Agent ‘sells’ house that isn’t on sale

2008-09-26 00:00

A Durban policeman has become the latest victim of a bogus estate agency that sells houses that are not on sale to desperate buyers.

The modus operandi of the agency is to lure desperate home seekers with cheap houses and then promise to secure the house for them once a large sum of money is deposited into a bank account.

The policeman, who did not want to be named, said he heard about the agency from a friend and called the estate agent, who is known only as Surekha.

He told Weekend Witness he met the agent at offices in Salisbury Arcade in central Durban where the woman told him he needed to pay an admin fee.

“She told me that she had a nice house for me. She said that I would have to deposit an admin fee into her account so that she could secure the house for me,” he said.

The man viewed the four bedroom house in Phoenix and made arrangements to pay the money to the agent.

The man deposited R1 500 into the account, but the next day he was told he needed to pay another R16 000 deposit for the house, which was valued at R157 000.

“A few days later, I went back to the offices and handed her a cash cheque for R16 000.

Everything seemed legitimate until I found out that the house was never on sale,” he said.

The owner of the house, Sandy Moodley, said she was shocked when she found out that her house was on sale.

“I received a call from a man saying that he was the new owner of the house. He wanted to know when we were going to move out. His wife wanted to move in immediately,” she said.

The matter was handed over to the Commercial Crime Unit which is investigating.

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