May 29, 2024

Man the lifeboats! Grace Darling House votes for Freemont

GraceDarlingHouse7Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation has received a report that Freemont Property Managers have been appointed to take Grace Darling House to right to manage.

It will then manage the site, we are informed.

The site is at present run by Stonewater housing association.

Freemont Property Managers is run by former senior executives of Peverel.

In December 2013, the Office of Fair Trading ruled that Peverel’s subsidiary Cirrus had cheated pensioners at 65 sites through a bid-rigging scam for electronic door systems.

Three stooge companies bid for tenders, always coming up with higher prices than Cirrus , which was then awarded the contract by its owner Peverel.

In total, pensioners were cheated out of £1.4 million.

No one faced criminal prosecution as a result of the scandal, no one was dismissed, and, Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation was assured, no one involved in the collusive tendering is presently employed at Peverel (now renamed FirstPort).

However, Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation whistleblowers who alerted the OFT to the scam were threatened with prosecution during the investigation if they discussed the OFT’s work with the media.


  1. Sometime I wonder why we bother.

    Did these people not do any research or were they just silly enough to listen to the sales talk..

    Do they not know this company was Peverel from its darkest days

    Keith Edger ran Peverel retirement when they got things so so wrong. He was also on the ARHM board when they decided not to investigate issue after issue at Peverel.

    Not one or two or three but all four of the directors in Freemont were key figures at Peverel until a few years ago.

    The accountant Keith Barr was the only one who was not a senior director but he headed up Peverel accounts for many years until 2012. He claims:

    “accounting of our managed developments is performed on a timely basis and is of high quality”

    Anyone in receipt of Peverel service charge accounts prior to 2012 knows this was a time when they were often so bad that they found it difficult to even add up the numbers. When they did they often did not happen for months or even years. Even when the accounts arrived they were very often wrong.

    In 2010 ARMA made the then MD of Peverel Residential write to all ARMA managing agents apologizing for their accounting failures.

    For heaven sakes Grace Darling residents do some research. You might even look at the accounts for Freemont. The last published accounts for Freemont Property Management Ltd show they had £3,534 in cash and a net worth of £12,936.

  2. Michael Hollands says

    Is it possible to get to know why the residents have chosen Freemont over Stonewater, and how satisfied or otherwise they become with this new appointment.
    Perhaps one of the residents who visits this website would care to inform us.
    Looking at both companies websites the difference between them is chalk and cheese.
    Without being critical of either I would summarise them as follows.
    Stonewater appear to be old fashioned, with a Social background, working strictly to the governing rules and regulations which they define very clearly. Most likely they are above board but maybe like other similar outfits a bit slow and inefficient.
    Freemont appear much more modern and go ahead, portraying a dynamic image but with a strong profit motive. They probably gave a persuasive sales spiel to get appointed. They maybe more efficient but the residents need to be aware and scrutinise proceedings.
    It would be interesting to hear how they get on.

  3. I think Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation with backing from the Patron MPs can make a complaint against “Company Directors” to : Companies House and Insolvency Service .

    You can complain to The Insolvency Service, Companies House or the Serious Fraud Office if you suspect a limited company or its directors of fraud or serious misconduct.

    Complain to The Insolvency Service

    You can make a complaint if you have reasonable grounds to suspect a currently active company of:

    causing significant harm to customers, suppliers, etc
    breaking the law, eg fraud
    serious misconduct, eg company assets have not been used properly
    having a significant irregularity in its affairs

    The Insolvency Service
    Online complaints form
    Telephone: 0300 678 0017
    24-hour answerphone to ask for a form
    Find out about call charges

    You can also complain in writing.

    Intelligence Hub
    Investigations and Enforcement Services
    Insolvency Service
    3rd Floor Cannon House
    18 Priory Queensway
    B4 6FD

  4. Michael Epstein says

    I understand your frustration. The most basic of checks would have warned off the residents. There is enough material published about the conduct of the directors of Freemont to sound the alarm bells ringing.
    As soon as they found out that the former Peverel managers had got together to form Freemont, the About Peverel website made it clear that this was a company to be avoided at all costs.
    They showed an unhealthily close relationship between Freemont and Estates & Management, particularly demonstrated by E&M expressing a willingness to sack Peverel/Firstport if residents agreed to the appointment of Freemont?
    During his brief stay with Rendell & Rittner, Kevin Barr was regularly seen dining out with the head of legal services at E&M.
    i wonder why ARMA thought it appropriate to have Fremont as associate members?

  5. Trevor Bradley says

    I have been away for a few days and just catching up. I cannot believe what I am reading. Doesn’t anybody do any research. Freemont are one of many that I would never recommend or employ. What on earth have these residents done!