April 22, 2024

You and Yours features Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation and OFT inquiry into leasehold management

YouandYoursThe influential BBC Radio 4 programme You and Yours yesterday featured retirement leasehold.

This is an area of “most concern” according to Douglas Cooper, of the Office of Fair Trading, which is carrying out an inquiry into leasehold management.

The programme can be heard here and the item begins 46 minutes into the programme.You and Yours interviewed veteran Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation activist Susan Wood, who was one of the whistleblowers over the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal.

She also disputed the £1,000 exit fee paid on her father’s McCarthy and Stone flat in Sheffield.

Although unsuccessful, Sue’s case meant that the Tchenguiz Family Trust had to send a barrister from London and Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation now has his full argument of why this scandalous little earners are justified. (The OFT thinks that they are “likely” to be an unfair contract term, but won’t do anything about them.)

Sue reported her experiences of selling her father’s flat: noticing that the notional rent of the house manager’s flat bore not relation to the Sheffield market; paying service charges for six months on an empty flat and then getting stung for an exit fee.

Douglas Cooper, of the OFT, said that retirement leasehold was a particular area of concern. The OFT is aware that residents are finding the existing redress schemes flawed and it is difficult to leave a development once you have moved in.

Sue Wood’s family was extremely lucky as they sold the flat within six months and it had not lost much of its capital value.

Sebastian O’Kelly, of Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation, was also interviewed and expressed cautious optimism over the inquiry by the OFT (from April the Competition and Markets Authority).

He pointed out that the OFT had carried out two unsatisfactory inquiries in retirement leasehold in the past (the July 2012 inquiry into exit fees, which resulted in a very unremarkable deal with Tchenguiz to reduce subletting fees in some circumstances; and the utterly shameful inquiry into Peverel / Cirrus’s price-fixing which reported in December).

Sebastian pointed out that financial losses can be far more than those experienced by Susan Wood. Some families in upscale retirement sites have lost up to £100,000 in fallen market values, charges on an empty property and other fees.

(He did not have time to point out that some of these leases are so unbalanced as to be almost valueless.)

It was useful to have the issue of retirement leasehold aired on You and Yours and we were very grateful for the opportunity.


  1. Hi Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation and Susan Wood,

    I agree that the OFT has let down the thousands of residents who had hopped they would undertake a clear and proper investigation into the Cartel and Price Fixing that was an integral part of the Peverel Group and Cirrus from 2005 to 2009.

    The Peverel Group admitted that they believed, that all developments from late 2006 up to 2009 where they had replacement Warden Call Systems and or Fire Systems, had been Price Fixed?

    The OFT have stated to me that they have closed the investigation that had found:
    Cirrus/Peverel Technologies, GUILTY OF PRICE FIXING AT 65 DEVELOPMENTS?

    The OFT has also informed me that they will no longer reply to any email that relates to the investigation or Cirrus/Peverel from the years 2005 to 2009?

    I have sent the OFT new information, showing how we were Price Fixed, but they have refused to reopen the investigation even when the following have been found.

    1. The tender from Glyn Jackson was received 14 days after the tender date closed?
    2. The cost for each of the16 items show 20% higher in each single item in the tender?
    3. The Warden Call System failed 28/09/07 and it took 9 months to replace, waiting for Cirrus.
    4. Someone from Peverel totalled up the cost on the Cirrus Tender?
    5. Peverel Technical manager also stated that there were more than 2 contractors that tendered?
    6. No S20 Notice seen issued?
    7. No consultation on Up-Date which cost £5,500 more than the replacement of the similar?

    Warden Call System

    We at ABC had an updated WCS installed in 2007/08 as the Area Manager and others had been stating since 2006 that the WCS was obsolete and parts were not available.

    A lightening storm was supposed to have taken out the system and it has taken me a year requesting the documentation which was used in the tender between Cirrus/Peverel Group and Glyn Jackson who were all involved in the Price Fixing at our development, so say the OFT in their answers to me regarding my complaint that the OFT had allowed the tail to wag the dog.


    They allowed these companies that had made £1.4 million from 65 Price Fixed Developments to own up themselves so they would receive NO PUNISHMENT AT ALL, NO FINE OR PROSECUTION.

  2. Sorry folks the word should have been hoped not hopped?

    But as I am again saying sorry?

    I have received a further email from Chris Owens informing me that his interpretation regarding the CarelineUK debacle where my neighbour spent 40 minutes on the floor in their flat and a paramedic on site, as some of the facts I gave were not totally consistent, and I agree I gave 2 separate dates, silly me?

    What has been so annoying is that Chris Owens who has never been to ABC knows the truth , because others in the Peverel Group who also had not been on site, on the day, know better and of course Peverel Retirement are squeaky clean and would never fabricate information?

    I asked my neighbour who was the person that rang my bell if she would comment on the happenings, which they did.

    They also sent a copy to Peverel Retirement which I was aware of.

    My neighbours interpretation of what had happened was so different to the facts as I was aware of I did not challenge there interpretation out of respect for my neighbour.

    My neighbour was only present when they rang my bell and was second in the flat after I gave the correct access code, to the paramedic. The time they rang my bell and the time access was gained to the flat was 30 minutes.

    My neighbour has helped me with past information on the many years that they had asked similar question of the Area Manager, and was my inspiration to ask similar questions.

    The fact that our interpretation was so different was not a surprise to me.

    Chris Owens, is I believe, threatening now, to publish this letter from my neighbour, sent to Peverel Retirement so he can undermine my interpretation.

    He claims to know the facts, but is covering up for the Area Manager who changed the safe and the combination locks, but when finally CarelineUK gave the information to the paramedic, the access code was not correct.

    Chris Owens role is Customer Relations where he continues to support the poor management we receive and of course Peverel Retirement are whiter than white?

    He continues to raise this subject with me even after exhausting the truth, he continues to state that Peverel did everything correctly.

    Chris Owens will not allow truth to get in the way of a Peverel Storey, and of course this is what he is paid for to look after the interest of all the 13 Peverel Companies.

    The Facts Are I Was on Site not Chris Owens, not Area Manager not Careline?
    1. An emergency occurred
    2. The pendant was recorded by Hereford Care Line not CarelineUK
    3. Paramedic attended
    4. No access to residents flat, access code given by resident had been changed
    5. MY neighbour rang my bell
    6. I rang CarelineUK
    7. They refused to provide the access code to the CarelineUK safe
    8. 30 minutes after paramedic unable to access the flat
    9. I rang neighbours daughter
    10. Residents own access code was give to me
    11. I gave it to the paramedic.
    12. He eventually was able to open the front door
    13. Resident found on the floor, but OK
    14 I phone CarelineUK next day as my other neighbour was concerned
    15. 6 minutes it took for CarelineUK to answer
    I6. I informed them it was a test as my neighbour was concerned

    These are facts Chris Owens is covering up for the short falls that occurred.

    I believe he will now use my other neighbours letter to continue to make out that I have been untruthful???

  3. You can learn a lot from these consultants for the management
    of your business and the way of solving the operational problems.
    You must avoid including links and URLs to your website when writing an article for submission to an article marketing directory.
    No one likes it when someone is copying off of everyone else.