July 29, 2014

Latest news


Serious Farce Office messes up again, with £6m of your money to Vincent

By Brian Rix Nearly three and a half years after the Tchenguiz brothers were arrested on March 9 2011, this farcical case at last comes to an end. Vincent gets a groveling apology plus a £3 million bung from the Serious Farce Office, which also has to pay an initial £3 million for Vincent’s legal […]

Daughters ’R’ us: Alex Ellison (right) with her mother, Barbara Weston, daughter and grand-daughter

ARHM rejects complaint that Peverel pushed Mere Court residents into agreeing house manager’s flat sale …

  … a flat that, it emerged, Peverel itself owned The daughter of a resident at Mere Court in Knutsford who believed Peverel was urging the sale of the house manager’s flat for financial gain has had her complaint rejected by the ARHM. Alex Ellison was appalled to discover that Peverel was encouraging the sale of […]


Will hedge-funders clean up in £500 million float for McCarthy and Stone?

Both the FT and the Sunday Times are suggesting that the hedge-funders who took on the debt at McCarthy and Stone could be in for a killing if it floats next year for £500 million. Both papers report that says hedge fund owners pumped £367 million of equity and a five-year loan to slash borrowings.

Ground rents are higher in retirement properties than ordinary leasehold flats. At a flat at Poplar Court they have risen from £250 to £527.17

Ground rent doubled on mum’s flat

Q: My sister and I inherited Mum’s flat in Poplar Court, St Anne’s, Lancashire at the beginning of 2013. I noticed a large increase in the ground rent just before Mum died when it jumped from £250 pa to £527.17 pa (111% increase), which is very high when compared with the £60 pa ground rent […]

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Family ‘horrified’ at £30,000 price difference between new and resale Churchill Retirement flats

  Carlex has received an anguished communication from a family considering a purchase of a flat from Churchill Retirement at Elgar Lodge in Malvern. It is priced at £172,000, but the family says it is “horrified” to discover a very similar resale flat in the same block, advertised by Churchill’s own management/ estate agency branch […]

Colin Dennard, 73, the leaseholder who would not give up. He thought there was something wrong with Benjamin Mire holding judicial office, and he was proved right. Now the  ombudsman has said he was a victim of maladministration by the judicial authorities

Judge Siobhan McGrath apologises to pensioner over the Benjamin Mire debacle

Judge Siobhan McGrath has apologised to the pensioner whose complaints led to Benjamin Mire losing his judicial appointment. The apology to Colin Dennard, 73, of Ferndown in Dorset, is an acknowledgement that the Residential Property Tribunal Service (RPTS), of which McGrath was the Senior President, bungled the issue. (She is now president of the new Property […]


Why are housing associations exempt from Freedom of Information Act?

Why are housing associations exempt from Freedom of Information Act? Carlex has received inquiries concerning a disastrous investment by the Hanover housing association of £500,000 in Smartsource Water. The supplier offered 8.3 per cent “guaranteed savings and price protection” to consumers, but it went bust in October last year. Some Hanover residents are finding the […]

ARHM action over Cirrus has ‘involved ONE inquiry to Peverel’

The cosy insiderism at the heart of retirement leasehold management is displayed in an email exchange by Peverel to a Carlex reader. It suggests that the resolve of the Association of Retirement Housing Managers to hold Peverel / Cirrus to task over the collusive tendering scandal is a rather less robust than the ARHM claims.

Selling up at Felbridge Court – as with so many retirement sites – comes at a price (and capital values are often appalling as well)

Seller at Felbridge Court expresses frustration at unending sales fees

Adam Schmidt, who inherited a retirement flat at Felbridge Court in Feltham, has written to the Sunday Times and to Carlex about his frustrations at the raft of fees payable when the flat is sold. He has written to 10 MPs, the ARHM, ARMA, FPRA, OFT, the Leasehold Advisory Service, Carlex and 10 local MPs. […]

Peter Whalley leaves Peverel

Peter Whalley, a Peverel regional manager for the North West and Midlands, left the company’s employment yesterday, it is claimed. A statement from Peverel to Carlex reads: “Peter Whalley resigned from his position to pursue other career opportunities and he leaves on 22 July. We are in the process of recruiting for his replacement.” Mr […]


AHRM: now we DO want to talk about Cirrus …

Within hours of Carlex reporting ARHM’s silence over the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal, we received another email from Paul Silk, chairman of the trade body. On this occasion, he did address the issue of Cirrus sponsoring last month’s ARHM annual conference. His full correspondence is below, and includes the justification that the events took […]


After SEVEN months, the ARHM breaks its silence over the Peverel / Cirrus scandal to say … ‘no comment’

