November 28, 2020

Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation becomes a registered charity

CharityCommissionpicThe Charity Commission this week approved the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership / Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation as a registered charity.

Its registered details and charitable objectives can be read on the commission’s website here

“We are satisfied that LEASEHOLD KNOWLEDGE PARTNERSHIP is a charity and it has been entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1162584.” Says the Commission.

The decision concludes 18 months of effort to achieve this outcome.

The directors of the charity are: Martin Boyd, Melissa Briggs and Sebastian O’Kelly.

The patrons remain Sir Peter Bottomley MP (Conservative, Worthing West), Jim Fitzpatrick MP (Labour, Poplar and Limehouse) and the Rt Hon Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat).

The announcement of LKP’s charitable status came before last Thursday’s LKP round-table meeting at the Commons attended by 50 MPs and key stakeholders in leasehold.

These included tribunal judges, DCLG civil servants, the LEASE chairman and chief executive, barristers from landlord and tenant chambers, housebuilders, property managers and trade body representatives.

Stephen Lewis, Law Commissioner, made a powerful presentation on exit or transfer fees, which he is presently investigating.

The report and full text of his and other presentations will be published next week.

Comments

  1. Alex Ellison says

    This is richly deserved. Congratulations to Sebastian, Martin and Melissa. Your tireless work on behalf of exploited leaseholders has finally been recognized.
    May I now be the first person to ask the Charity for assistance?
    The matter of the legality of the house manager flats needs to be addressed. This saga has been running for too long and meanwhile leaseholders are being encouraged to move to a live-out manager without realizing that Peverel has acquired leases on many of these flats and intends thereafter to sell them on for a large profit, whilst offering a token payment of £10,000 to the contingency fund. Whether these newly created leases on the HM flats are legal is open to question as there are clauses in some of the leases stating that ‘other leases may be created, EXCEPT ON THE HOUSE MANAGER’S FLAT.

    • To clarify matters, Select Retirement Services, is a new company set up by a former Peverel Property Manager (who as far as is known) was one of the “good ones” and highly respected, untainted by the activities that are a trademark for so much Peverel/Firsport. This company visited the development and gave a presentation which the Area Manager attempted to prevent. A phone call was made to the Birmingham Office stating what had happened.

      Peverel/Firstport. temporary Area Manger was informed that a presentation had taken place and suspended the House Manager, straight after meeting some resident on the development who had also invited her to the site. It is believed there may have been a set up to release the House Managers Flat?

      Could something else have happened that caused this great upset, that would have spurred the temporary House Manager to carry out a suspension within minutes of arriving on the site.

      Recently the issue of the sale of house managers flats is in the public domain. This has been highlighted, the undeclared “incentives” Peverel/Firstport staff would receive if they persuaded residents to dispense with a live in House Manager.

      It has been asked, if the House Mangers ever received or had been offered any financial benefit if they could persuade residents to end the role of a live in House Manager. This allows Peverel/Firstport to sell the leasehold of the House Managers Flats (as any restriction on the property would have been lifted). Peverel /Firstport has so far declined to answer.

      It has been uncovered that the husband of the temporary House Manager had been supporting her using a fake name but left his email address on the website.

    • This was posted earlier circa 2014 and is still a mystery that has not been explained!

      A point all politicians – and civil servants – should ask is why are landlords so desperate to hold on to the management of a site, given that their only legitimate sources of income – ground rents, reversionary values of leases, development potential – are unaffected by the process.

      While a few landlords do allow their sites to choose RTM, many more have a range of strategies – spreading division among leaseholders being the obvious first step – to subvert the process before its gets to court.

      Chas Says:-

      Should the wording landlord have been freeholder as on our development at Ashbrook Court,
      (tripartite leas) where our landlord Meridian Retirement (a Peverel Company) which is Active but Dormant has no money, yet collects Ground Rent for the freeholder Landmark, who has never written to us informing us who they are and how to contact them?

      Our lease now has :

      Head Lessor – Mercian Developments (replaced by Landmark)
      Lessor – Meridian (Peverel Company)
      Lease – 28 residents

      The House Managers Flat still belongs to the Head Lessor but our lessor has a 125 year lease? how does this work as the lessor is in a position to sell the HMF but has to build an office for Meridian for use by a part time Development Manager, that we do not have?

      • Paul Joseph says

        The range of strategies chosen to frustrate RTM have included the offer of a large brown envelope. I know someone who was offered one by a person working for a large well known firm and who remains prominent in the “industry”. I have no reason to believe that this was an unusual nor any doubt that other inducements are likely to have been offered to supportive leaseholders.

