September 22, 2019

Gurvits / Moskovitz face RTM rebellion at retirement site in Plymouth

Scene of rebellion: the retirement complex of Elim Court in Plymouth was bought by North London landlords and managing agents 18 months ago. Now it wants RTM.

Two retirement developments in Plymouth are seeking to exercise right to manage against their North London managing agent and freehold owner: Joseph Gurvits and Israel Moskovitz.

The residents are also contacting their local Tory MP, Oliver Colvile.

No reasons need to be given for RTM as it is a no fault process.

The freehold owning company is Avon Freeholds, of which Moskovitz is director, while the managing agent is  Y and Y Management, where the director is Gurvits, who is also the director of property managers Eagerstates.

Before Moskovitz/ Gurvits arrived, the freeholder was a small company and the managing agent was Peverel.

“Peverel was very good. They came round and checked the building and were very efficient,” says Keith Douglas, a director of the Elim Court right to manage company that will have its second attempt at RTM heard next month.

The Elim Court right to manage is being handled by the Right to Manage Federation, a commercial company offering a right to manage service headed by Dudley Joiner. Its previous effort to win RTM failed earlier in the year as it did not serve notice to a man who had died, but whose name was still on the Land Registry, so as not to cause distress to his widow.

“The landlord raised this as a ground for disputing RTM under a counter notice,” said Joiner. “LVTs are just not accepting the spirit of the 2002 legislation that introduced right to manage: it is supposed to be an easily accessible, no fault process. This was a minor detail as the rest of the residents overwhelmingly wanted RTM.”

The RTM action will be heard next month and if successful Elim Court RTM will take over the management of the site on November 9 this year – 16 months after it began the process.

The other scheme, Regent Court, is also opting for right to manage against the same landlord/managing agent. There is another Gurvits-run scheme in Newton Abbot.

The South West is new territory for Gurvits / Moskovitz, who acquired the freeholds 18 months ago.

 

Here are a selection of the 25 odd LVT actions in which the Gurvits / Moskovitz companies appears:

 

Utter shambles from Gurvits / Moskovitz’s  “weave of companies”

Case Ref LON/00AN/LSC/2008/0133

March 10 2011

Applicant: H Moskovitz, represented by J Gurvits, of Y&Y Management
Respondents: leaseholders at Flat 3 Ivy Villas, Ilford Essex, IG3 8DQ

Gurvits was claiming £3,468 in alleged arrears in service and administration charges. The tribunal ruled that none should be paid and that the leaseholder (in fact, a property company) should not pay costs for the action out of the service charge.

The case had been referred to LVT by the county court and “at the outset of the hearing there was some confusion about Mr Gurvits’ role and the validity of his appointment as managing agent”.

This was partly due to the many different companies employed by Gurvits and Moskovitz, his business partner, which send out the demands for payment.

The tribunal expressed its exasperation in this fashion:

“Contrary to these letters, it appeared that the freeholder was not Triplerose and a question arose whether YandY had been properly appointed as managing agents. There were no letters of appointment and no copy of any management agreement. Confusingly, Mr Gurvits said that the “Mr I. Moss” of Triplerose was the same person as Mr Henry Moskovitz, the Claimant before the county court and the applicant in these tribunal proceedings.

“Mr Gurvits also said that Avon and Triplerose were wholly owned by Mr Moskovitz, who also claimed 75% of the shares in YandY, although no evidence was presented to the tribunal to support these assertions. Mr Gurvits said that in effect it was all the same person, namely, the applicant.”

A raft of insurance premium service charges did not need to be paid “by reason that no proper demands for payment had been made to the respondents”, the tribunal ruled.

“Subsequent to the hearing and the tribunal’s determination, Mr Gurvits faxed a short witness statement from a Mr Israel Moskovits, a director of Avon (who may or may not be the same person as the applicant, Mr Henry Moskovitz) together with four documents purporting to be service charge demands dated February 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009; this despite Mr Gurvits’ evidence that the Avon computer system was unable to produce copies of old demands, after the event.”

The tribunal slashed the annual management fee to £25 a year as “there was very little evidence of any management of the building by Avon”.

