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Shop shuts up
9:50am Friday 5th October 2001 in News
AN estate agent who boasted he could create up to 3,500 new jobs has shut up shop.
Raj Dhonota claimed his direct marketing and use of the internet would revolutionise the buying and selling of homes. But workers who turned up at the H for Homes office, in Bexley Village, last week, found the doors locked.
Just two weeks previously, several other staff at the Bourne Road company had been made redundant.
They have been unable to get money owed to them. One worker, Joanne Neill, was promised a post-dated cheque for the £600 she was owed.
But her husband Simon went to the office and demanded a cheque on the spot. He got the cheque but says when he presented it at the bank, it bounced.
When they tried to re-present it, they were told the cheque had been stopped. Other creditors have also had problems cashing cheques, some for thousands of pounds.
The H for Homes office remains locked, although it is believed Mr Dhonota is still working there. Phones go unanswered or switch to voicemail.
Mr Dhonota said his company, which was set up last year, would create the jobs by taking on consultants, sales negotiators and administrators.
Most of the small number of staff he did employ were self-employed. They are worried about hundreds of their clients who are in the process of buying or selling their homes with H for Homes.
One self-employed consultant told the News Shopper she was told to tell clients the company had gone under.
Other staff were told the company had gone into liquidation or Mr Dhonota had declared himself bankrupt.
But checks by the News Shopper failed to find any information from official sources such as Companies House, that any of the claims were true.
Mr Dhonota has been contacted a number of times by the paper but has failed to respond to any of the calls and messages left by the News Shopper to find out what has happened to his company.