The truth be told, ‘no agency can be trusted.’ And with multitudes of people coming forward with stories and incidents of losing money, legally fighting the agency, or looking for ways to get their deposit back; I do believe that through experience of my own something has to be done. There are sites and webpages listing ways to spot a fraud/property scam, listing sites like Zillow and Craigslist - alongside a Grafton police warning (the states) about rental scams posting fraudulent housing - and what to do when something like this appears in future.

I think more then just common pages and the odd listing need to be done, but I will add a further two to the list of semi-fraudulent estates: Carter Stones and Shens Estate.

Carter Stones

The Carter Stones (Ilford) website has a mixture of reviews and star ratings, the most common being 1 star. For most parts it was the landlords complaining of being scammed and robbed of their money, but tenants are equally issuing and filing complaints against the agency.

Tenant And Landlord Reviews

“This company is full of rookies!!!!! Save yourself the hassle and don't bother renting or letting through them! They never return your calls; take months paying you rent and deposit that they take upfront from your new tenant.

The staffs are incompetent and very very unprofessional. Sana was the most discourteous individual within this branch. They do not have a proper tenant vetting process in place!!!! Only after your fees and the tenants fees!!!!Avoid Avoid Avoid!” (SayNoToCarterStones)

Carterstones are scamming people, whether you're a landlord or tenant or prospective tenant.

Previously scamming as 'Frazer Knight' (pls check them on google) before they declared bankruptcy and continued scamming as CS. With landlords that have taken out mgmt contracts, they delay rent and eventually don't pay you rent; more detrimental they don't pass on the AST and deposit details to you, and you don't know who is in your property and there's a good chance your property has been sub-letted to multiple occupants (ie HMO)!.

With tenants they probably don't hold deposits in a DPS. They also advertise bogus properties for rent and keep the deposit money plus 1 month's rent from tenants that respond to the fake ad. If you are one of these victims, please get in touch (,uk). There are others in similar positions that you can share information from - this I'm sure will help you sort out the unfortunate situation you find yourself in. Thanks” (ksosa)

“If you do not want early grave....avoid this agent.....they are bad! Seriously bad as in bad, they are not professional, delay months in paying etc.” (Emma)

There are sites to help with reviews and listings of agencies when going for a prospective agreement with the agency of your choice.

Be smart. When looking for reviews make sure it is credible and sincere/ do your research.

Shens Estate

The difference between Shens and Carter Stones is that Shens most probably do not have letting agreements with landlords on their properties. They pose as a singular person, and advertise their fake listing of properties. She will meet you in person, and offer you a false holding receipt. She will answer all your calls and messages, but delay the proceedings after she has received payment of your holding deposit. You will never see that property you are holding.

Fraud Helpline

If this has happened to you please contact: 0300 123 2040 before calling the police as they will direct you on what to do next.

They will investigate your claim so please keep hold of every piece of information that you have on the fraudulent agency. Somebody should contact you in due time. If any readers of this article know of any other fraudulent agencies please comment and let me know as this is something that needs to be stopped.