December 6, 2019

Countrywide Estate Management is OUT of ARMA

CountrywideARMAwebpageCountrywide Estate Management, second only to Peverel / FirstPort in terms of size, did not apply to join ARMA-Q before the January 1 deadline and is therefore no longer a member of the trade body.

ARMA itself had repeatedly declined to clarify the status of Countrywide, which last month was dumped by Bovis Homes at all sites across the country.

The company – whose group owns prime estate agents John D Wood and Hamptons International – was accused in the Commons of “ripping off” leaseholders by stalling the handover of resident management companies by Justin Tomlinson, Conservative MP for North Swindon.

ARMA said it would not be declaring any of the qualifying companies to ARMA-Q before a formal announcement next month.

Fine. But it then promptly congratulated those companies that have been processed on Twitter.

It repeatedly refused to confirm or deny whether Countrywide had applied to join ARMA-Q – even though the Countrywide website still wrongly claims “membership of the Association of Residential Managing Agent” (see above), to the potential confusion of the 100,000 leaseholders that the company manages.

The application of Peverel Retirement, the subject of an OFT ruling of collusive tendering 13 months ago concerning its subsidiary Cirrus, has been referred to the ARMA regulator, ex-Labour housing minister Keith Hill.

This information emerged in an email to a Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation reader, rather than an ARMA statement.

Mr Hill is considering a complaint concerning Peverel’s unexplained portfolio of retirement site house manager’s flats and the subsequent sale of many of them.

In a statement to LKP / Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation this morning, Countrywide said:

“In relation to your query regarding Countrywide Estate Management (CEM) and our continued association with ARMA, CEM have not to date made an application to join ARMA-Q, however, given our membership with RICS and the TPO our practices and procedures are closely monitored and these two bodies offer our clients and leaseholders sufficient protections and safeguards.

“We are keen to continue our relationship with ARMA as a body and we are hopeful that we will be able to continue as Associate Member. We plan to make our application at some point during 2015 once the full implications and benefits of ARMA-Q are practically demonstrated.”

 

Comments

  1. Michael Hollands says

    According to the ARMA website, Countrywide Estate Management is still listed as a member

  2. Michael Epstein says

    That Countrywide Estate Management believe that their membership of RICS and TPO offer clients and leaseholders sufficient protections and safeguards does beg the question: That being the case why bother with ARMA?
    I am grateful that Countrywide Estate Management in their statement differentiate between clients and leaseholders. Does this differentiation serve to highlight the very heart of the problems leaseholders encounter?

    • Because not all firms are RICS firms. Because some clients are leaseholders and some are not, some clients are leaseholders but in the case of RTM or RTE not all leaseholders are part of that client group. ARMA however is specifically relevant to residential management, and at this stage while ARMA membership is relevant to them the cost and compliance of ARMA q is not in their minds yet convincing as to the cost benefit of retaining membership.Diverting staff to overhaul and change systems, and in some cases systemise procedures which in exist in peoples heads, starting from scratch, is a costly undertaking.

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