April 22, 2024

Sites line up for legal action over Cirrus scandal

Be like Tchenguiz (your freeholder and former Peverel owner) and claim:

CirrusscandalElderly residents at six of the 65 sites that were cheated in the Peverel / Cirrus scandal over price-fixing have come forward to demand compensation.

The residents are eager to take legal action against the property manager. Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation is not naming them or the sites, for obvious reasons.


If your site was on the OFT list contact with complete discretion:


07808 328 230

 Peverel claims it has paid a total of £100,000 as a “goodwill” gesture over the Cirrus scandal, which has been divided up and passed to the contingency funds of the cheated sites.

But the residents believe that they are entitled to much more.

Lawyers are preparing a no-win, no-fee class action to make Peverel re-pay the money wrongly taken from them.

The Office of Fair Trading investigated collusive tendering at 65 sites, where its subsidiary Cirrus won contracts for warden call and electronic door entry systems.

In the Cirrus scandal it was bidding against three stooge companies – two have since gone bust, so avoiding OFT fines – that put in failed higher bids.

As the OFT has established that collusive tendering has taken place the legal argument simply concerns the degree of loss suffered by a site. The OFT confined itself to saying that the sites were “likely” to have suffered financial loss.

Residents have not been asked to accept Peverel’s “goodwill” payment as a binding conclusion to the Cirrus scandal.

Ken Kilmister, a former banker and Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation whistleblower who originally reported the Cirrus scandal, has dismissed the sum as a “sop”. It amounts to only 10 per cent of the value of the contracts.

“In the reasonable assumption that most upgrades could have been done (even where necessary) for 50 per cent of what Cirrus charged, Peverel owes leaseholders around £700,000 based on the OFT’s assessment of the value of contracts affected (£1.4 million),” Kilmister told Peverel CEO Janet Entwistle in December.

“Add to this the fines you have avoided (10 per cent of turnover as a benchmark?) and £100,000 is shown up for exactly what it is, a typical Peverel sop to leaseholders.”

Kilmister argues that the sham tenders breached section 20 of the 1985 Landlord and Tenant Act – which requires that procedural standards be followed when leaseholders are consulted on expenditure above £250 per flat.

“I cannot imagine that any Tribunal would find any consultation knowingly and deliberately based on quotations that were rigged in favour of your own subsidiary, met those required consultation standards. Failure in this regard means that the managing agent is not entitled to collect any more than the £250 limit per flat.

“Perhaps you might like to reconsider your offer before leaseholders mobilise?”

It is now clear that retirement leaseholders are mobilising and demanding a court settlement for the Cirrus scandal.

Residents are following the lead in demanding “compo” from Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz, whose Tchenguiz Family Trust, based in the British Virgin Islands, owns most retirement freeholds where Peverel is employed.

Indeed, Tchenguiz owned Peverel itself from late 2005 to March 2011. The period of the collusive tendering Cirrus scandal investigated by the OFT was 2006-2009.

The Tchenguizs’ house of cards property empire collapsed after their arrest on wrong evidence by the Serious Fraud Office in March 2011. They are now demanding £300 million compensation from British taxpayers. The case will be heard in September.

Evidently, elderly residents in Peverel-run sites feel that they are entitled to some compo of their own.


  1. Mystified says

    I really admire you all who have worked so hard for the retired and all the Leaseholders not giving up your fight. If all the Leaseholders fought like you against this rip off antiquated, medieval Leasehold and likes of Peverel Group of Companies it would have been abolished long time ago.

    I wish you all good luck you deserve every success!

    • Michael Epstein says

      Well said, Mystified.
      What companies such as Peverel have not grasped is that whilst they are basically fighting to keep their income streams intact, we are fighting on principal.
      Doubtless they expected some financial losses as a result of our campaign, they never expected that those that were victorous would carry on to help others.
      To think back to where it all started, and to see what it now encompasses makes this campaign truly remarkable. Whilst some names may be more in the public eye, we should not forget those working quietly in the background.

  2. Michael Hollands says

    It was a crazy decision by Peverel not to fully accept responsibility and agree to pay fair and reasonable compensation.
    Now the number of claimants for compensation at tribunal can only snowball , and the prospect of Peverel taking on their own residents is ridiculous.
    If they had agreed to pay a minimum of £700000 at the onset they probably could have avoided this and restored some reputation.
    Now the cost to them can only increase and with the adverse publicity they will receive their reputation can only erode further

    • Paul Joseph says


      What reputation?! –besides that for conflict of interest, overcharging, poor service etc.

  3. Michael Epstein says

    Michael Hollands,
    You mention fair and reasonable compensation. In fact all that is being asked for is the money that was cheated out of residents to be paid back. Compensation could be taken to mean an extra amount as an apology.
    Some time ago i wrote that Peverel could have “got away” with further action if they had offered around £400,000, which might have been enough to take the anger out of the sitruation.
    You say it was a crazy decision for Peverel not to pay fair and reasonable compensation.
    I believe the financial position of Peverel is such, that they simply do not have the funds to pay adequate compensation, nor could they borrow more money to pay compensation. Therefore, even if they knew the best option was to make a reasonable offer, they had no choice but to act the way they have.

    • “Residents are following the lead in demanding “compo” from Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz, whose Tchenguiz Family Trust, based in the British Virgin Islands, owns most retirement freeholds where Peverel is employed.”

      And this announcement today will significantly strengthen the cases for compensation against Peverel: The Guardian: “The Chancellor, George Osborne, plans to strengthen the criminal law to make it easier to impose fines and jail terms on tax avoiders exploiting offshore havens.”

      Hmmm – excellent news! At last, the government is closing in on all those greedy tax dodgers who bleed this country dry of £billions…

      • Typo correction: “So this announcement today will significantly strengthen the claims for compensation…”

  4. On Kilmister’s point it is more of a breach of s19 fair and reasonable in terms of scope cost and procurement, or as some argue, need(or not).

  5. AM
    I think Ken Kilmister is correct and if proved so, it would allow the overturning of the S20 which would mean that the contract would be found to be Voidable.

    Also under S19 the contract would show that the breach was unfair and unreasonable?

    This would mean that we at ABC would only have paid £7,000 towards the Warden Call System and not the £20,000 we paid.

    I have checked the limited information that was supplied drip by drip by our Area Manager over the past 18 months.

    I have asked our Janet a further 20 questions after Chris Owens sent an email which he believes explains the catastrophic workings of both Peverel Retirement and Careline/Cirrus.

    We know that Price Fixing was happening since 2005 and the Peverel Group informed the OFT that they thought that the Price Fixing was prevalent after late 2006 up to 2009?

    Our tender matched Glyn Jackson, as it can be seen that the16 items had been known Glyn Jackson had just made a 20% addition to each separate item on the tender, and the same £1,000 PC was added when the sum should have been 2.5%, which would have been £506.00 not £1,000 which both tenders had included?

    The full amount of the contract was sent to Peverel for payment 6 days before the work was completed and then the total amount was paid and agreed on the 04/04/2008, no retention was kept back?

    Is this how Peverel Retirement believe they can carry on even now they have refused to provide the actual contract that was supposed to be signed????