June 17, 2024

At Knights Court fire safety is too precious for Peverel to put a price on

Residents at Knights Court in Coventry were not happy to get a poster on their notice board earlier this month to say they are going to have to pay more for a fire risk assessment.

In the past Peverel included the assessments as part of the service charges. Now they are to be farmed out to an outfit called Cardinus and the residents have no idea how much it will cost. Harry Gilmour, chairman of the residents’ association, is incensed and has demanded to know why this “already done deal” has been presented to residents as a fait accompli.

He has involved local Conservative MP Caroline Spelman, who attended the Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation / LKP Westminster briefing earlier this month. Here she singled out serious problems in her Meriden constituency over retirement leasehold.

Gilmour wants to know:

  1. Show us where it says in the fire safety regulations that the change is necessary.  Also the date the regulation was altered.
  2.  We wish to see the tender submitted by Cardinus, together with the other tenders submitted under the competitive tender process.
  3.  What are the details of the contract you have signed with Cardinus.  The very important one of cost, that you must already know is missing from the notice put on the board.
  4.  As  Peverel is no longer doing the fire risk assessment can we expect to see a equivalent reduction in costs in the Peverel fee.
  5. Will the extra cost on the service charge, that you have warned about, mean a reduction in the fire premium cost on building insurance. After all, Zurich seem to be the main beneficiaries in this whole exercise.  Not forgetting Cardinus and Peverel.

“It must be pointed out again how completely out of the blue this has come to the residents,” Gilmour has told Peverel.  “You must have known for weeks, if not months, that the assessment was in the pipeline and you never mentioned it.  So much for the much extolled consultation with residents under the new broom of Janet Entwistle.”

He poured scorn on Peverel’s supposed commitment to “greater degrees of transparency and openness in everything we do” and similar worn-out clichés.



  1. I own a FREEHOLD property on a Peverel Retirement development. I have just had a note from the Area Manager put through my door to say my loft is to be inspected as part of the Fire Risk Assessment by Cardinus. Do they have a right to inspect my loft in my house ?

  2. We had ‘Risk Assessments’ appear on our Y/E Aug 2013 budget @ £1105 [43 flats], with the reason as “Cost of the risk assessment undertaken by independent company”

    On querying this for more detail we got the same explanation as the subject notice.

    Cardinus was the firm.

    No reduction to the service charge, as more in depth checks were to be carried out than by previous Peverel staff who would not have the expertise.

    This including inspection of apartment lofts to check for fire safety issues.