June 17, 2024

Haig Court residents win back £6,123 off Fairhold

HaigCourt2Residents at Haig Court, in Chesterton, Cambridge, who were facing a 20 per cent hike in the notional rent of the house manager’s flat have now been offered a £6,123 repayment – after contacting Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation.

The residents’ association was stunned that the freeholder Fairhold, part of the Tchenguiz Family Trust, proposed increasing the figure from £11,695 in 2011, to £12,312 in 2012 and then a whopping £15,070 in 2013 – and to expect 22.4 per cent on top of that.

Louise Smith, of Fairhold, visited the site on July 22, where she was told the residents had contacted Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation, which had also involved local LibDem MP Julian Huppert.

Now the residents have been told that payments for the notional rent of the house manager’s flat are to be slashed back to £10,152.

And as “a gesture of goodwill” they are to receive repayments from Fairhold:

  • 2011     £873
  • 2012     £832
  • 2013     £4,418

Julian Huppert is writing to Fairhold demanding an explanation for these figures.

The residents claim Louise Smith revised the figures after learning that a nearby retirement flat in a Peverel managed block was for sale at £80,000.

The residents’ association has accepted the reduced notional rent, which Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation believes is almost certainly not in the lease and could  be contested in court.

This happened successfully at Oakland Court, where residents won £64,500. More can be read here.

“Most of the residents here don’t care about all this, but I do,” said Walter Golby, secretary of the residents’ association. “I have been trying to get these figures down since 2007.”

Haig Court is a 44-flat complex that was built by McCarthy and Stone and is managed by Peverel.


  1. But is £10,152 a reasonable rent for the flat and for the area? Better than £15,070 of course, but Fairhold has a history of demanding exorbitant rents and, when seriously challenged, reducing those figures, but still ending up with a rent over the local rent levels. And is it a net or gross rent i.e. does it include the service charge and ground rent. It could be argued that Fairhold should only claim the net rent, but they inevitably use Girlings rentals as a comparison and those rents always include ground rent and service charge.

    Well done to Haig Court residents, Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation and the local MP for putting up resistance to this money grabbing landlord. I wonder if Louise Smith has any inkling of the worry she causes leaseholders with her demands.

  2. Has there ever been a more absurdly named enterprise than “Fairhold”?

  3. Michael Epstein says

    YES! What About (EDIT)

  4. I am very pleased to hear the justice is done. Thanks to those who are working for ‘Freeing Leaseholders ‘.
    What about the long time stress which these money grabbers has put the leaseholders through?
    For me the offenders should also be fined, they caused stress related health issues to leaseholders. Management Companies go above the law and harm vulnerable people for a very long time till the case is heard in front of The law.

  5. Which Fairhold company owns the freehold of Haig Court in Cambridge ? Fairhold No.2 ? or Fairhold No.4 ?

  6. The name of the freehold company is shown on your annual ground rent demand . What is the name of your freeholder ?

    You can check if the same freeholder’s name appears in your lease as the Lessor when the 125 years lease commenced .

    Also check the wording in your lease (1) what clause(s) say that you must pay annual service charge and notional rent on the house manager’s flat. (2) what clauses allow the notional rent on the house manager’s flat to be increased annually – is it related to RPI ( retail price index ) or annual % rise in property price in your block ?

  7. Haig Court in Chesterton, is just 1 retirement block out of many i.e 1300-1500 retirement blocks managed by Peverel . What rises did other blocks have to pay for rent increases on the house manager’s flat ?

    Every leaseholder living in blocks ( retirement and private blocks) managed by Peverel should keep a copy of the lease in their flat for reference – no use leaving it in the solicitors property purchase file . How can the house manager’s flat rent be increased.

    Perhaps Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation should ask all contacts at the other M&S retirement blocks to provide feedback on past 3 years house managers flat rent rises .

  8. ollie
    Rents in general for House Managers Flats are well over priced and should only be reduced at a Tribunal. I believe that any other method used to arranged a reduction, will mean that the new Tribunal will not undertake any further reduction as it has deemed that the agreed rate is an agreed rate. So if at a meeting the Managing Agents agree to reduce £8,500.00 flat by say £1,000.00 it seems that you have won. The Tribunal could drop the rent to that charged for similar flats that may be as little as £5,000.00 per rent a year.
    Check the cost of any tenants/renters in the development where you live or ask at the Estate Agents if there are any flats for rent that are similar.
    Our neighbours development which is less than 10 years old, charge close to £9,000.00 per anum, even when the prices for the flats have fallen by nearly 50% eg 1 Bed Flat, Peverel Managing Agent, Freeholder Fairhold, purchased for £139,000. 9 years ago similar flats now now for sale at £79.000. The House Managers Flat was dropped in rental 3 years ago but has increased since to the same rental charges.

  9. Hi Chas,

    What does the wording in your lease ( M&S) say about which party ? and using what criteria ? determines the rental rise for the warden/ house manager’s flat for the next service charge for your site ?

    Is the rental assessment based on comparison with rents achieved by similar sized flats in same estate or in the same town or is it made by local RICS surveyor ? How is it worded in your leases ?

    Can anyone post a copy of the wording in the clause on how the annual rent charged for house manager’s flat may be increased ?

  10. ollie
    We do not pay a rent for the House Managers House but we pay for all the upkeep and have been informed recently by the Area Manager/Regional Manager that if we decide to keep the permanent House Manager and not choose to have a Part Time House Manager we would in the future have to pay for:-
    1. Redecoration House Managers House
    2. New Boiler
    3. New Kitchen
    4. New Bathroom
    5. Council Tax
    6. Life Insurance for House Manager

    We knew we had to pay a Service Charge when we purchased the flat, but not keeping a House that we do not own. Why would we have to replace anything that was not broken or damaged, nothing in the lease says we have to update items?
    Comments Please

  11. Peverel manage 1300 M&S retirement blocks and if all these blocks were overcharged by £6,213 per site , this would amount to an £8 Mil windfall for Peverel.

    • Trevor Bradley says

      You are so right there Ollie. Your figures are probably very conservative as well.
      One ivery mportant point here, for any “interested party/government minister etc” that hopefully will read this, It is not only Peverel that are doing unacceptabl things. There are numerous Managing Agents out there that are just as bad, or almost, that are doing the same rip offs. I have proof of that . Ref a company that managed where my mother is but I had a gagging order put on me by Taylor Wimpey who was the Landlord and had appointed that MA.