“With regard to Y & Y the tribunal felt that there was a total lack of transparency about the identity of the lessor and the company or companies which were responsible for managing the property and insuring it. The tribunal can sympathise with Mr Williams’ (a leaseholder) comment that he is “caught in a complete weave of companies”.

 

 

Here he gets his fees cut in half …

Case Ref LON/00BA/LCP/2011/0004

April 4 2011

Applicants: Mr and Mrs Moskovitz, represented by Conway & Co solicitors. (Gurvits, Moskovitz’s business partner, is the managing agent)
Respondents: 75 Worple Road RTM, 75 Worple Road, London SW19 4LS.

The Moskovitz were seeking legal costs after a Lands Tribunal appeal found against the residents’ exercising right to manage owing to a technicality. This action was for the £4,418 costs charged by YandY Managing Agents, where Gurvits was charging his own services at £125 an hour.

In addition, there were costs of £1,733 for solicitors.

The residents, who were legally represented, argued that YandY management fees “should be significantly reduced as they were disproportionate, unreasonable and fall outside the fees recoverable under section 88 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002”.

The residents argued that “much of the work could have been undertaken by an administrator, and insofar as Mr Gurvits undertook to carry out legal work that involved research this should not be charged to the respondent”.

The tribunal limited Gurvits’ hourly fee to £75.

Furthermore, “In respect of … Mr Gurvits cost schedule the Tribunal have determined that the time taken for considering LVT application and applicants documents, researching case law and meeting clients and taking instructions ought to be limited to 3 hours.”

“The Tribunal find that the total sum of £2,431 is payable by the respondent under the cost schedule produced by Mr Gurvits.”

… then there’s a letter that goes missing (that would have blocked leaseholders achieving RTM)

Case Ref LON/00AZ/LRM/2010/0014

October 18 2010

21 Gillian Street, London  SE13 RTM
Applicant: 21 Gillian Street residents, represented by Dudley Joiner
Respondent: Assethold Limited, represented by J Gurvits of Eagerstates

The residents at 21 Gillian St gave notice of their claim to exercise right to manage on February 19 2010.

They specified the date March 22 2010 by which the landlord should serve a counter claim. And specified June 22 20120 as the date on which the company intended to acquire right to manage.

Mrs E Gurvits, a director of Eagerstates, claimed that she did serve counter-notice “said to be dated 1 March 2010”, and as there had been no application to LVT after serving the counter-notice Eagerstates assumed the RTM had been withdrawn.

In June the landlords demanded unspecified payment of costs in dealing with the matter. Gurvits represented himself as “director of the landlord and Eagerstates”.

In support of the case, Gurvits presented a witness statement signed by Mrs Gurvits in which she said: “I received a completed counter-notice from Assethold Ltd dated 1 August 2010 [sic] and on the same day I prepared a cover letter to [the company] and counter-notice and sent it out first class post …”

The tribunal said: “Now it may well be, as Mr Gurvits submitted, that ‘1August 2010’ was an error and that Mrs Gurvitz intended to say “1 March 2010”, but her witness statement can hardly be said to provide support for the landlord’s assertion that the counter-notice was served by 22 March 2010, and she did not attend the hearing to give oral evidence.”

The tribunal added: “That is not to say that we would hold, if the question was open to us to decide, that the landlord was guilty of concocting a backdated counter-notice and covering letter. That has certainly not been established.”

 

And another failed attempt to block an RTM

Case Ref LON/00AY/LAC/2010/0002

June 8 2010

Applicants: Residents at 28 Ellora Road, Streatham, London SW16 6JF.
Respondent: Assethold Ltd, represented by J Gurvits of Eagerstate Managing Agents.

The three residents had employed counsel to represent them and Gurvits represent himself

“Mr Gurvits having advanced a number of arguments in respect of the Right to Manage application was informed by the tribunal that in its view these arguments were unlikely to succeed …”

Gurvits sends “abusive emails” … and loses another case

Case Ref LON/00AM/LCP/2009/0021

February 23 2010

Applicant: Daejan Properties (landlords)
Respondent: Carlton Mansions RTM Company

This time Gurvits was representing a right to manage application for residents at 33-40 Carlton Mansions … only to present documentation to demand RTM for the whole of Carlton Mansions.

