Amerjit Singh Dhuga, known as ‘Bobby Singh’ of Love Your Postcode, was sentenced to a custodial sentence of six weeks suspended for two years, and fined £4,000 at Wolverhampton Crown Court on August 26.
An investigation by the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team revealed Dhuga was playing an active part in running the estate agency business despite being banned from engaging in estate agency work in 2013.
His clients were unaware of the ban, and investigators say they would likely not have instructed Love Your Postcode Limited to provide estate agency work if they had known this fact.
Dhuga’s offences spanned over four years between August 2016, and November 2020, with the investigation finding that Love Your Postcode Limited provided valuations to several consumers which were lower than the “For Sale” price, often to the sum of £10,000 less, to which Love Your Postcode Limited would retain as a “Performance Fee” as well as the usual commission.
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 has been fined £16,000, which was reduced to £12,000 because of its early guilty pleas.
Last year 41-year-old Dhuga, of Oldbury, whose face has adorned billboards and advertising signs across the West Midlands to promote his company, made national news after he called an NHS nurse ‘low-level trash’ in a row over free accommodation, filming a series of videos.
And, speaking 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,” he said.
“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.”