        It’s time to http://www.transparency.org/unmask_the_corrupt/en/

        • Paul we as posters are setting up a network which will enable us to help all residents of poor Managing Agents.
          Do you wish to be involved?

          • Paul Joseph says

            FPRA exists (but is largely ineffective), Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation exists, as does LKP. Then there’s Dudley Joiner’s outfit (LOL). Do we need another organization? Surely better to help the existing ones?

      • Michael
        The Land Registry for Ashbrook Court shows Registered Owners are now the same name as our Landlord:

        Meridian Retirement Services Ltd are our Landlord, why would this be kept from us at Ashbrook Court?I

        The information provided by Roger Cooper Area Manager,for Ashbrook Court was incorrect and the sale of the House Managers Flat (HMF) was the Prime Mover in the change from full time to part time which is a Breach of Trust?

        The HMF has been empty now for 3 years in October 2015, and we have been saddled with the Council Tax, so far £3,000, which should be payable by the owner?

        We were given false information which led to the result of choosing a part time HM. This is a complete Breach of Trust and will be taken to the courts to recoup what belongs to Ashbrook Court.

    • Alex,

      We at Ashbrook Court were never informed of this in 2012/13 when our AM and RM wanted to sell our HM Flat. Peverel balloted us and of course we agreed rather than pay for the NEW:
      Kitchen
      Bathroom
      Carpets
      Boiler
      The AM & RM stated we would have to replace these items if we kept the full time HM. We at Ashbrook Court decided to change from Full Time to Part Time HM, rather than pay substantial contingency fees for the refurbishment of number 17 the House Managers Flat (HMF), as was explained to us.
      Has the director of Peverel Retirement (as was) that all AM stood to gain financially if they persuaded residents to dispense with the residential HMF?
      In submissions to the residents, do AM disclose their financial interest?
      Was it disclosed that Peverel (as was) would profit from the sale of HMF?

      You Posted Last Year:
      Peverel/Firstport held a lease on a HMF, stating it was owned by Proxima, later Peverel admitted that they owned the lease?
      Presuming any MD would have had an input in the whole process of the selling of Residential HMF.
      It would be of interest to note as to whether the MD instructed the AM to disclose all information to all the residents? If they didn’t, doesn’t that make them equally guilty of a serious breach?

      Does this not show why/what may have happened at Homelaurel House?

      • Just found out that our development Ashbrook Court had their Terms of the Lease varied.
        (24/11/2014)
        By a deed dated 31/10/2014 made between (1) Mercian Developments Ltd and (2) Meridian Retirement Housing Services Ltd the Terms of the Registered Lease were varied.

        It shows that the registered owners are: Meridian Retirement Housing Services Ltd?

        Not the name provided by Meridian Retirement Housing Services Ltd?

        Our landlord informed us that the Freehold had been sold to Landmark???

        Does this mean that the House Managers Flat that is to be sold is owned by Peverel.

        Were we not entitled to know that the House Managers Flat is owned by
        Meridian Retirement who is our landlord and a Peverel Company?

  2. Very well done Melissa, Martin and Sebastian

    Have you been able to follow the suspension of a Peverel House House Manager, because a competetor ex Peverel was invited by residents to give a presentation of RTM.

    • Sebastian/Melissa can you follow this up please?

      The Managing Agent that was giving their presentation I believe was a company set up by an ex Peverel Retirement employee “Select Retirement Services Ltd” who have a very good reputation and are looking for similar developments in the Cheshire Area. Thankfully they were not one that I previously mentioned Freemont, that has 4 previous Directors of Peverel Retirement/Group, when the Price Fixing was rampant.
      The meeting was to provide a Right to Manage (RTM) Presentation which would have if successful removed Pev/Port from the development. No wonder the Temp AM had a Tizzy Fit as this would mean another Pev/Port loss this year.

      This is what can happen even to a loyal helpful well loved House Manager of 21 years if due to changes in Development Areas and AM being away on long term sick. The Temp Area Manager visits a site who then suspended the House Manager. The HQ at Halesowen failed to pass on the message from the House Manager as due to the chaos no one had informed the Temp AM. She was instead summoned to the site by a disgruntled resident who she had previously visited. This resident informed her of the presentation.

      • This is abridged where names were removed but the sentiment remained:

        Chas, the HM, who is very good at her work, is a live in manager, and was “suspended” think someone made note of this early in June or mid June by a Stand in Manager, The HM had worked here for 21 years, we had a very good 21st party in April for her, even the local councillor attended.