This was just a “simple error”, according to Gurvits. Understandably the landlords fought back, who demanded repayment of £2,730 of costs.

The landlord had issued a counter-notice to right to manage because all the residents in Carlton Mansions had not been given notice to participate in RTM and the membership of the RTM company did not include at least half the tenants eligible to join.

Gurvits accused the landlords of “delaying tactics and bad practice”

The tribunal reported: “Mr Guvits alleged that ‘by deliberately avoiding explaining this issue [correcting his error with the address] the Applicants (landlords) deliberately and maliciously incurred costs unnecessarily in order to be able to inflate the claim against the Respondent.”

He added that the landlord and its legal representatives were “playing stupid” in order to increase costs to the detriment of the RTM company.

The landlord said that the RTM was “fundamentally flawed” as the company had been incorporated “for the purpose of exercising right to manage in respect of the entirety of Carlton Mansions.”

While this company was in existence no other bocks in Carlton Mansions could exercise right to manage, it pointed out.

The landlord complained of “unpleasant abusive allegations” by Gurvits.

The tribunal said:

“Y&Y Management sent a series of abusive emails to the landlords’s solicitors and without consideration made an application to the leasehold valuation tribunal.

“… The landlord and their solicitors did all they could to prevent this case escalating further and prevented a full hearing at the tribunal of the application for the right to manage.”

The RTM had made a “fundamental error because the RTM company had not been formed correctly.”

Gurvits said his charges for being at the hearing would be £440 inc VAT

Gurvits argument that costs were not payable after the service of a counter notice “was in our opinion vexatious and/or abusive”, the tribunal said.

The RTM Gurvits represented was ordered to pay the landlord’s £2,730 costs and a sum of £400 in additional costs.

Insurance bill reduced from £1,000 a maisonette to £600

Case Ref LON/00AN/LSC/2008/0133

November 21 2008

Applicant: Residents at 1-2a Astrop terrace W6 7HQ.
Respondent: Triplerose (landlord), represented by Gurvits on behalf of Avon Estates

This LVT action concerned insurance costs where Gurvits was claiming a cost of insurance of £1,000 per maisonette: “In our experience this was an exceptionally high figure and in our view warranted a full explanation,” said the tribunal.

In claiming £250 costs for the case, the applicants “ran over the history of relations with the respondent, the previous LVT proceedings and the appalling accounts maintained by the respondents managing agents and unwarranted demands.”

The tribunal gave the applicants £250 for the case and ruled that insurance costs should be £600 for 2007 and £625 for 2008

Gurvits complains letter was sent to his wrong address … and loses again

27 March 2008

Case Ref LON/00AU/LRM/2008/0001

Applicant: leaseholder at 104 Tollington Way, London N7.
Respondent: Assethold Limited, represented by J Gurvits

Here Gurvits was arguing that a right to manage action had been sent to the wrong address – that of his accountants’ – and therefore the notice should be disallowed.

The tribunal disagreed and granted RTM.

The Moskovitz / Gurvitz companies

Joseph Gurvits (b 1965 or 1970)
MG GR LIMITED    Active
Y & Y MANAGEMENT LIMITED    Active
SQUIREHILL LTD    Active
SUREWORLD LIMITED    Active
EAGERSTATES LIMITED    Active
ASSETHOLD LIMITED    Active
TRIPLEROSE LIMITED    Active    (Director Resigned 31/03/2011)
AQUATIME LIMITED    Active    (Director Resigned 14/05/2010)
ARAZIM TRUST LIMITED    Active    (Director Resigned 21/10/2003)

Esther Gurvits (b1970)
Company Summary
Company Name    Company Status
SQUIREHILL LTD    Active
SUREWORLD LIMITED    Active
EAGERSTATES LIMITED    Active
EAGERSTATES LIMITED    Active
ASSETHOLD LIMITED    Active
ASSETHOLD LIMITED
96 WRIGHTMAN ROAD (FREEHOLD) LTD

