September 22, 2020

My six week wait … to pay Estates and Management £5,000

The sale at Pegasus Court has cost £10,000 and the value has fallen from £315,000 in 2005 to £249,000

The sale at Pegasus Court has cost £10,000 and the value has fallen from £315,000 in 2005 to £249,000

Helena Taylor, the daughter of a former resident in retirement leasehold, is furious that the sale of the property has been delayed by six weeks by Estates and Management.

 On December 12 she completed the sale of her mother’s flat at Pegasus Court in Winchmore Hill, north London. Estates and Management promised to sort the administration – that is, help itself to the one per cent transfer fee, and arrange another one per cent payment into the contingency fund.

Only today – January 27 – did it appear that the issue may be reaching a conclusion.

“Although we completed long before Christmas, we still have not been able to receive the funds from our solicitor,” says Helena, whose mother suffers from dementia and has gone into care.

“We urgently need the funds to pay for this. Estates and Management promised to agree the so-called admin fees within 10 days.  Apparently, legally, there is nothing our Solicitor can do but wait on their agreement regarding the fees due.”

Along with estate agent fees and solicitors, Helena estimates the exit fees will bring the costs of the transaction up to £10,000.

“We have taken Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation’s advice and informed Estates and management have stated that we are making the admin fee payments ‘under duress’.”

Needless to say, the family have also lost money: Helena’s mother paid £315,000 for her flat in Pegasus Court in 2005 and she has sold the flat for £249,000.

Comments

  1. Pegasus Court was built in 2003 and has 26 x 1 bed and 2 bed units. There is another leasehold flat advertised for sale at the site and estate agent lists annual ground rent at 419 pds per year and service charge at 3280 pds per year.
    Helena should have asked her conveyancing solicitor to pay her 90% of the sale proceeds and leave behind say 20,000 as retention to cover the unpaid bills and the big bite from Estates & Management Ltd which is a company controlled by the Tchenguiz Family Trust based in the British Virgin Islands.

  2. Lorna sweetman says

    I am having massive problems with e @ m, since well before xmas they have messed us about. When and if you can talk to someone ( very reluctant they are ) making every excuse, promise and misleading information they can come up with

    • Lorna we can help but you need to explain who are the people in Estate & Management that cause you problems, is Area Manager/Regional Manager?

      Who is your freeholder/landlord I assume E&M are the Managing Agents?

  3. Yes Helena, we sympathise with you. After a terrible fire at my mother’s apartment in Gibson Court, Hinchleywood, in late 2011, Estates & Management saw an opportunity to fleece all the displaced and elderly residents, many of whom could not face returning to the complex after being led out of an inferno at midnight; the complex was rebuilt in mid 2013. E&M proceeded to charge us admin fees of almost £200 just to register a tenant on a sublet and an astonsihing £2500 to be placed into a so-called contingency fund. When our tenant leaves in a few months they will fleece us for another £2500 plus fresh admin charges. They have fleeced all the families selling their properties after the fire for, as you say, huge contingency fees. They have also charged us ground rent from a date when the property had not been finished, indeed before the front door of our apartment had even been painted. The woman in charge is the Operations Manager, a certain Eliza Brzozka. She tried to blame the Residents Association for not waiving the fees. These people need to be brought to account. I would love to see them in court for their indiscretions over the years (including the Parliamentary Early Day Motion) and the many stories about their money grubbing antics. To us, they are worse than Peverel; together they were quite incompetent in the aftermath of the fire, looking only to maximise their profits.

    • Ian I am a bit puzzled by your comments. In 2012 the OFT agreed with Fairhold that fees on sub lets would be:

      • A flat fee of £85 (to be adjusted in future years in line with inflation) will be charged for sub-letting, replacing the current transfer fee of one per cent of open market value. This should make it more viable for tenants to sub-let properties they do not currently need to live in. Where it has discretion under a lease, Fairhold will also waive the separate contingency fund fee of one per cent of the open market value payable upon sub-letting. It will instead charge a fee equivalent to one month’s rent for each sub-let. Contingency fund fees are calculated in a similar way to transfer fees, but are paid into a ring fenced fund to pay for repair and maintenance of the development.

      I’m assuming your Landlord is Fairhold or one of the Consensus Group of companies and that Gibson Court has a standard McCarthy & Stone lease. Such a lease has a discretionary clause about the contingency fund and so any charge should be limited to one month’s rent. If this is the case I do not think you should not be paying 1% on any lettings or relets. Check your last ground rent demand to see who the landlord is. Come back to me if you want.

      I agree that E & M are a bunch of rip off merchants and very incompetent as well.

