June 17, 2024

Roger Southam is new chairman of LEASE

… and Countrywide executive appointed to the board
(which means there is still no representative of leaseholders)


The above shows Roger Southam with his board at Chainbow, not the board of the Leasehold Advisory Service

The colourful property manager Roger Southam, of Chainbow, is today announced as the new chairman of the Leasehold Advisory Service.

Mr Southam, a chartered surveyor, founded Chainbow but sold out most, perhaps all, its residential management contracts to Trinity in 2012.

LKP contacted him in that year regarding Chelsea Bridge Wharf by Battersea Bridge which, like most Berkeley Group freeholds/ headleases had been sold to the Tchenguiz Family Trust and was managed by Peverel. Mr Southam was organising the right to manage.

A flamboyant figure in property management, where he is recognised as an accomplished entrepreneur, Mr Southam is noted for his penchant for bow-ties and suits of a purple hue.

He replaces Deep Sagar, the LEASE chairman for eight years, with whom LKP had a strained relationship owing to our criticisms of the quango. 

Mr Southam is joined on the board by Margaret Longden, an executive with Countrywide whose estate management arm was accused in the Commons of “ripping off” leaseholders in Swindon by Tory MP Justin Tomlinson in October.

After LKP explored the issue further, Bovis Homes decided to eject Countrywide from the management of its sites nationwide.

The new appointments leave unchanged the fact that there is no representative of a recognisable leasehold interest on the board of the Leasehold Advisory Service … which was set up primarily to assist leaseholders.

A statement today from the Leasehold Advisory Service reads:

LEASE’s chief executive, Anthony Essien, is pleased to announce that the Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis MP, has appointed Roger Southam as non-executive Chairman of the Leasehold Advisory Service for a five year term from 1 January 2015. Roger succeeds Deep Sagar who served two terms totalling eight years with numerous achievements.

Roger brings more than 30 years’ experience in the property industry to the role. Roger Southam is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a Fellow of Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) and a Fellow of Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA). He is a regular panellist for industry focused groups including RICS, British Property Federation, Bank of England, HM Revenue & Customs and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

LEASE’s chief executive is also pleased to announce that Margaret Longden has joined the LEASE board effective 1 December 2014. Margaret is a regional Managing Director of the lettings division of Countrywide Estates and has a background in corporate finance as well as property industry expertise. Other board news: John May was recently reappointed to the LEASE board and Justin Caffrey has retired from the board.

Anthony Essien said: “I am delighted that we were able to attract candidates of the calibre of Roger and Liz to our board to act as Chairman and Non-Executive Director respectively. They will provide us with tremendous experience and skills that will help us to successfully meet the challenges ahead as we assist the residential leasehold and park home sectors.”

“I would like to thank the outgoing Chairman, Deep Sagar, and Non-Executive Director Justin Caffrey, for their hard work and valuable support in helping LEASE progress during their terms”.

A statement on Mr Southam’s Chainbow website describes the founder in these terms:

Roger has more than 30 years’ experience in the property industry. Initially Chainbow was founded as a property investment company, specialising in shopping centre and mixed-use asset management throughout the UK and Europe. In 2006, it moved into British residential block management.

Roger Southam is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the immediate past Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors Livery Company. He is a regular panellist for industry focused groups including RICS, British Property Federation, Bank of England, HM Revenue & Customs, and the Department of Communities and Local Government. Roger is also the former Chairman of the CSTT, the industry charity that supports young, disadvantaged people into surveying careers.

Having a reputation as a trouble-shooter, Roger has assisted with more than £185million worth of retail asset transactions boasting increased capital value gains of up to 23.5% and increased commercial rental income of up to 12% through his proactive management approach.


  1. Mira Bar-Hillel writing a report for London Evening Standard ( Homes & Property) issue dated 12 Sept 2007, called Roger Southam a whistle blower.

    Mr Southam discovered the problem when the freehold of Boardwalk Place E14,a property his company Chainbow was managing, was sold in Sept 2005 to a company controlled by Vincent Tchenguiz. The new company demanded insurance over 100,000 pounds for 370 flats in seven blocks.

    ” I went to a broker and got a quotation for 60,000 pounds ,including a 20% commission for the agent or freeholder” said Mr Southam.

    Mr Southam may be the right man standing behind LEASE to drive the FTT and Housing Minister to crack down on excessive charging for buildings insurance.by freeholders and their managing agents.