Israel Moskovitz (b1964)
AVON GROUND RENTS LIMITED    Active
AVON FREEHOLDS LIMITED    Active
CITY GROUND RENT LIMITED    Active
1 TO 10 CLAYTON COURT LTD    Active
7 CASTLEWOOD ROAD LTD    Active
50-60 ESSENDINE MANSIONS FREEHOLD LIMITED    Active
NORTHBROOKE UK LIMITED    Active
9-16 LEITH MANSIONS LTD    Active
MILLENNIUM SEACON PROPERTIES LIMITED    Active
MILLENNIUM SEACON ASSETS LIMITED    Active
POWERQUEST LTD    Active
POWERQUEST LTD    Active
NORTHBROOKE LIMITED    Active
16 ST STEPHEN’S GARDENS LIMITED    Active
VICTOR HOUSE (RTM) LIMITED    Active
CHINGHILL LTD    Active
CHINGHILL LTD    Active
AQUATIME LIMITED    Active
SPACIOUS DEVELOPMENTS LTD    Active
MOTHERS LTD    Active
REALAIM LIMITED    Active
SOLARLIGHT LIMITED    Active
GLORYPEAK LTD    Active
CHASDEI YITZOK CHARITIES LIMITED    Active
SUSSEX COURT (MANAGEMENT) LIMITED    Active
TRIPLEBEAM LTD    Active
TRIPLEBEAM LTD    Active
TRIPLEROSE LIMITED    Active
EUROROSE PROPERTIES LIMITED    Active
WELLS HOUSE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION LIMITED    Active
WELLS HOUSE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION LIMITED    Active
AVON ESTATES (LONDON) LIMITED    Active
AVON ESTATES (UK) LIMITED    Active
LDM LONDON LIMITED    Dissolved
FIRSTQUEST ESTATES LTD    Dissolved
FIRSTQUEST ESTATES LTD    Dissolved
SLONEVIEW PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LIMITED    Dissolved
LAMINGREEN PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LIMITED    Dissolved
BROADFIELD PROPERTIES LIMITED    Dissolved
CARLTON MANSIONS RTM COMPANY LIMITED    Dissolved    (Company Secretary Resigned 23/10/2009)
CARLTON MANSIONS RTM COMPANY LIMITED    Dissolved    (Director Resigned 23/10/2009)
CENTRAL CALCULATORS LIMITED    Dissolved    (Director Resigned 18/04/2007)
SHARPSOFT LIMITED    Dissolved    (Director Resigned 18/04/2007)
WENWELL LTD    Dissolved    (Company Secretary Resigned 18/12/2008)
WENWELL LTD    Dissolved    (Director Resigned 18/12/2008)
FIRSTPATH LTD    In Receivership    (Company Secretary Resigned 18/12/2008)
FIRSTPATH LTD    In Receivership    (Director Resigned 18/12/2008)
TOP ONE LIMITED    Active    (Director Resigned 11/01/2002)
TOPACTIVE ESTATES LTD    Dissolved    (Company Secretary Resigned 10/11/2009)
TOPACTIVE ESTATES LTD    Dissolved    (Director Resigned 10/11/2009)
SERIOUS ESTATES LIMITED    Dissolved    (Director Resigned 01/01/2004)

Comments

  1. I just can not believe that in view of what is happening in this industry it is not regulated. There is so much regulation when a new socket is fitted in a kitchen…….so why not to protect peoples homes from landlords and managing agents?
    The vast majority of these are elderly vulnerable people … Unbelievable…………..

  2. The Moskovitch/Gurvits weave of companies sounds unpleasantly similar to the Tchenguiz set up. The fact that on acquiring the freehold of Elim Court, Plymouth, they were able to sack the existing managing agents, Peverel, and appoint their own managers, Y and Y, (in which it appears that both M and K are involved) is particularly disturbing. Could such a thing be done in a case such as mine, and many others, where the parties to the Lease are the Freeholder, a Tchenguiiz company (Fairhold), currently on the market, Peverel as Managers, and myself as Leasee? If so the future is bleak! Possibly the Managers’ appointment in the Lease is a protection but any confirmation of that would be welcome.

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