October 22, 2019

LEASE threatens Leasehold Knowledge Partnership and demands apology

DeepSagarLEASE, the Leasehold Advisory Service, has demanded that the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership remove a critical article from its website and issue an apology, or it “reserves the right to take appropriate further action”.

It is an open question what is meant by this threat, which comes in the form of a letter from LEASE chairman Deep Sagar (left).

The article that has caused offence is “Wibble, wobble: why the Leasehold Advisory Service needs to be reformed”, which was placed on the site on June 1.

Please comment on the article here

LKP, which is the sister website to Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation, rejects that there was anything actionable in the article, which makes a considered case for reforming LEASE, as well as criticising its monetising initiatives with the commercial leasehold sector, to the exclusion of leaseholders.

Mr Sagar’s intervention is all the more extraordinary as he, Anthony Essien, LEASE chief executive, Sebastian O’Kelly and Martin  Boyd, of LKP, met in the offices of Sir Peter Bottomley as recently as Wednesday June 12.

Although LKP’s series of articles criticising LEASE were discussed, no request has been made to address particular concerns or statement of fact.

Mr Sagar makes no detailed criticism of the article and does not dispute any single point. He simply demands its removal and issue an apology.

He writes:

“I am writing to tell you that much of that article makes claims that are contrary to facts related to LEASE and does deep damage to LEASE’s reputation with no basis in merit. We are therefore asking you to remove this article from the public domain as soon as possible and to issue an apology. If this does not take place within a week of receipt of this email, LEASE reserves the right to take appropriate further action.”

Sebastian O’Kelly, of LKP, says: “I think leaseholders will be appalled to see LEASE – supposedly concerned with raising standards in this murky sector – issuing such a ridiculous threat to LKP, which has done a good deal more to bring political and public attention to those abuses than the Leasehold Advisory Service.

“If Mr Sagar, or anyone for that matter, disputes the accuracy or fairness of an article on LKP, it is taken very seriously and the issue will be addressed. That does not mean we will necessarily agree, but at least we will know why we disagree.”

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