Police probe launched into Portsmouth property agency

Professional Tenant Finders
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AN investigation has been launched into fraud allegations against a Portsmouth tenancy company.

A number of complaints have been made to Hampshire Constabulary about Professional Tenant Finders in London Road, North End, which told landlords it had ceased trading due to ‘financial difficulty’ in January.

Tenants and landlords say they have been left thousands of pounds out of pocket.

As The News reported at the time, a liquidation practitioner confirmed it was assisting the directors, named as Adam and Scott Dungworth, following the company ceasing trade. However, two days before a creditors’ meeting was due to take place at the Marriott Hotel in the city last week, Ashtons JWD insolvency practitioner was told not to hold the meeting to avoid prejudicing the police investigation.

Hampshire Constabulary has confirmed it has launched a criminal investigation into the company. Previously it said people had complained and it was looking into the case.

A spokeswoman for the force said trading standards is working with police on the investigation.

Landlord Jeff Hancock, who has a property in Fratton which was let out through the company, says he is owed £2,900.

He said: ‘I found out about two days before that the meeting was cancelled.

‘There have been e-mails doing the rounds that suggest the investigation has been gathering momentum. It seems to show more people were involved than we thought so the chance of getting money back seems even less likely.

‘My thoughts along the way have been that if we got anything back then we would be very lucky. The amounts of money and numbers of people affected makes it even less likely.’

Andy Currie, a tenant who lives in Paulsgrove, says he is going to be made homeless if he can’t find the £1,600 his landlord is owed.

‘I am not too bothered the police are looking into it because the money will be lost,’ he said.

Anyone affected urged to contact police on 101, quoting the reference 44140048748.