April 22, 2024

Goodbye, Peverel. But this is not a great debut for McCarthy and Stone Management Services …

This is from “G Farley” and the block is unknown.

We are being taken over from Peverel to McCarthy and Stone Management Services at the end of February.

 I will be pleased to see the back of Peverel, but we will still have a house manager that was trained by Peverel.

Mark Riddington, chief executive of MSMS [also a former Peverel employee], said that he would like to meet us, but then sent an area manager to deputise for him (not a good start).

They intend to supply a computer for the house manager at a cost to the residents of £400 a year.

We were not asked if we wanted to pay for this. The service charge budget is down £400 compared to Peverel, but I think that if they want a computer installed for their benefit MSMS should pay for it themselves.

They have not won me over yet, although McCarthy and Stone know how to do the talking. All our apartments were sold by September last year, but we still have banners and signs on our building advertising an assisted living block which is nothing to do with us.

They refuse to move these signs, but we are not allowed to put up a sign to sell our property.


  1. Michael Epstein says

    I would have thought given the power sites such as Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation have, the last thing Mcarthy and Stone should be doing is upsetting residents even before they take over.
    It is indeed unfortunate that Mcarthy and Stone are closely following the business model used by Peverel.
    Common to both companies were large loans that needed to be supported by squeezing every pound they can out of residents. Whilst any freeholder can appoint themselves as managing agent there will always be scope for conflict (especially when the freeholder has large loans)
    With regard to the computers, it is arguable that it could form part of a service charge(provided the computer is for the sole use of the development) i would though ask how it can cost £400 per year?
    Indeed, the use of a computer should cut down management time, therefore reducing those costs.
    If the use of a computer is not of benefit or at least revenue neutral there is no point in having one.
    Regarding the signboards, though it is private property you should contact your local council.
    I believe local bye laws state you can only display a “For Sale” board if a property is actually for sale.
    It cannot be for a generic reason.

  2. Trevor Bradley says

    As I have said before with Pev going and being replacing with McSt is only a “sideways step” Regrettably I would see little if any improvement. Mc St might say they believe in “transparancy” but this just means you will “see” where all your money is going. Things will not be cheaper.
    If they really really cared about the residents of all the complexes they built they would have helped them years ago, There were ways and means with the power they HAD.
    Don’t forget Mc&St are in serious financial trouble. If they were buiding and selling their flats in the hundreds, and making good money, do you think they would bother to to not let Pev renew their contracts. As I see it, they need to do anything to make money, hence taking on the management of these other sites.I am convinced they have no intention of helping people, just finding ways to make money. “How can we get some more money out of them geriatrics” £400 pa for a computer!! You can buy an excellent one for £500 and it will last for quite a few years – still at least they are being “transparent”

    • michael holands says

      It is up to M&S to justify their £400/yr charge but I suspect it could be calculated as follows.

      Cost of computer £600. Useful life 6years = 100.00
      Connection to broadband £15/month = 180.00
      Security system . Annual charge = 50.00
      Printing machine £90 useful life 6 years = 15.00
      Copying paper and ink and other sundries= 55.00

      Total Annual Cost £400

      • MSMS said at a meeting they will pay fo a computer but we will be charged £400 a year running cost Why should we be forced to have a computer and then pay a managers wages when he goes for training Audit fees are nearly twice as much and they have now added Bank Charges £50 The Lift maintenance up from £850 to £2,179

        • A supplied laptop and hard drive for backups at @£500 using free office/email software plus broadband and AV will be say £700 plus the cost of installation as you cannot expect site staff to be able to do that. That is say £8/900 all in.

          The annual costs of broadband and IT support when it goes wrong, is around £200 a year, so at £400 a year it depends for how many years and what it includes.

          The same applies to Lift fees and Audit fees and you should start by asking for an explanation. If accounts have been produced and certified under section 21 of the LTA 1987, assert your right to go and look at the invoices under section 22. Bank charges are common as banks treat services charges as commercial accounts not personal one, and where balances are low or interest low, they can no longer trade off free banking with lower interest rates.