      • I thought that following the OFT ruling Mc&S waived the landlord’s 1% exit fee – not the 1% fee taken for the contingency fund? Am I incorrect?

        This property was newly built in 2002/2003 and during the first six months I sold one flat and bought another in the same building when my solicitor managed to get the 1% fee collected by the landlord waived but I still had to pay 1% exit fee to Peverel for the contingency fund.

        Even before all the flats had been sold here it was soon realised the electronic gates to the underground car park needed to be higher to stop yobs from climbing over the top. The residents held a meeting at which it was agreed we expected Pegasus/builders to pay for the upgrade, but Peverel said Pegasus had refused, insisting the cost of the work must come out of the contingency fund and that was the first fee collected from me!

        I had already been ripped off £100,000 in a part exchange deal and was then forced to pay for the communal electronic gates to be upgraded. Pegasus was determined to get revenge and bleed me dry after they failed to secure a part exchange deal over my house.

        • You are not correct. The OFT did not abolish the 1% transfer fee. It only modified it so that the seller pays 1% on the LOWER of:

          The purchase price of the flat
          The sale price of the flat

          So if the seller bought it for £150,000 and sold it for £100,000 they would “only” pay £1,000

          If however, the seller bought it for £150,00 and sold it for £200,00, they would pay £1,500.

          The example you gave was well before the OFT ruling.

          I hope that is clear.

          • OK thanks. So the OFT abolished neither – the fee paid to the landlord and the fee taken for the contingency fund – only modified the charges. I suppose it was better than nothing but both these charges are a complete rip off and should have been abolished entirely; outrageous financial exploitation. The OFT has no teeth. Same story over the price fixing scandal…

    • The buildings insurance policy should cover loss of (ground) rent..

  4. Yes, I have never understood why some Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation supporters thought the 1% exit fee collected from all leasehold flat sales by managing agents in the retirement sector for a supposed contingency fund was reasonable and fair? Peverel Retirement publish a booklet: “Your Repairs Policy” and nowhere in that booklet is there any reference to ‘exit fees’ collected for a contingency fund. It clearly states that all minor/major building repairs are paid for out of the service charge – the same as standard leasehold flats. I asked Peverel senior management in the past to clarify this issue but I was never given a proper written answer/explanation in the letter I received. This suggests to me that the exit fees collected for contingency funds following all sales may not necessarily be collected and used for that purpose..?

  5. This is the company that states: ” we are working closely with our clients OM Property Management and Proxima.” Demand consents for dogs, cats, repairs to the bathroom, kitchen, windows etc £120 each even if they don’t give one they’ll keep the money.

    When obtaining a consent (Property Ombudsman involved) ie windows Estates & Management states: “The consent is giving in condition that we don’t get any complaints from local neighbourhood”.

    When asking for a clarification, clearance they refuse to give one. They are ripping off the Leaseholders and get away with it. The way they treat young and old, retired or non-retired Leaseholders is absolutely
    disgrace. There are many examples which can’t be stated here.

    • Mystified,
      Why not contact me, SOK has my email address?

      I have this week spoken too and emailed 6 of the commenters and the information given has been mind blowing?

      Please contact

  6. Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation says

    COMMENTS TREATED AS SPAM

    For some time comment writers have complained that their posts are not being published consistently.

    I have now discovered that this is because they are wrongly being identified as spam. This has affected ‘AM’ and ‘Fleeced’, that I know of.

    I think ‘Fleeced’ is wrongly identified as a product for sale; and ‘AM’ is too close to the rubbish names used by the spam-bots. Neither is consistently treated as spam, which has made this problem so difficult to track.

    (LKP / Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation has 1,500 spam comments a day.)

    If ANYONE has difficulty placing a comment, please contact me immediatelY

    admin@Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation.org.uk

    Thanks,

    Sebastian

  7. Sebastian I have had problems???

  8. Fleeced/Mystified
    Please ask Sebastian for my contact details.

    I have been informed that I am at risk?

    Will help.