… and yes, of course, Cirrus was a co-sponsor to its annual meeting two weeks ago The Association of Retirement Housing Managers has finally made a statement about the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing racket. But it amounts to making no comment at all. The ARHM chairman Paul Silk, who is employed by the Hanover housing […]

ARMA tells Y and Y Management to mind its manners and hold its temper

ARMA’s regulatory panel announced on Friday June 27 that it had admonished Y and Y Management following a complaint over “intemperate and unprofessional language” to a leaseholder who visited its north London offices. A letter of admonishment has been sent to the company, headed by Joseph Gurvits, whose business partner is freeholder Israel Moskovitz. Both […]

Discussing alternatives to leasehold: Martin Boyd (left) of LKP holds Westminster discussion with hosts Jim Fitzpatrick (Labour MP, Limehouse and Poplar) and Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative MP, Worthing West)

Carlex / LKP holds Westminster meeting on commonhold

Last Thursday (June 26) Carlex / the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership held an all-party meeting on commonhold in the House of Commons. The meeting was organised by Martin Boyd, co-director of LKP, and hosted by MPs Ed Davey (LibDem), Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative) and Jim Fitzpatrick (Labour). More than 50 delegates attended from the Commons, the […]

Irene Cockerton was the only Gibson Court residents who did not reach safety during the  fire in September 2011

Gibson Court death was ‘tragic accident’, but coroner criticises safety procedures

  The death of Irene Cockerton, 87, in the fire at Gibson Court was a “tragic accident”, the coroner ruled last Friday. Irene was the only resident who did not reach safety after fire swept through the retirement leasehold site on September 30 2011. Her body was found by rescue workers the next day in […]


Tchenguiz’s PR company New Century Media detonates Bottomley during Queen’s Speech debate

Tchenguiz PR man named in Commons ‘Apology’ by obscure website to Vincent Tchenguiz read to MPs Sir Peter asks what was Tchenguiz’s role during the Peverel / Cirrus price fixing scandal? Tchenguiz freehold valuations questioned Why are huge loans issued against valuations ‘created from thin air’? Government should put pressure on professional standards bodies to […]

Knight's Court, where Peverel is claimed to have begun a right to manage application only to drop it when Tchenguiz said 'no'

Knights Court wins RTM after Peverel dropped the action …

… well, it is a Tchenguiz site Peverel began a right to manage process at retirement site Knights Court in Balsall Common, in Solihull, only to drop the claim after the freeholder objected, it is claimed. The freeholder is the Tchenguiz Family Trust, which owns the freeholds of 1,500 retirement sites, or 53,000 retirement flats, […]


Mail on Sunday today: Campaigners want an end to this endless cheating

The Mail on Sunday has today devoted more than a page of editorial to leasehold issues. The article bluntly outlines the abuses faced by leaseholders at the hand of monetising freeholders and the property managers, surveyors and lawyers who serve them. The article is illustrated with a photo of Emma Reynolds, MP, the Labour shadow […]

Bob Bessell: there is an alternative to the freeholder making all decisions in retirement housing

Bob Bessell: Expelled from ARHM, but this is how retirement residents should be set free

Bob Bessell, the chairman of the developer Retirement Security, has issued a statement to Carlex explaining why his company was expelled from the ARHM. The ARHM announced the decision to expel the Stratford Upon Avon company, but gave no details of the dispute.


AgeUK would not get involved, Shelter has quit, Peverel has been expelled and Esther Rantzen is asking questions … the fiasco of the Campaign for Housing in Later Life

Last Friday, Peverel was expelled from the Home Builders’ Federation campaign to reinvigorate the retirement housing market. Its logo was removed from the campaign’s website, while earlier in the week the homeless charity Shelter also decided to jettison the campaign. AgeUK – which last year removed its logos from the Peverel Retirement site – had […]


If ANY other site thinks it was scammed by Peverel / Cirrus, contact Ed Davey or Sir Peter Bottomley

 … and there are plenty of lawyers willing to take on this one! Carlex strongly recommends that any site that believes it was  scammed in the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal should raise the issue with either Sir Peter Bottomley or Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary. Carlex will provide contacts for both. List of scammed […]


Cut out the nonsense and pay up for Peverel cheating! Cabinet minister tells Janet Entwistle

‘… On this issue you seem unwilling to listen, learn or improve’ Energy Secretary Ed Davey has today told Peverel chief executive Janet Entwistle to pay a “much larger compensatory offer” for running a price-fixing cartel. In December Peverel subsidiary Cirrus was found to have been running bid-rigging tendering for contracts worth £1.4 million at […]


Guardian report pours scorn on OFT price-fixing investigation – and Peverel’s contemptible £100,000 ‘goodwill’ offer