          • Michael Epstein says

            I take your point about service charge bank accounts. That said if Mcarthy and Stone use the Peverel method of pooling all their individual development accounts into a super account and administer the individual accounts themselves,, presumably the super account balance would never be low enough to attract bank charges.

      • Michael Epstein says

        Perhaps computer costs could be reduced by some kind of sponsorship?
        Maybe, all Mcarthy and Stone or Peverel Retirement computers could have Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation as their home page!

  3. Michael Epstein says

    Mcarthy and Stone was taken private in a deal said to be worth £1.1billion in 2006.
    This was orchestrated by Peter Cummings of HBOS, who subsequently has had a lifetime ban imposed on him from ever working in the financial industry.
    Last year after racking up many losses it was expected that Mcarthy and Stone would be floated on the stock exchange, but events and the economic outlook did not make this possible.
    Faced with going out of business, with banks and other investors losing a fortune, plus the political consequences for the Government if the larges provider of retirement developments collapsed so soon after the Southern Cross fiasco a deal was reached to refinance Mcarthy and stone.
    Liabilities were put at £518.9million. existing shareholders subscribed to new shares valued at £367million, whilst a further debt of £160 million was restructured, payable in 5 years.
    It is not known at this stage as to how the Mcarthy and Stone freeholds or income streams were valued?
    However, if there are any similarities to Peverel valuations, they could be headed for serious trouble, especially if campaigning groups can restrict non core income.

  4. If “G Farley” wants rid of the sales board he should call a meeting of residents whether there is an official RA or not. A number of years ago a letter was sent to Peverel approved and signed by all the residents here asking for a sales board to be removed from a wall outside and Peverel agreed to the request.

    I agree, if a flat/house is advertised for sale and it’s not, it shouldn’t be allowed but it’s rather a grey area as far as councils are concerned. It is only in conservation areas that sales boards are banned entirely by councils.

    I have argued for years that sales/letting boards anywhere are hideous and should be banned. It’s not necessary today now there is the internet as well as newspapers for advertising.

    • But if the lease does not restrict sale boards, then neither the residents or the freeholder can enforce that…..

  5. Michael Epstein says

    A bit harsh, Fleeced! Surely nobody would object to a “For Sale” board outside 11 Queensway, New Milton or outside Marlborough House Wigmore Place Luton?

  6. Or even that other old standby “Under new management”.

    Oh, wait. That already happened.

    It would be a terrible shame if the sign got caught in the crossfire of some boys playing with paintguns.

  7. Our lease specifically permits the display of a for sale board either in the window or on the outside of the building. The display of for sale boards is enforced by the local planning authority. They must be removed following the sale completion (I think after 28 days). As expected Peverel are stretching matters by the permanent display of their boards. Local estate agents or indeed anyone can make a formal complaint to the planning authority and request that they enforce removal. There are no flats available for sale through Peverel at our development but their board remains attached to the building, I might complain! Incidentally we are situated in a conservation area too and many boards are on display within the area.

    • I spoke to McCarthy & Stone marketing company today and they said the banner on our building advertising apartment for sale cannot be moved until the new year We have been asking them to move it for 6 months as they have no property for sale in our block I said take it down today or I will after digging my heals in she said it would save her sending someone out to take it down It took 5 minutes to remove and we handed it to the House Manager who said they are allowed to put for sale sign’s up but we are not allowed to advertise our property Lease states: not to place any advertisement sign or notice on the windows or the outside of the Building or any part of the estate I am happy with this but they should not advertise another block and put large boards on our building showing a restaurant etc that we do not have When we bought we were told of the stress free living but when you have paid your money the arrogance of the marketing staff is unbelievable Hopefully the actions of Sir Peter Bottomley will show up the many problems that the tenants of retirement properties are having to go through and legislation will be brought in to makesure the leases are not one sided