  9. Ian/Lorna/ Helen

    Ask Sebastian for details

  10. Ollie
    I missed you out sorry, ask Sebastian for details?

  11. Michael Epstein says

    E&M are basically the “heavy mob” branch of the Tchenguiz empire.
    They are part of the freeholding side of the Tchenguiz business, which includes Proxima, Fairhold,and Retirement Care (BH) and are no longer connected to Peverel.
    E&M are charged with the task of raising as much as they possibly can, irrespective of circumstances in order to provide sufficient income to service Tchenguiz group loans.
    However, the business model needed the income from both E&M and Peverel to do this.
    As soon as it proved impossible to reunite the companies Tchenguiz was forced to try to sell his portfolio.
    Currently interest,payments to the banks are being maintained, though other inter-company loans are in default. It is thought that their are insufficient funds to repay loans due to mature in 2015.
    Those that might wish to purchase all or part of the portfolio are biding their time to get a better deal.
    Not only are they awaiting the result of the SFO/Tchenguiz case, but the nearer 2015 gets the more desperate a sale becomes.
    Should a “respectable freeholder” purchase all or part of the portfolio it is unlikely they would want to be associated with E&M.
    We can do “our bit”by ensuring the failings of E&M are kept in the public domain.

    • Here’s a reminder of past events in Parliament :

      Estates and Management Ltd was well known to many Members of Parliament during 2002-2005 .
      Estates & Management Ltd and other managing agents were named as unscrupulous ground rent grazers in Parliament by Barry Gardiner in a speech on 8 Jan 2002 under Col: 478 and this speech was posted on the Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation website about 3-4 years ago when Melissa was leading Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation.

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmhansrd/vo020108/debtext/20108-22.htm

      Below are some links to 3 Early Day Motions on Estates and Management
      http://www.edms.org.uk/2004-05/408.htm by Barry Sheerman
      http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2004-05/939 by Peter Pike
      http://www.edms.org.uk/2005-06/342.htm by Brian Iddon

      Estates and Management Ltd are regulars at the LVT Tribunals to defend their extortionate claims as managing agent for landlord consent for subletting and they introduced the fee for 5 years global consent although no such clause exists in any lease.

    • Estates & Management Ltd and other managing agents were named as unscrupulous ground rent grazers in Parliament by Barry Gardiner in a speech on 8 Jan 2002 under Col: 478 and this speech was posted on the Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation website about 3-4 years ago when Melissa was running Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation.

      Below are 3 Early Day Motions drafted by MPs on “Estates and Management Ltd”
      Early Day Motion No.408 ( 2004-05 ) by Barry Sheerman
      Early Day Motion No. 939(2004-05 ) by Peter Pike
      Early Day Motion no. 342 (2005-06 ) by Brian Iddon

      Estates and Management Ltd are regulars attendants at the LVT Tribunals acting for landlord subletting consent.

  12. I don’t understand why they could not get funds. That should have nothing to do with “Extortion and Malfeasance” as the solicitor merely retains say 5 to 10% of the proceeds to pay off the amount when determined and agreed.

  13. ME, AM, fleeced, Mystified and Trevor and all others
    Our development ABC have just been sold to Long Harbour Ground Rent and they are required to return the purchase by giving the Landlord, Meridian Retirement Housing Services Ltd (MRHSL) (a Peverel Company) who have the Head Lease of 125 years.

    The Landlord MRHSL requires a further 250 year lease, this allows the scope for the Landlord to retain the flats once the 99 year lease has been termed out. The 26 years from 99 years to the 125 years are worth more than the total Ground Rent, which is broken up into 33 years at time.

    The Landlord will charge expensive fees to extend the lease as the term reduces? The ground rent for the 99 years would have been worth £271,000.00 to the Freeholder and the value for the 26 years is more than the total ground rent.

    The Landlord will sell the Wardens Flat once the deal has been agreed and they will build an office on our development for the part time warden/house manager.

    As we do not have any communal areas, is the Flat Sale legal or are we being stitched up?

    • Chas ,

      You need to look at the wording in your lease . If the lessor has covenanted inside the lease to provide Warden facilities to leaseholders for 99 years ( and you pay for the cost in your service charge ) , report it to your local MP and the Police as a breach of the Fraud Act 2006, Land Registry and to Companies House for Disqualification of Directors.

      • Chas ,

        You need to set up RTM for your site to gain control of the service charge management and make use of the OFT findings about Peverel rigging supplier contracts.

    • It all depends on the wording of the lease; if it allows the disposal of the office,it is then matter if the costs of a new one can be put on the service charge; whether the lease allows the change to a part time warden, or if it requires say 24/7 or emergency only night cover; whether the attendant change in cost is recoverable or fair and reasonable, and finally if the area to be used is subject to rights to the leaseholders to use which are being curtailed.

  14. Trevor Bradley says

    Chas, sorry for late reply. Firstly, why would they sell the wardens (HMs) flat.
    Also, surely you must have some communal areas.
    I agree with AM. It all depends on what is stated in the lease.
    Where my mother is the lease states there will be a live in warden (now known as HMs who do far far less for the residents due to H & S changes to some degree and to dam european legislation on working hours)
    The flat for the warden is owned by the Landlord

  15. Chas

    Does your lease show the lessor as MRHSL ( and freehold for your estate ) ? When the freehold is sold the old or new freeholder must offer the leaseholders right of first refusal to buy at the same price ( see the free guide which you can download from http://www.lease-advice.org .