Yesterday the Guardian published a devastating report of the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal. It poured scorn on Peverel for systematically cheating residents of retirement leasehold, on the Office of Fair Trading for its scandalous feeble report and being suckered into granting Peverel leniency. It also rightly derided Peverel’s £100,000 offer of a “goodwill gesture” […]


Three MPs tell Entwistle to pay up more over Peverel / Cirrus scandal, or accept binding mediation

Janet Entwistle, the chief executive of Peverel, was this afternoon sent a open letter from Sir Peter Bottomley demanding higher compensation to sites cheated in the Cirrus cartel, or to accept independent binding mediation. The letter is backed by Ed Davey, Energy Secretary and LibDem MP for Surbiton and Kingston, and Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for […]


Peverel should pay back £700,000 over price-fixing not £100,000, says Carlex whistleblower

FULL LIST OF PEVEREL / CIRRUS SCAM SITE One of the Carlex whistleblowers who reported the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scam says Peverel should be paying at least £700,000 to the sites affected. Peverel’s offer to make a “goodwill payment” of 10 per cent of the cost of sham tenders to affected sites was just […]

News archive

ARMA tells Y and Y Management to mind its manners and hold its temper

ARMA’s regulatory panel announced on Friday June 27 that it had admonished Y and Y Management following a complaint over “intemperate and unprofessional language” to a leaseholder who visited its north London offices. A letter of admonishment has been sent to the company, headed by Joseph Gurvits, whose business partner is freeholder Israel Moskovitz. Both […]


Inquest ends into death at Gibson Court

The inquest into the fatal fire at Gibson Court has ended and the coroner will return a verdict in the coming weeks. Irene Cockerton, 87, died of asphyxiation in the fire at the Hinchley Wood site on September 30 2011. Surrey Fire and Rescue has identified a neighbour’s television as the source of the fire. […]

Retirement leaseholders in the north west should attend Competition and Markets Authority meeting in Liverpool

Engage Liverpool meeting with leaseholders and CMA

Engage Liverpool, which represents flat owners in the centre of the city, is holding an open meeting with leaseholders on May 21. It has invited Douglas Cooper, of the Competition and Markets Authority, to hear from leaseholders, particularly those who have experience of self-management. Engage Liverpool represents leaseholders who have bought flats in the city […]

Irene Cockerton was the only Gibson Court residents who did not reach safety during the  fire in September 2011

Inquest over fatal fire at Gibson Court reported by media

Two and a half years after her death the inquest is finally taking place into the death of Irene Cockerton, 87, in the fire at Gibson Court, in Surrey. Local media are reporting the inquest, which will conclude at the end of the week. A verdict will take several weeks. Mrs Cockerton died of smoke inhalation […]

Lord Best proposes 'relatively modest reforms which would make a difference to leaseholders’ lives'. But what are they?

What are Lord Best’s ‘modest proposals’ for leaseholders?

Chairman of the Hanover Housing Association Lord Best has “a number of relatively modest reforms which would make a difference to leaseholders’ lives”. Carlex has contacted the cross-bench peer to discover what these might be. Lord Best has held a meeting of peers interested in leasehold issues. He referred to his “modest proposals” during a […]


Meeting with shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds

Carlex / LKP met shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds yesterday to discuss problems in the leasehold sector. The meeting was organised by Jim Fitzpatrick, the Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, who has some of the richest and poorest leaseholders in the country in his constituency. He has become a firm stalwart in fighting for […]

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Sunday Times covers retirement leasehold … and wants to hear from you

Today the Sunday Times has run an article on retirement leasehold, featuring issues at Elim Court in Plymouth. This site is involved in a marathon right to manage application against freeholder Avon Freeholds, owned by Israel Moskovitz. It is managed by Moskovitz’s business partner Joseph Gurvits, of Y and Y Management, which is a member […]


Shelter ‘dumps’ the Campaign for Housing in Later Life

The charity Shelter appears to have ceased involvement in the ‘Campaign for Housing in Later Life’, which Carlex revealed on April 9 registered its website to the Bournemouth HQ of McCarthy and Stone. The Shelter logo that appeared on the ‘Campaign’s’ website has been removed. Curiously, since publication by Carlex the campaign has moved its […]

ARHM will not explain why it expelled Retirement Security, but it was ‘nothing to do with Keith Edgar’

The expulsion of Retirement Security from the Association of Retirement Housing Managers (ARHM) had nothing to do with the role of Keith Edgar, Carlex has been told. Paul Silk, the ARHM chairman, informed Carlex: “The statement which has been provided to members is the extent that we wish to make comment on this matter save […]

Deep Sagar told: 'Stop promoting Mire and Trust, or resign'

LEASE chairman Deep Sagar told: sack ‘disgraced and disgraceful’ Benjamin Mire or sack yourself!

