June 17, 2024

AgeUK to wind down retirement leasehold service

AgeUKlogoAgeUK is winding up its small department that looks into retirement leasehold affairs headed by Mark Spall.

It is a bitter blow to retirement leaseholders, 300-350 of whom contacted the department last year seeking advice.

Many leaseholders have been assisted by Spall and his team, and his mediation efforts have won back significant sums of money. One £25,000 case of overpaid VAT resulted in a sizeable donation by grateful leaseholders to AgeUK.

AgeUK has provided input into the new ARHM code of practice, and last year produced an excellent report on leasehold retirement living, which also addressed issues in leasehold.

On the other hand, Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation was queasy that the department received donations from Peverel, and was accommodating towards the ARHM. Baroness Greengross, then of Age Concern, was the first port of call for John McCarthy, founder of McCarthy and Stone, when it mounted its disastrous campaign to sue the Daily Telegraph in 1991, of which more here.

There is plenty of evidence that Spall, who will lose his job in the move, helped a considerable number of leaseholders.

Many owe him a debt of gratitude and Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation warmly shares this view and wishes him all the best after he leaves AgeUK.



    I am surprised that Age UK are winding up this department as there must be thousands of frustrated retired residents who could make use of it.
    One of the most important objectives of Age UK is to fight against abuse to the elderly.
    Some of the methods used by some management companies of retirement complexes could be termed abusive.
    Although it is financial rather than physical abuse it causes much worry and stress in some cases having a detrimental affect on their health.
    I hope that they will reconsider this decision.

  2. Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation says

    From Sue Wood

    I could not agree more, Michael. This is a huge disappointment, and I cannot begin to fathom the reasoning behind this perverse decision. The department has done some excellent work. Given the increasing need for retirement housing, and the persistence of appalling practice in this area, there is surely a need for MORE support, not less. My commiserations, Best Wishes to all, and Many Thanks for help in the past. And PLEASE reconsider!

  3. A Reviewer says


    Although AgeUK appear to do a good job, their relationship with peverel belies the true nature of the organisation. Being looked after by a wolf …

    Happy Days

  4. I have written to the Chief Executive of AgeUK protesting about the intended closure of the Leasehold Advisory Service headed by Mark Spall/Leasehold Casework Adviser who would lose his job as a result of it. His knowledge and experience of leasehold law is invaluable in protecting retired, often very vulnerable, leaseholders from exploitation by rogue private developers and their managing agents.


    Thank you.

  5. A further important point I didn’t mention in my previous post:

    If, as Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation has speculated, Peverel is a significant donor to AgeUK, the leaseholders have a right to know how much of our money is being donated? If that is the case, where is the openness and transparency preached by the new Peverel CE Janet Entwistle?

    It was extraordinary to read in the Peverel Retirement Life&Style magazine that not one complaint made to the Housing Ombudsman against Peverel was upheld? If Peverel has been donating to AgeUK to stop complaints to the Housing/Property Ombudsman from being fully investigated then that is a very serious matter. AgeUK should stop it immediately and obtain funding from elsewhere to save the leasehold advisory service department.

    Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation and Peverel Action must fight tooth and nail to save Mark Spall’s vital work protecting retired vulnerable people from financial exploitation and malpractices by unethical landlords and their managing agents. The £72.93 I was saved from paying seems very small but over many years the charge can build up to a significant amount of money that enables Peverel to obstruct a sale going though unless the ‘outstanding debt’ is paid.

  6. Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation says

    It is not speculation that Peverel has donated to AgeUK. It is a statement from an employee of AgeUK.

    • If this is a statement of fact, said by an employee of AgeUK that Peverel is a significant donor of the leasehold advisory service headed by Mark Spall thus creating a conflict of interests, then all the more reason why Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation must campaign on our behalf not to accept this charity’s decision to close down the invaluable leasehold service. The leaseholders have a right to know how much of our money Peverel has been donating without our knowledge?

      The fault does not lie with Mark Spall who has been doing an excellent job as far as he has been able to. The problem is with AgeUK and their corporate donors.

      PLEASE AgeUK think again. Surely funding can be found from elsewhere to save this department and Mark Spall’s job?

  7. I don’t know much about Peverel mind games. However, the Florence Bourne story above is enough for all to see that the vulnerable need Age Concern to help them with the leasehold. Abuses, when it bangs on their doors.

  8. michael hollands says

    As a lifelong donor to AgeUK and their forerunners I sincerely hope that they have not been influenced by one of their major donors for reasons of self interest. It would be a very serious matter and they would lose all their credibility.
    A bit like an animal charity accepting monies from fox hunts to influence policy or childrens charities taking money from abusers.
    They must be persuaded to reverse their decision to close down their Leasehold Advisory Service if they cannot give a good reason for this action.
    Can Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation help by leaning on them a little.

  9. Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation says

    Michael, there is, of course, nothing to stop you donating to Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation, which is an entirely voluntary organisation.