July 19, 2024

FirstPort blamed over leak at Homemead House

FirstPort is being blamed for a burst water pipe in the communal lounge of Homemead House in Romsey.

The Southern Daily Echo has taken up the story and the local MP Caroline Nokes has demanded that FirstPort “compensate for the residents affected as a matter of urgency”.

The water burst flooded six ground floor flats after “shooting out jets of freezing water” on December 6.

Carpets, furniture and recently completed decoration have all been destroyed.

But the key issue is whether FirstPort will pay for the damage in private properties.

It appears its insurance policy will not include damage done to the flats, and the issue of fault is not established as yet.

Alicia Giambarresi, 67, says she feels “like we have been robbed and cheated”.

FirstPort says it sent in a plumber when the leak occurred.

“We understand that some water did make its way under the front doors of some flats, however as is usual in all homes, residents are responsible for having individual content insurance cover in place,” a FirstPort spokesman is quoted saying.

As ever, FirstPort is employed here by the freehold owning company rather than by the leaseholders.

Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation advises all retirement sites to exercise right to manage, for which it can provide assistance, so that the management company is accountable to the leaseholders.

Otherwise, the management company is simply imposed on the leaseholders by the freeholder.

In a case like this the insurers are bound to squabble over liability, but if the management company were accountable to the residents it would make some effort to keep the leaseholders happy.


  1. Had Firstport carried out any work in the vicinity of the burst water pipe in the communal lounge at Homemead House in Romsey. The fact the local MP Caroline Nokes is involved will not make any difference. They are answerable to no one when insurance is involved.

    You say the water burst flooded six ground floor flats after “shooting out jets of freezing water” on December 6. A Firstport Spokesman is quoted saying:- “We understand that some water did make its way under the front doors of some flats, however as is usual in all homes, residents are responsible for having individual content insurance cover in place.”

    This denying a claim is drilled into House Managers and Area managers from when Firstport Retirement were Peverel Retirement prior to 2014/15. Peverel used their sister company Kingsborough Insurance to cover developments.

    They begin by denying the claim and waiting for a response from the residents. The next time you claim, they say leave it with me, by then 4 weeks have passed the resident has removed the damaged items. They again state the residents should have their own Home Insurance. If you pursue the claim you may be informed that Firstport will pay for the repair of the pipe only. This has occurred at Ashbrook Court where finally the resident had replaced the items and had repairs carried out, and gave up asking.

    There was also an Escape of Water from a leaking toilet flush pipe which the Area Manager claimed for a Storm Water Flood and the excess for Storm Water was more then the cost of replacement. Damaged at the same time were 3 carpets which were a separate claim and again the excess was more than the cost of replacement. This happened in the House Managers Flat, she didn’t have any insurance so we residents paid the full amount from Service Charge.

    You ask will Firstport pay for the damage in private properties?

    A flat at ABC had an Escape of Water in 2008/09 and the claim was paid by Kingsborough Insurance. Another Escape of Water later in 2012/13 were charged to Service Charge? They mostly deny responsibility and wait.

    I agree with Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation, who advises all retirement sites to exercise Right to Manage (RTM) for which they will provide assistance.

    • Further to my last comment, having recently received an email from a resident who has now attempted RTM twice and been thwarted. On the first application the company named the wrong Freeholder/Managing Agent. A basic fundamental failure of the company, which I will not yet name.

      So friends the company has approached and now asked an LKP registered company to help. Beware of the companies that have see application for RTM as easy money.

      Check out anyone who claims to have experience on this potential nightmare, if the company is not experienced or employs non-experienced workforce this can happen

      I have checked the reviews of this company, offering to undertake the application for £1.5k which is high and asked for the same amount for a second/third attempt.

      As LKP have stringent requirements for membership, no surprise Firstport have not applied.

  2. Michael Epstein says

    Ideally, when seeking a company that offers to handle a RTM action, you should either use a company that are LKP approved or failing that a company that you have personal experience of .
    Some companies will offer a discounted rate in return for a management contract, others will give a fixed price to complete the RTM process .
    Never appoint a company that charges for each application.
    If a freeholder offers not to challenge a RTM provided leaseholders agree to appoint a managing agent of the freeholder’s choice, never agree to this.

  3. chas says

    January 28, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Trevor /Michael,
    I am so glad that has been cleared up.

    LEASEHOLD Houses, I purchased a leasehold house in 1983 and purchased the freehold for £350. I also thought those days were far behind us. You mention what we have now from the likes of Taylor Wimpey and other builders is a national disgrace. They like other parasites find a host who they can live off. I am not surprised at the way leasehold housing has spread.

    The governments between them have had 30 years to prevent this abuse which began with companies such as McCarthy & Stone and Peverel in circa 1992/93 where pensioners were seen as cash cows who could be milked. I became aware of the milking in 2007/08 when Area Managers collectively began to lie about replacing Warden Call Systems which they claimed were obsolete. They then moved on to cheating pensioners out of legitimate insurance claims again by telling porky’s, stating claims for escape of water were not covered by insurance.

    I also believe this saga will eventually bring the house/flats down around their ears.

    We need to have names and contacts for these Barratt type building companies. We can produce a top ten which we can pass on to the deaf MPs who will be forced to act once the public have been informed.