Eastbourne couple face homelessness after rental scam

Sean Coggles and Dallas Harker, who is six months pregnant, say they were scammed out of �600 for a deposit
Sean Coggles and Dallas Harker, who is six months pregnant, say they were scammed out of �600 for a deposit

A couple say they are facing homelessness after being scammed out of £600 for a flat deposit.

Sean Coggles and his partner Dallas Harker, who is six months pregnant, are set to move out of their flat in Gladstone Court by December 29, but spent all their savings on the deposit for a flat they found in the Friday Ad.

Mr Coggles, 40, said it all seemed legitimate and they had signed a tenancy agreement for the property on Wish Hill, but things started to feel strange.

He said, “The landlord said his solicitor was already letting the flat out. Then it all started to fall into place.

“He wanted me to pay rent but I said I’m not paying any more. I told him I wanted out and my deposit back. He promised me my money would be there on Monday (December 5) but I still haven’t got it.”

Since then, they have not heard from the landlord, named Mark Robbs, who had told them he lived in Cardiff.

The couple got in touch with police who they say found the man does not even live in Cardiff.

Police advised Mr Coggles to contact Action Fraud.

He said, “We’re victims of a crime here and it feels like they don’t want to do anything to help us.

“And now the council is telling us all they can do is give us a homeless application

“It’s horrible. We have been saving up for years. Why should my four-year-old boy’s Christmas be spoiled?”

Now Mr Coggles is warning other people not to deal with this person.

Rental fraud happens when would-be tenants are tricked into paying an upfront fee to rent a property. In reality, the property does not exist, has already been rented out, or has been rented to multiple victims at the same time.

The victim loses the up front fee they have paid and is not able to rent the property they thought they had secured with the payment.

For more information visit www.actionfraud.police.uk/fraud-az-rental-fraud

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