    You should buy a copy of the freehold title ( from Land Registry Online ) and check who is current freeholder and which bank is financing the purchase.

    I have also checked the Companies House website for the “Long Harbour Ground Rent” company you mentioned and company does not exist. The Long Harbour Name appears in :

    Long Harbour Holdings Ltd ( No. 08442173 ) and one of the Directors is Honourable William Waldorf Astor ( Is he a member of the Liberal Party ?)

  16. Also there is a Long Harbour Residential Freeholds Ltd ( No. 08231184) which has the same registered address as Long Harbour Holdings Ltd.

  17. FRIENDS
    LOOK AT THE TWO OTHER EXCELLENT :

    ABOUT PEVEREL

    AS WELL AS

    LEASEHOLD KNOWLEDGE PARTNERSHIP (LKP)

    THESE WILL ALSO OPEN YOUR EYES?

    We have no problem with Long Harbour Freeholds and wish them well in being Freeholder to us at ABC and will ensure that we continue to pay on time.

  18. Chas,

    Your post on 30 Jan mentioned “expensive fees to extend the lease”

    All leaseholders have the legal right to seek a statutory 90 years extension to thheir existing lease and the free guide for valuation of the cost of statutory extension can be downloaded from LEASE website .
    ( http://www.lease-advice.org/publications/documents/document.asp?item=10

    This guide contains an example calculation for a flat valued at 150K with 68 years unexpired term. and you will see the calculated cost ( premium ) comes to 10,700 pounds payable by the leasehold. If we pro-rata for flat with 68 years unexpired and lower value at 90K pounds, then we can expect approx cost at 6,420 before surveyor and legals costs ( which are often inflated by unscrupulous freeholders. ).

    Actually all leaseholders should seek a statutory lease extension before the unexpired term falls below 80 years since the legislation imposes added cost element called “marriage value” .

  19. Ollie
    I asked Peverel Retirement for an extension of 90 years as I was aware that the value of the Flats are reduced once the first 19 years of the lease had been completed.

    I was informed that Peverel Retirement could only provide me with a 26 year lease as they were not the Freeholder, but they did hold the Headlease for 125 years.

    The cost would be around £10,000 which would include professional costs.

    We recently were offered the Right of First Refusal to purchase our 28 flats for approximately £1,200 each, the result was apathy by 70% of the residents.

    Alas we now have been purchased and the freeholder requires a 250 year lease from Land Harbour the new Freeholder.

    Why such a long period was answered as the 250 would allow the scope for the Freeholder?

  20. Chas ,

    Anyone with good business sense can see that “joining together” to buy the frreehold under the RFR offer at £1200 x 28 flats = £33,500 is better than each flat paying 10,000 for a statutory 90 years lease extension costing the group a total of £10,000 x 28 flats = £280,000.

    Apathy by 70% on your estate has crushed the good sense of the 30% minority having sound mental judgement . This is a shameful situation . If the “Apathy” is due to aged residents developing dementia or similar mental illness , the legal requirement of not less than 50% support by aged leaseholders to accept the RFR offer should waived or some “legal guardian” should be appointed to represent the 70% of retired persons not having sound mental judgement .

    • But the majority can also nominate a company, made up of the 30% of the willing, to be the “nominated purchaser”.

  21. Robert Cooper says

    I am also currently having problems with Estates & Management as I am trying to sell my Peverel Retirement flat in Worthing and they are extremely unreliable. My solicitor has been waiting for weeks for them to send a Freeholder’s Pack, and even now, after they have recieved payment, they are still giving excuses for not sending out the document. My buyer is now on the brink of pulling out of the sale because he can’t wait any longer. Thanks a million, Estates & Management!!!

  22. When , oh when, are MP’s going to tackle these abuses by Estates & Management? Surely they have serious and legitimate complaints against E&M – we have plenty of examples on this site. After E&M fleeced us and many other families for thousands of pounds after a terrible fire at Gibson Court, Surrey, we appealed to Dominic Raab for assistance but because my mother no longer resides in Surrey, parliamentary protocol meant he was unable to assist. In the meantime all families selling their properties in his back yard will be fleeced for a huge amount of money by E&M. We expect a further bill of £2500 (on top of a £2500 ‘Contingency Fee’ paid recently) on the eventual sale of my mother’s apartment. WHO in government is going to grasp this nettle, and WHEN?