July 20, 2024

Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation NEEDS YOUR HELP.

Dear Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation readers,

LKP and Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation have organised a briefing meeting for MPs and Lords at the Houses of Parliament at 3pm on 30th October. We need your urgent help, so that we can help you.

Please write to your MP as soon as you can to explain why its very important they attend this briefing. They need to know whether any of the issues raised in the Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ programme are happening on your site. Tell them why ex Housing Minister Grant Shapps was utterly wrong when he said that there were only a “tiny, tiny” number of problems in the leasehold sector!

Just to make you aware of the reasons why the problems in leasehold may have gone on for so long:

Apparently the whole episode started because someone complained to Age Concern that we were ripping their granny off over the service charges paid to Peverel. I made an immediate appointment for the next day to meet Lady Sally Greengross who was president of Age Concern. I had had a lot of contact with Sally and we sponsored her organisation. She helped me to network with many other influential people including John Yates of Help the Aged. The complaint against us was that the service charges were higher than our clients had been originally told and this was the main point that Ian Cowie was concerned about. In his article he quoted increased charges of between 16 and 50 per cent.

This is a quote from John McCarthy, of McCarthy and Stone, in his recently published book. He was describing the help Sally Greengross gave him in 1991 in the attempt to quieten down complaints about Peverel. At the time, Peverel were of course still owned by McCarthy and Stone. So that’s Baroness Greengross, who was also the Director General of Age Concern from 1987-2000: Baroness Greengross who said in the House of Lords 23rd April 2012:

“It is difficult, not least for the providers of schemes [those companies who manage retirement developments], who are dealing with people who are often prepared to spend 12 or more hours a day focusing on those issues and who can make amazing barrack-room lawyers- I do not want to be insulting- because they have so much time to concentrate on that. So it is a difficult as well as an important issue.”

Just to make sure you’re clear on how balanced the system has been for all these years can we remind you that perhaps the last organisation to arrange a briefing to MPs on leasehold issues was none other than Sally’s friend, John McCarthy. John wanted to tell MPs why one particular MP who dared to stand up for leaseholders rights was entirely wrong. John had lots of contacts to make sure that MPs listened to his views.

So please write and tell your MP. We need 30 minutes of their time at 3pm on 30th October so we can explain why John and Sally were wrong!

Details of the briefing meeting

LKP and Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation have organised a briefing meeting on leasehold issues, for both MPs and Lords, to be held at the Houses of Parliament at 3pm on 30th October 2012.

The meeting will set out the issues faced in the leasehold sector and some of the potential ways forward. Representatives from various organisations within the sector will be attending to give MPs and Lords a balanced range of views.

For many years most MPs have somehow been persuaded that they need to do nothing in the leasehold sector. Ex Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, spent two years convinced there is already “balance” in the sector even though his Department collected no information on which to base his claims.

MPs and Lords attending the meeting will hear from a number of groups, including: representatives from the London Assembly and CentreForum, who independently produced reports earlier this year examining the problems faced in the leasehold sector in London and across the country; representatives from both the Lords and the Commons; representatives from a number of other groups; and of course Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation and LKP.  More details to follow as we get closer to the date.



  1. Full marks to CarlEX and LKP for this initiative. They have arranged a real opportunity for us to promote badly-needed reform in the leasehold sector. So we all need to contact our MPs, who, after all, are supposed to work for us. Let us leave them in no doubt there is a real problem with this feudal throw-back. Perhaps, now the discredited Grant Shapps, has been moved on, we will stand a chance!

  2. I have written to MP’S Lamb and Gibb so many times about Leasehold issues so I will write to them asking them to PLEASE attend!

  3. Don’t forget, we are up against some powerful interest groups. Big landowners. Tory donors. He who pays the piper so often calls the tune. We mustn’t let up!

  4. I have canvassd those of my neighbours who are on the internet, but, alas, some of those who are in Leasehold Blocks just don’t want to know, as they have more money than sense it seems to me, one quote is, “I pay my Service Charge, and I don’t want anyone telling me what to do!” Well that remarker has now moved into a Nursing Home and left those of us who remain to pick up the tab to replace his rotten windows amongst other things like the redecoration bill, carried out recently despite protests that it was a waste of money and also the wrong time of year to do external painting, but, what does Peverel care, they are going to make a nice little earner out of our Contingency Fund, to the detriment of those who need replacement windows! And, as for my MP, what a waste of space he is, telling me that as a Freehold Owner, I have the Right to Manage! Will someone please put him right? One wonders why in the Cabinet reshuffle, he lost his Post as Tourist Minister!

    • The purpose of the meeting on the 30th is to help explain to MPs why there are problems with the legislation in cases such as yours. The issues faced by those living in freehold not being able to use the RTM legislation is known. The difficulty is to convince MPs its worth doing something about it.

      • Freehold Legislation Needed, as we do not have control or any say in who or how we have our Development Managed. Is that not reason enough?

    • A piece of good news for ‘Whe’

      Your recalcitrant misinformed resident who likes to pay their service charge will continue to do so until the accommodation is sold and so will surely pay for their rotten windows as well !!

      They don’t need anyone to tell them what to do “IT’S in the Lease”

    • Ewh

      Without more information it’s difficult to know what advice was provided by your MP. It would seem a little odd if he suggested RTM to you as a freeholder so we just checked with his office to confirm he fully understands a freehold would not have access to the RTM legislation. If you drop us a line with some more details we’re more than happy to see if we can assist.

  5. Mary smith says

    just to let you know that I have contacted our MP, Amber Rudd, Hastings and Rye about the briefing . There are many leasehold developments in this area, retirement and other incluing a clutch of Peverels.

  6. The new Housing Minister Mark Prisk has announced support for more affordable homes to be built. A laudable aim. But, before a load more toxic leaseholds get created, he really needs to listen to the concerns of current leaseholders so shamefully ignored by his predecessor. An excellent start would be to contain the leasehold problem, by ensuring that all new-build is either commonhold or freehold. He should then turn his attention to proper regulation. The current abuses have been recently highlighted, yet again, by the two excellent Dispatches programmes. So he cannot continue to ignore them, by repeating the mantra “The balance of power is about right”. It isn’t. And he has an excellent opportunity, as a ‘new broom’, to start to put things right.

  7. Hi! I have written to 4 M.P.’s asking them to attend the meeting in the Houses of Parliament on the 30th. They are Rt.Hon. Frank Field, Alison McGovern,Angela Eagle, Andrew Miller. Let’s hope they attend. Thankyou.


    I have written to my MP Ken Clarke and all the other Nottinghamshire MPs which makes 11 in total.
    They are in addition to Ken Clarke.
    Graham Allen, Chris Leslie, Lilian Greenwood, Vernon Cocker, John Mann, Alan Meale, Patrick Mercer, Gloria De Piero, Anna Soubry, and Mark Spencer.