July 26, 2016

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Stonewater pensioners ‘turn to Freemont Property Managers for right to manage’

Pensioners at two Stonewater housing association retirement sites are said to be seeking right to manage using Freemont Property Managers – the company founded by ex-Peverel politburo members. Some held senior positions in the company when Peverel’s subsidiary Cirrus was systematically cheating pensioners in a price fixing racket that was busted by the Office of […]

Stop the leasehold ‘rip-offs’ by joining our APPG, Fitzpatrick tells MPs

Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MP for Polar and Limehouse, and a patron of LKP, yesterday urged his colleagues to join the All Party Parliamentary Group on leasehold. Already 35 MPs and Lords have expressed their support. Mr Fitzpatrick was speaking in the Commons adjournment debate before MPs head off for their summer holidays. He said: “There […]

Law Commission: ‘We want to hear your problems with leasehold law’

LKP met Professor Nick Hopkins, the Law Commissioner concerned with property law, at Westminster yesterday. The meeting, held by Sir Peter Bottomley and Jim Fitzpatrick – the MP patrons of LKP – and trustees Martin Boyd and Sebastian O’Kelly – concerned issues surrounding leasehold law as part of the 13th law reform consultation which launched […]

ARMA regulator’s sanctions against FirstPort ‘did not address seriousness of what took place’

The admonition delivered to FirstPort for attempting to sell off house managers’ flats has not satisfied complainant Alex Ellison. “I am, of course, pleased that you upheld my complaint and that you have imposed disciplinary sanctions on FirstPort,” she has written to the ARMA regulator Keith Hill. “… However, disciplinary sanctions alone do not seem to adequately […]

Let us into our dear mum’s flat … No, says Retirement Security. She did not want you in, and police have been notified

The two sons of 96-year-old Margaret Fenn, who had a stroke last Wednesday and is in hospital, have appealed to Carlex after being barred from her flat by Retirement Security. This is the retirement housing firm headed by founder Bob Bessell. In a communication that was sent to the local MP Robert Syms and others, […]

Dear ARMA and ARHM, why does FirstPort not put Appello contract out to tender?

A day after FirstPort Retirement was admonished by the Association of Residential Managing Agents a letter has just been sent off to the trade body’s CEO Nigel Glen questioning its tendering processes. Alan and Ann Merryweather, of Lyon Close in Clacton on Sea in Essex, want to know why a quote for a emergency cord […]

ARMA rules against FirstPort Retirement …

Humiliating criticism for the trouble property manager, but the path is now clear for it to apply for membership of the trade body The regulator of the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) has admonished on two counts Peverel / FirstPort Retirement, which was applying to join the organisation. But the decision means the controversial […]

57% of leaseholders regret buying their property, finds Leasehold Advisory Service

And two-thirds of leaseholders don’t feel they get a good service from their managing agent These are two of the results of the survey of leaseholders – and RMC directors –by the Leasehold Advisory Service. According to the LEASE website, the leasehold survey “is a tool designed to support the sector and not a commercial or […]

Anchor CEO makes donation to Carlex

Carlex and the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership would very much like to thank Jane Ashcroft, CBE, the chief executive of Anchor housing association, for a donation last week. At the launch of Lord Best’s Making Retirement Living a Positive Choice at the House of Lords, Jane noted that the resources of our organisation did not extend […]

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Carlex welcomes Lord Best’s ‘flaws and all’ study of retirement housing

The controversial issues surrounding retirement housing have been addressed in an important parliamentary report written by Lord Best, the acknowledged expert on the subject in the Lords. “Leaseholders and their concerns have not been forgotten in this report,” Lord Best told guests at Parliament on Wednesday, who included senior figures in housebuilding, housing associations, the […]

ARHM code of practice is launched

The Association of Retirement Housing Managers launched its new ARHM code of practice this week, which has at last obtained approval from the secretary of state. This means breaches of the code can be referenced in litigation, which can be very useful in a property tribunal dispute. The code has been worked on for some […]

ARMA regulator to rule on whether to admit FirstPort Retirement ‘within days’

After more than three months of deliberation, the Rt Hon Keith Hill, regulator of the Association of Residential Managing Agents, is poised to make a decision on whether Peverel / FirstPort Retirement is a fit and proper candidate to join the association. Alex Ellison, and others, made a series of complaints concerning Peverel / FirstPort […]

McCarthy and Stone stops hyping ‘virtual freeholds’

McCarthy and Stone has changed its publicity after claiming that by selling 999 year leases it was offering buyers homes that were “virtual freeholds”. Carlex took the issue up with chief executive Clive Fenton and the over-hyped expression has been dropped from McCarthy and Stone publicity. Its website has been amended. Last summer McCarthy and […]

After 30 years, can’t FirstPort contracts go out to tender? And, what’s happened to the chairman of LEASE?

At the Carlex / LKP roundtable at Westminster yesterday there were a couple of interesting questions from attendees. One gentleman asked: “I own a portfolio of [50] retirement properties. Most are in sites that were built by McCarthy and Stone and are managed by FirstPort formerly Peverel formerly etc … “In almost all these cases […]

Woodchester Valley Village: How we turned a disaster into the first mutually owned retirement village

MPs were told yesterday of how residents took control of a bankrupt retirement village, raised £2 million and turned it into the first mutually owned retirement site in the country. Professor Peter Wilson told the Carlex / LKP roundtable, hosted by the charity’s MP patrons Jim Fitzpatrick and Sir Peter Bottomley, that the initiative was […]

No more think tank ‘research’ into retirement housing paid for by housebuilders, please

The Westminster roundtable heard yesterday that think tank ‘research’ paid for by housebuilders or their trade bodies routinely avoided all reference to problems in the retirement housing sector. The event was organised by Carlex / LKP, and hosted by the charity’s MP patrons Jim Fitzpatrick and Sir Peter Bottomley, and was attended by 50 leasehold […]

Bob Bessell hands £7 million of retirement freeholds to the residents

… and the housebuilder wants an end to ‘feudal’ ground rents, too! Bob Bessell, founder of housebuilder Retirement Security, yesterday pledged to leave his freehold portfolio – worth £7 million – in a trust controlled by the pensioner residents at his sites. The undertaking was made at a Westminster roundtable organised by Carlex / LKP […]

Carlex Westminster roundtable on retirement housing

On April 28 there will be a Carlex roundtable on retirement housing at Westminster. The purpose is inform MPs of the issues in retirement housing, and to suggest how it could be further improved. There have already been shifts in position by retirement housebuilders: 999 year leases are becoming more widespread, and some retirement providers […]

Tatton Court latest Cheshire site seeking to dump Tchenguiz / FirstPort

Tatton Court is the latest Cheshire retirement site wanting to be rid of the FirstPort / Tchenguiz management which dominates private retirement housing. “We feel that you are being deliberately awkward in blocking our claim,” the RTM directors write to Estates and Management, the Tchenguiz company that manages his freehold portfolio. “We also feel that […]

BBC Radio 4 on housing association leasehold … and a German asks: is it safe to buy a flat in London?

Housing association leasehold featured on the BBC Radio 4 consumer show You and Yours today … and LKP managed to make a case for commonhold as an alternative. Click here to listen at 18.20 minutes in The programme concerned Pam Pearson, a leaseholder whose flat was left cold and damp after a cavity wall outfit […]

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