December 10, 2016

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Labour to cap ‘legalised extortion’ of ground rents and end leasehold houses

… Opposition and government now compete to reform leasehold The four-year campaign of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership to reform leasehold has taken a surge forward this week. Today Labour said that it will cap charges that leaseholders pay in ground rents, and set out a plan to end leasehold houses in new developments. Meanwhile, government […]

BBC One Show warnings over retirement housing’s ‘sting in the tail’

The BBC One Show on prime time telly featured retirement housing earlier this week (November 22). It can be viewed here at 2.09 minutes The presenters warned that retirement housing can come with a “financial sting in the tail that can hit families at the worst possible time”. Sebastian O’Kelly, of Carlex / LKP, which […]

Carlex and AgeUK reject Law Commission draft on exit fees

Law Commission backs developers over huge exit fees, and dumps OFT qualms over ‘likely’ unfair contract terms What began as an exercise supposedly to help pensioners and their families facing exit fees in retirement properties has ended up with the Law Commission backing the charges. The Law Commissioner Stephen Lewis met Carlex / LKP last […]

Man, 90, dies in fire at Homepine House

A 90-year-old resident of Homepine House died in a fire at Homepine House, in Folkestone, on Saturday night. Emergency services were called after a fire broke out on the fifth floor in the bedroom of the resident, who has not been named. The website Kent Online reported the fire here and quoted police saying: “A […]

Disgraceful leasehold houses reported in The Guardian today

– Urgent issue for MPs of parliamentary group on leasehold next month – Onerous lease terms in taxpayer-aided Help To Buy scheme – Ground rents doubling every 10 years from plc housebuilder The disgraceful and increasingly widespread scandal of plc housebuilders selling leasehold houses is reported in The Guardian today. It can be read here The […]

Pauline Jones brings right to manage to retirement sites in the North West

Macclesfield-based managing agent Pauline Jones today has taken another retirement site right to manage: Warburton Court, in Uppermill, in Oldham, Greater Manchester. The RTM was won on the third attempt, and the entire application was handled in-house. Two earlier efforts, where solicitors were employed, hit problems and were declined by the freeholder, part of the […]

99% of FirstPort’s 3,800 service charge accounts are up to date

LKP / Carlex has not been backward in criticising Peverel / FirstPort over the years. However, it is reasonable and fair that the company’s achievement in getting on top of the service charge accounts is recognised. Here FirstPort CEO Nigel Howell (below right) explains that more than 99% of its service charge accounts are completed on […]

Low cost right to manage, from Urban Owners (which has done nearly 500 of them)

– Tech savvy company manages large, complex, mixed-use sites right down to conversions of two flats – More than 450 RTMs completed for leaseholders The latest property management company to become accredited to LKP / Carlex is Urban Owners, which is an acknowledged expert in gaining leaseholders the right to manage. It has carried out […]

The Guardian reports the £8,000 a year ground rents at Blythe Court

The Guardian newspaper has today reported the Blythe Court ground rent scandal that has left leaseholders with bills of up to £8,000 a year. In 95 years the ground rents can reach £8 million a year for a one-bedroom flat bought for £58,000, says the article, written by Guardian staff reporter Rupert Jones. It quotes […]

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Guardian reports Warner Court breaking free from FirstPort and Tchenguiz

The Guardian newspaper today reports the right to manage struggle at Warner Court in Camberley, Surrey, and its efforts to break free of the Tchenguiz / FirstPort management. There has been a cascade of retirement right to manage applications this summer. Carlex reports the issues of Warner Court here Many retirement sites are seeing the […]

Private Eye reports challenge to ‘scandal’ of lease extension values

Private Eye today published reports of the legal challenge to the “scandal” of lease extension valuations mounted by chartered surveyor James Wyatt. Wyatt, a former head of valuations at John D Wood, is urging the adoption of a more mathematically robust method to value short leases: that is leasehold properties, usually flats, that have less […]

Carlex is ‘slanted’ over retirement resale prices. The picture is more positive, says McCarthy and Stone

Statement from McCarthy & Stone The majority of properties managed by McCarthy & Stone have increased in value when resold (based on data relating to managed properties resold in 2016 to-date) and historical data suggests around a third of all our properties outperform their local market.  In addition, our newer properties are better-placed to retain […]

Healey Court wins right to manage on second attempt

By Les Thumwood After eight months, Healey Court, a retirement development of 67 apartments in Warwick, has extricated itself from the grips of FirstPort and opted for right to manage. With the backing of the vast majority of the residents, it has achieved right to manage with the help of Walton and Allan, of Nottingham, […]

The Times: ‘Exit fees and poor resale values: the uncomfortable truth about retirement homes’

The Times today (September 10 2016) reports the research by Carlex into re-sale values recorded on the Land Registry for retirement properties. The article, headed “Exit fees and poor resale values: the uncomfortable truth about retirement homes”, quotes Carlex / LKP patron Sir Peter Bottomley, who earlier this week established the All Party Parliamentary Group […]

Woman, 81, ‘sells retirement bungalow after being threatened with police by Healthcare Homes’

A woman in her eighties who was threatened with the police by Healthcare Homes was so upset by the incident that she has sold her retirement bungalow and moved out. Heather Moore, who is now 82, was a resident at Healthcare Homes’s Oaklands site, in Reydon, near Southwold in Suffolk. Mrs Moore believes that she […]

Abysmal retirement housing values revealed on the Land Registry

Carlex examines official re-sale prices for McCarthy and Stone, Churchill Retirement Living, Audley Retirement, Retirement Villages, Retirement Security, Anchor and Pegasus A dismal picture of retirement housing values on re-sales is revealed by Carlex from figures in the Land Registry. For years we have been saying that retirement property can be a most dubious residential […]

Welcome to Spire View, our commonhold retirement paradise

– 16 commonhold properties in Pickering, North Yorkshire, originally for over-55s – Built by New Zealand architect, who did not exploit the monetising possibilities of English leasehold law – Swimming pool, guest suite, communal gardens, orangerie, underfloor heating, communal boiler – Three still for sale. £2,000pa service charge   Spire View in the attractive market town […]

Methodist Housing Association flat falls 40% on re-sale, says BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours

… So about average for our dismal retirement housing market BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme featured retirement housing this afternoon in an item on the Methodist Housing Association. It can be heard here at 08:09. Penelope Garnham’s mother, who died in February 2012 aged 96, paid £125,000 in 2007 for a flat in Rowanberries […]

Freemont Property Managers in show-down over RTM at Grace Darling House

Next Wednesday former chief executive of Peverel Retirement Keith Edgar will try to persuade residents at Grace Darling House in Poole to appoint his new company Freemont Property Managers to take the site right to manage. A minority of residents are deeply concerned at the proposal, with many feeling that they would be better off […]

Ex-Peverel employee thwarted over right to manage for Tatton Court and Willow Court

UPDATE August 12 Yesterday evening Susan Earnshaw returned Carlex’s phone call and we discussed the issues of Tatton Court and Willow Court and the services provided by her company. We publish her full response below, but make a number of points: 1/ We tried but were unable to contact Mrs Earnshaw prior to publication of […]

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