Hyde Park ‘letter scam’ revealed as university project

After days of confusion, it has been revealed that letters sent out to a number of student houses in Hyde Park, appearing to be from a bogus letting agent attempting to enter properties illegally,  is in fact part of a university project run by second year theatre and performance students.

The letter, which asked tenants to tidy their rooms and keep internal doors unlocked, caused a social media firestorm earlier this week when the Leeds University Union’s student exec, along with student accommodation regulators Unipol, warned students that ‘City Blue Housing’, the apparent sender, is not a real company.

However, it emerged yesterday that the letters were in fact sent as part of a second year Theatre and Performance project run by a number of University of Leeds students.

The project, which was a collaboration between Leeds University school of PCI (Performance and Cultural Industries), West Yorkshire Police, LUU’s Knowledge campaign and the school of healthcare, aimed to bring a fresh approach to police activity and how they deliver their crime prevention message, through the use of performance.

Zosh Skowronska, a PCI student who is taking part in the project, said, ‘The performers were allocated to houses and one particular house was visited by myself and two fellow students. We hand delivered a gift box containing the letter prior to the performance date on Wednesday 26th November, and the household was told personally that it was in conjunction with the performance.’

As part of the project, every household involved was given full information in writing about the project and this was followed up by two visits from a uniformed police officer to discuss and agree participation.

Miss Skowronska added, ‘The letter being taken seriously and going viral has only helped the delivery of the police’s crime prevention message, which can only be a good thing.’

Despite this revelation, student accommodation regulators Unipol are still warning all students to be wary of any unusual letters or visits from so-called letting agents. In an official statement they said: We urge you not to let anyone into your home who you do not know, or who does not carry ID for a reputable company. Your landlord / agent should notify you at least 24 hours in advance of an intended visit by themselves or a contractor





Greg Whitaker

Leave a Reply