July 21, 2024

The Homestead next on FirstPort’s list to flog the house manager’s flat


Residents at The Homestead, a complex of 31 flats in Lytham St Anne’s, is the latest retirement site where FirstPort is angling for the sale of the house manager’s flat.

The site was built in 1986, but almost certainly a lease was issued on the house manager’s flat in 2009, when Tchenguiz was stripping value out of his retirement freeholds.

Somehow or other – and FirstPort is not explaining – the flats have ended up in its possession and it readily sells them off whenever there is the chance.

Residents are usually asked to vote in favour of a visiting house manager, even though their leases refer to one and to the obligation to maintain the house manager’s flat like any other common part of the building.

After they have done so, the flat is sold off and residents get £10,000 into the contingency fund (which FirstPort controls and spends on items it thinks a site needs, such as some more gear from its subsidiary Cirrus, for example).

Residents at The Homestead should be very cautious about all this.

First, there is no good reason we have been shown why FirstPort owns this portfolio of hundreds of house managers’ flats, with leases created long after all the others.

Secondly, have the residents been paying for the upkeep of the flat since 2009, when Peverel / FirstPort took ownership? If it is no longer a common part, FirstPort can pay for this itself.

Thirdly, £10,000 is a very minimal amount to receive for surrendering a property that may be worth £80,000.

Why not do it the other way round: £70,000 to the residents’ to spend as they like and £10,000 to Peverel / FirstPort?

And why only £10,000? Anchor paid out £15,000, as does FirstPort in fancier sites.

Best of all, get shot of FirstPort and appoint a management that serves the interests of the residents rather than simply serving itself.


  1. Information Received shows that the HMF:
    LAN92342 Flat number 32 – Proprietor is Peverel HMF Ltd – Document Dated 2014?

    The Homestead, 31 flats in Lytham St Anne’s, is the latest retirement site where FirstPort is angling for the sale of the HMF.

    The site was built in 1986.

    Chas Asks:
    Was it a McCarthy & Stone Development?
    The builders name has been removed from the advert?

    Was a lease issued on the HMF in 2009, when Tchenguiz was stripping value from his retirement freeholds.

    Why is FirstPort able to sell the HMF?

    Do they own the Head Lease?

    Who is the Freeholder?

  2. Michael Epstein says

    Residents of The Homestead should also be aware that at another development that was offered 10,000 pounds and agreed to remove the live in house manager, found that once the flat was sold Firstport promptly went back on their word and refused to pay the money over.
    The residents should also understand, that if the house manager’s flat is sold, because the lease has not been varied, anyone buying the lease for the ex- house managers flat cannot be held liable to pay service charges. Incidentally, for a lease variation there is a stricter criteria for a vote. It must be a minimum of 75% in favour and not more than 10% against.
    I bet Firstport didn’t tell you that!
    Mind you, that they want to sell a house manager’s flat, at the same time that ARMA are so very concerned about this issue does point to an attitude of complete arrogance and contempt on the part of Firstport.

    • Woodley Court Residents Association says

      Do you mean that if, as in our case, the leases of the other flats state that the Service Charge be divided into a set number of flats, the extra flat cannot be included? In our case that might be very useful in persuading Hanover to put the whole sale money into the reserve fund. So far, they have pocketed 92% of it!

  3. The residents should also understand, that if the House Manager’s Flat (HMF) is sold, because the lease has not been varied, anyone buying the lease for the ex- HMF cannot be held liable to pay service charges?

    We at Ashbrook Court were informed at our last Budget Meeting last month by the new Area Manager who has now been in post for over 6 months.

    If our HMF is sold we might receive 10K, he is not sure?
    It will mean if the HMF is sold, the Service Charges would in future be divided by 29, not as now, 28.

    How does this fit in with the lease?

  4. Michael Epstein says

    Imagine a retirement development of 30 flats. One of the flats belongs to a house manager.
    So the purchase price of each individual flat must reflect that the 30 flats are paid for by 29 purchasers.
    Therefore the cost to purchase each individual has to be increased .
    By taking away the 30th flat the value of the other 29 must decrease.
    Also to be taken into account is the loss of the facilities for which people purchased a property for.
    This makes any flat less sell -able.
    Why should leaseholders sacrifice their standard of living in order for their managing agent to pay their debts?

  5. Michael, the value of Leasehold flats may be determined by the communal entities it has, lounge, kitchen, lifts etc. It may be that the original cost set by McCarthy & Stone was very excessive in an area where many pensioners retire too, because of the views and friendly people.

    The nearby McCarthy & Stone one bed flats, purchased from 2005/06 from135,000 pounds and some were sold last year for 75,000 pounds. Two one bed flats are today on the market for just over 71,200 pounds?

    This is beyond the normal trend in Leasehold as one two bedroom flats one sold for circa 80,000 in 2013/14 and are now are selling for 120,000 pounds an increase from 2013/14 of over 50%.
    We do not have any communal entities?

    Would Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation be interested in these facts?

    From this information it may show that the leasehold where communal entities are part of the Development are the cause of the discrepancy?

  6. Chas says:
    I need to say the two bedroom flat sold was not a McCarthy & Stone Development, sorry for any confusion!

  7. The Homestead manager’s flat currently under discussion is the only two bedroom apartment in the block ( all the others are one bedroom). There is off street, secure gated parking. All this in the very centre of Lytham, a prime destination of the Northwest. Values of the one bedroom flats have risen, over the last two years, by about one third. A very conservative valuation of this manager’s flat would be in the region of £170/180,000. If this was an unrestricted sale, i.e non-retirement/category 2 sheltered, the value would be up scaled to about£300/350,000
    The current FirstPort activity is, in my opinion, coercion of the Residents by deception for pecuniary gain and is, therefore, fraud.