June 22, 2018

FirstPort Retirement is admitted to ARMA – finally

The controversial FirstPort Retirement managing agent has been admitted into the Association of Residential Managing Agents

FirstPort, formerly Peverel, was responsible for systematically cheating pensioners in retirement sites which resulted in an Office of Fair Trading ruling of bid rigging in December 2014.

The scandal involved its subsidiary Cirrus competing for expensive electronic door entry systems against stooge companies which always ended up more expensive.

The feeble OFT inquiry resulted in no one being punished, although Peverel / FirstPort made a “gesture of goodwill” payment of £100,000 into the contingency funds of the ripped-off 65 sites.

BetterRetirementHousing.com and LKP have long suspected that FirstPort Retirement – the name change to FirstPort was thanks to our efforts – would be admitted to ARMA.

FirstPort is the biggest property management company in the country with 160,000 flats under management.

Peverel was once a modest Hampshire estate agent which took over the management of McCarthy and Stone sites and made its fortune.

It was owned by Vincent Tchenguiz’s interests until his wrongful arrest in February 2011 by the Serious Fraud Office.

It owns a portfolio of house manager’s flats on leases created in 2009 for not very good reason at all.

We have repeatedly questioned the lawfulness of this portfolio, but never had a very adequate explanation of why it exists.

Here are some highlights:

How a wartime squadron leader, 94, downed Peverel – Better Retirement Housing

Eric Matthews, dealing with irritants aged 94 Interview with Eric Matthews on the Channel Four website During the Second World War, when Eric Matthews, 94, was an RAF squadron leader, he was used to chalking up downed enemy aircraft. Now he is celebrating another victory over a lesser adversary: Peverel, which has had to pay back £11,475.34p.

The Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing story so far: – Better Retirement Housing

2005 to 2009 Peverel cheats pensioners at 65 site by installing Cirrus equipment through bogus tendering – Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation alerts police, SFO and OFT, and The Times publishes article on December 4 2009 – But Office of Fair Trading gives Peverel “leniency” for turning itself in at some point in December 2009 – OFT starts investigation a leisurely 18 months later – July 2013 OFT admits the leniency deal with Peverel.

If Peverel Retirement is admitted to ARMA-Q, what message does that send thousands of cheated pensioners? – Better Retirement Housing

Ten months after being found guilty by the OFT of systematically cheating residents in retirement sites, Peverel Retirement is now lining up to join ARMA-Q. This is the new ethically enhanced membership scheme that ARMA hopes will demonstrate greater professional rigour in leasehold management.

Comments

  1. Michael Epstein says:

    ARMA recently took a large financial hit after having to pay compensation to a company that had been one of it’s most significant members, both in representation and financial contributions.
    Clearly, despite their well deserved appalling reputation, the lure of the much needed extra income generated by having Firstport Retirement paying fees proved too tempting for ARMA to resist?
    How residents who were cheated in the price fixing scandal and have only been given “goodwill payments” that amount to under 10% of the financial gain made by the price fixing will feel is not hard to imagine?

  2. Michael Epstein says:

    Could anyone from ARMA answer this question?
    Just how bad,just how dishonest would a company have to be to be refused membership of ARMA?

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