June 17, 2024

Peverel / FirstPort paid ‘£40,000′ of residents’ contingency fund money to Mr Tchenguiz ‘by mistake’

Peverel / FirstPort admits handing over funds from the contingency fund at Hillside Court, Ormskirk, over to the landlord (Mr Tchenguiz)

Peverel / FirstPort admits handing over funds from the contingency fund at Hillside Court, Ormskirk, over to the landlord (Mr Tchenguiz). Has this happened elsewhere, too?

In an extraordinary admission, Peverel / FirstPort says it has paid over thousands of pounds of contingency funds at Hillside Court, Ormskirk, to the landlord “by mistake”.

Residents estimate that up to £40,000 is at issue, involving the one per cent contingency fund fess payable on sale of the properties.

Instead of being paid into the contingency fund, the money was paid to the landlord, ultimately the Tchenguiz Family Trust based in the British Virgin Islands.

It prompts the obvious question: at how many other retirement sites have contingency fund payments wrongly been made to the landlord?

The residents have been seeking an explanation from Peverel / FirstPort and Estates and Management, which manages the Tchenguiz freehold portfolio, since at least June last year.

Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation involved three MPs in taking the issue up – Rosie Cooper, and Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation / LKP patrons Jim Fitzpatrick and Sir Peter Bottomley.

In addition, we have now involved the Law Commissioner Stephen Lewis, who is heading the Law Commission’s investigation into exits fees at retirement sites.

We have asked Peverel for a full explanation of a matter that is now of considerable public interest.

The response to Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation on raising this issue came first from Louise Smith, of the Consensus Business Group (ie the Tchenguiz organisation).

She said yesterday that the payments to the landlord had been made by Peverel / FirstPort “in error”, and assumed Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation had already been contacted by Peverel / FirstPort.

In fact, Peverel / FirstPort responded this morning

A spokesman said:

“The leases at Hillside Court provide for a transfer fee to be paid to the landlord by the flat owner upon sale or letting.

“There is also a separate obligation elsewhere in the lease for the landlord to pay this transfer fee into the development’s reserve fund.

“Prior to October 2013, when Peverel Retirement (now FirstPort) carried out the property transfer administration for Hillside Court, we mistakenly paid these transfer fees to the landlord.

“I am pleased to say that we have now traced these payments and the total amount will be credited to the reserve fund for Hillside Court.

“We will be writing to each resident at Hillside Court to apologise for our mistake and the time it has taken to trace and reconcile the payments.

“We will, of course, provide full details of the payment history to each of the residents for their information.”

This is not an adequate response to such a serious matter.

Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation has asked for a full explanation.

The issue of whether other sites have also wrongly had their contingency funds paid to the landlord now needs to be addressed.


  1. Michael Hollands says

    I expect that Peverel paid the full exit fee to the landlords instead of splitting it and paying half into the contingency fund.
    With the Tchenguiz recently purporting to be honest and above board one would have expected them to return the money.
    There must be a loss of interest claim here.

    • Michael, our late Regional Manager (Peter Whalley) at Ashbrook Court refused to refund any interest payments as it was in Peverel Retirements Interest not to pay interest, if you get my gist?

      Peverel Retirement Managers, especially the Regional Managers who each were responsible for 10 Area Managers each were the main protagonists as they controlled the Peverel Empire, reporting to the MD who benefitted from the cheating of pensioners as leaseholders?

      The cheating began according to Peverel Directors in 2005 and was prolific up to November 2009 according to the Peverel Group?

      Who was the Peverel Group who handed in the cheaters, were they the same complicit Senior Managers who were involved from 2004?

      Can anyone state who were the Area/Regional Managers during 2004 to 2010 that may have sacked as a result of the OFT inquiry?

      Ask admin for contact details as we have almost put the jigsaw together.

  2. Michael Epstein says

    A £40,000 credit to just one development. That is 40% of the goodwill payment Peverel made to residents that were cheated in the price fixing scandal at the 65 developments they owned up to.
    It doesn’t look good for Peverel does it? Are you taking note of this ARMA?

    • Paul Joseph says

      I thought it was £10,000 per development? (£650,000). So, more like 6%. No?

      Peverel keeps losing developments and more losses are in propsect.

      • Michael Hollands says

        £100000 split between 65 developments

      • PJ,

        ARMA need Peverel to exist?

        The £100,000 between 65 developments is £6,500 per development.

        Say as we were cheated 28 flats/28 Pensioners that would l have been 1538 divided by 28 would be £54.45 each for removing £20,000 up to £40,000 for works that were charged against the Contingency Account.

        Peverel/Cirrus had a ready made Gravy Train of income as both companies belonged to Peverel Group but they kept it on the QT.

  3. Michael Epstein says

    I would like to know, who it was that discovered the “error”?
    I note the use of the phrase “we have “traced”these payments” That is different from “we have got the money back”. So I would also like to know if the wrong payments have been paid back by the Tchenguiz companies?
    Have other developments been affected and has any resolution been subject to a confidentiality clause?

    • Michael,
      I have recently noted that the lack of any response by any of the 65 Developments that were cheated, have with their silence, may each have being subject to Gagging Clauses, same as Confidentiality Clauses?

      It would not be any Peverel Area/Regional Manager that discovered an error?

      The Area/Regional Manager discovering an error, would be like a politician admitting to Tax Evasion.

  4. Having checked out the 65 developments that Peverel Group, (yes the main people at Peverel gave up Peverel Retirement now FirstPort and Cirrus Communications Services Ltd now Appello) after they were outed by the Times Newspaper in October 2009 having been found cheating 65 Retirement Developments that Peverel agreed had been Price Fixed/Tender Rigged/Collusively Tendered which means that the then Peverel Management Services Ltd (Peverel Retirement) the same company now that collects the Ground Rent and the Service Charges under the Brand Name FirstPort are the same company.

    No changes in personal other that than JE who jumped ship, the same Area/Regional Manager mentality still exists as they attempt to pretend the changes have been made?

    The most important fact that I have recently found is that Ken Kilmister was correct back in 2009 and the development that he and the others mentioned, Alexander Court was one of the 65 Retirement Developments was mentioned in the email to the SFO who decided it was not serious enough and sent the email to the impotent OFT.

    Ken you were correct and a Pioneer of Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation.

    I wish to pay a personal tribute to Ken who was one of the original people who had the mind-set to attempt to uncover the cheating that was endemic in Peverel in all companies from 2005.