        The original AM was on the “sick” now he is back he is picking up where the stand in manager left off, and siding with her on the suspension, of which we all know is to gain the HM flat.

        HM, poor woman just doing her job with such pride and dignity, but to say, we have a residents association, of which the treasurer and secretary have held private meetings with the stand in manager, to put the HM in a vulnerable position as to now we may lose her, bullying, sneakiness, and selfish of the two residents and the stand in manager.

        If we lose her, then we’re doomed, the house manager is very well respected by 95 per cent of residents, it’s the odd two and the stand in manager, we can’t stand.

        All now makes sense this site, reading about the stand in and putting it all together.

        Hope they get what they deserve, sneaky residents and stand in manager.

        Hope the RM see”s through the two dis-respectful residents and the stand in, as they have had meetings in a flat of which the stand in was there, but the full residents association knew nothing off, think they ganging up on the HM, hope they all read this and know we are on to them.

        Posted by Resident on 03 July 2015

  3. Congratulations to all of you for this magnificent outcome.
    Dedication & persistence paid off.
    Going forward for truly significant results in the murky world that is leasehold.
    Thank you for everything you do!

  4. Well done to you all.

    Perhaps we should now organise a sponsored bike ride for Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation?

    • Michael Epstein says

      Not Original, Insider,
      Many Peverel/Firstport staff are already on their bikes!

  5. Fantastic news and very well deserved, charitable status was long overdue for Calex and LKP.

  6. Fantastic news and very well deserved, charitable status was long overdue for Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation and LKP.

  7. Michael Epstein says

    What an incredible achievement Sebastian, Melissa and Martin.
    To achieve “charitable status” is no easy task, as i found out when i failed to form a charity to prevent lemons being liquidised. This was to be called Lemon Aid!
    It speaks volumes that such is the failure of the system of leasehold, such is the vulnerability of residents exposed to leasehold that a charity has been set up to provide support for them.
    “From acorns grow mighty oaks”
    Sebastian, Melissa, and Martin. Not just oaks, you have planted the entire New Forest!
    Many congratulations.

  8. Michael whilst many residents seem to be on holiday I believe this post was true in its day as it is now today
    This was posted circa 2010/11 I have added to the original in brackets.

    For example, the biggest player, Peverel Limited, owns dozens of managing agents, including OM Property Management, Solitaire Property Management and Pembertons Residential. Peverel and its subsidiaries manage 200,000 leasehold properties (1456 developments as seen on website) across the country, from million-pound apartments in central London to modest retirement flats.

    Peverel also owns Kingsborough Insurance Services, which arranges building and contents cover; Cirrus Communication Systems, which installs CCTV (Warden Call Systems and Fire Systems) and CarelineUK, which provides (Monitoring along with) emergency alarms in retirement homes, (as stated they also are owned by Peverel/Firstport).

    All of these are used to provide services in Peverel-managed properties – although Peverel says it carries out a ‘strict tendering process for all contracts (remember the Price Fixing of 65 Retirement developments as we are easy targets).

    Residents have complained that insurance premiums, in particular, are kept artificially high because of large commission fees. (also the increased Premium Costs for the whole development as they have no competition). For example, Kingsborough obtains buildings cover but only acts as a middleman between Peverel and Oval, the insurance broker.( they then pass the commission back to Peverel even though the L&TA 85 states they should not benefit from Service Charges that are paid because they can)

    In return, it adds commission fees of up to 33% (42% plus when the 3 commissions on each developments are added up) on insurance premiums and this cost is passed directly to residents.

    A spokeswoman for Peverel says: ‘Kingsborough receives a commission from the insurer and Leasehold valuation Tribunals have determined that this is reasonable.’ (no they have made developments refund all commissions but you have to go to the Small Claims Court which will be made available to those who ask)

    Residents at Stow Court in Cheltenham, a block of 44 flats managed by Solitaire (owned by Peverel), became so fed up with sky-high insurance that they got a quote from an independent broker to compare costs.

    Solitaire had been charging them £7,057 per year – but similar cover could be obtained through local firm Lansdown Insurance Brokers for just £2,165 – saving a staggering £4,892.

    A spokeswoman for Peverel says: ‘Oval compared the two premiums and found the alternative quotation provided substantially less cover. Oval was, however, able to reduce its premium to £4,062 – a 42% reduction on the previous year.’

    A group of angry residents have set up a website called The Truth About Solitaire (soon to be OM Property Management) & Peverel Group Companies (including Consensus Business Group Companies), which has a wealth of information for leaseholders wanting to take on their managing agent. ( The Truth About Solitaire is now covered by either Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation – LKP- or the brilliant About Peverel.