighbours to see if they know much about them (although its unlikely they will in London unfortunately!).

    Most scammers only source the property for a week or so to dupe people in to thinking they own it. So if it has been longer than that you could perhaps ask to view the property again or simply go round and see who is going in/out of the property.
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    (Original post by Jennyy96)
    Me and my friend saw a flat on zoopla advertised by a company called ‘Upad’. We saw the flat, made an offer, and put down a holding deposit.

    Upad gave us a phone number who we contacted to view the flat. The man claimed to be from ‘London City Properties’. His emails though were only signed with his name and phone number.

    When they sent us the tenancy agreement and guarantor forms, they barely required any details, only things like address and occupation and not references. They also asked for the last three months of our bank statements.

    After some digging like putting his phone number, email, and bank details into google, I barely got any results. The email led me to a construction company. When I put the company name into the government companies house checker, I got the result that this company was dissolved and his name is on the people page.

    We don’t know whether we are being paranoid since we did actually view the property ourselves and did not feel anything out of the ordinary. However this company claims to have been dissolved and it’s illegal to trade under it.

    Does anyone have any advice? Has anyone heard or dealt with this company before? Is there a number I can call? Any help at all would be appreciated.
    You are right to be cautious. Sadly, the rental market is completely unregulated and in areas of high demand, fraudsters are out in force. You stand to not only lose a wadge of cash but if you commit and move out of your current place, the risk of being homeless also looms.

    http://londonandproperty.com/renting-tricks-scams/

    It sucks, but personally I would either deal with an agent, or the landlord in person. Anything in-between has all the hallmarks of being a bit dodgy.

    Good luck!
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    you should make sure you're really comfortable before signing up to a contract you may be held to in the future but it's not AS worrying as you think, as far as trading under the name - perhaps his company failed and he's trying to start back up and just doesn't realise it's illegal? it's not unusual to have more than one business as far as the building company goes, in fact that goes well with renting as he'll be able to do home improvements himself on the cheap, and as far as bank statements that isn't super unusual as it's just to prove you are earning a steady income and managing your money (it's probably just as good to base a decision on as a reference)

    that said, if you're really worried, don't sign... you could try and talk to him and see if he has an explanation for your concerns? you could contact CAB/shelter and see if they have any advice about whether it seems dodgy? but ultimately it's not worth worrying about for 12 months if you're not happy
 
 
 
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