Sir Peter Bottomley has told the chairman of the Leasehold Advisory Service Deep Sagar to stop advertising the services of  Benjamin Mire – or resign. And the LEASE executive can go with him, the veteran MP adds. Mire, the chief executive of Trust Property Management based in Colindale, north London, is a chartered surveyor who […]


ARHM expels Retirement Security … Did it oppose role of Keith Edgar?

The trade body the Association of Retirement Housing Managers has expelled one of its long standing members: Retirement Security. It was purged because of opposition to an ARHM board decision by Retirement Security’s chairman Bob Bessell – himself a former chairman of the ARHM.


Sites line up for legal action over Cirrus scandal

Be like Tchenguiz (your freeholder and former Peverel owner) and claim: Elderly 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. Carlex is not naming them or the […]


Campaign for Housing in Later Life traced to … McCarthy and Stone HQ!

(But what on earth are Esther Rantzen and Shelter doing with this lot?) UPDATE June 8: McCarthy and Stone points out that over the credit crunch period (the five years between 2007/8 to 2011/12) it sold 7,170 properties.  The company takes issue with Carlex’s view that there has been “almost NO demand” and that “schemes […]

LibDem peer Baroness Maddock wants more right to manage and more commonhold

Urgent need to revisit leasehold reform, say Lords

The House of Lords had another short debate on leasehold reform last Thursday and urged the case for revisit the sector.  The debate was initiated by by LibDem peer Baroness Maddock, who said “further reform is still needed and is very much a live concern for the millions of people living in leasehold properties”. “The […]


LKP / Carlex wins second press award

Sebastian O’Kelly, Carlex chairman and director of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, last night won a press award for his coverage of leasehold for the second year running. O’Kelly won the “Scoop of the Year” category for his report into the scandalous forfeiture of the £800,000 flat belonging to Dennis Jackson, at Plantation Wharf in Battersea. […]


You and Yours features Carlex and OFT inquiry into leasehold management

The influential BBC Radio 4 programme You and Yours yesterday featured retirement leasehold. This is an area of “most concern” according to Douglas Cooper, of the Office of Fair Trading, which is carrying out an inquiry into leasehold management. The programme can be heard here and the item begins 46 minutes into the programme.

RTM meeting at Portcullis House. From left: Rob Plumb, HML Holdings plc; Neil Mulhoney, IRPM; Paula Hassall, DCLG; (Sebastian O'Kelly, taking picture); Katherine O'Riordan, aide to Sir Peter Bottomley; Sir Peter Bottomley MP; Martin Boyd, LKP / Carlex; Nigel Wilkins, Carl; Jim Fitzpatrick, MP Poplar and Limehouse; Cherry Jones, managing agent; Justin Tomlinson, Conservative MP Swindon North.

MPs call for all-party group on leasehold

The Westminster meeting two days ago on right to manage organized by LKP / Carlex saw an all-party group on leasehold becoming more likely. The move would certainly be backed by Sir Peter Bottomley, Conservative Swindon MPs Justin Tomlinson and Robert Buckland, as well as Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, and perennial […]


Mark Hoyland quits Peverel Retirement after nine months

Mark Hoyland, the head of Peverel Retirement, is leaving to pursue another venture, Carlex has learned.  Hoyland was only in place for nine months (click picture to read biography). A Peverel spokesman said this morning: “I can confirm that Mark Hoyland has decided to leave Peverel Group at the end of March to pursue another […]

Anchor Trust apology: ‘we do not seek to profit from contingency funds’

Anchor Trust has apologised for misleading a resident with incorrect information regarding the investment of millions of pounds of contingency funds. In an email to Carlex, Jonathan Earnshaw, customer relations manager, apologises for erroneously informing an Anchor leaseholder that it had stopped charging a one per cent  administration fee in 2013. The resident forwarded the […]

Vincent Tchenguiz: got one per cent of his £300 million comp claim

Tchenguiz leasehold interests raised in Commons

The Tchenguiz activities in leasehold property were highlighted in the House of Commons yesterday by Sir Peter Bottomley. In a brief aside during debate over the private rented sector, Sir Peter referred to “the Tchenguiz interests featuring in the Office of Fair Trading report on abuses of leaseholders, overvaluations of freeholds and the sale of […]


OFT leasehold management inquiry now INCLUDES housing associations

The Office of Fair Trading today announced its leasehold management inquiry and will include housing association and council leaseholders. The scope is defined here This was a key point urged by Carlex and, largely on its  prompting, more than 100 leaseholders wrote to the OFT demanding their inclusion.


Carlex whistleblowers were THREATENED with prosecution if they went public over OFT’s feeble £500k investigation into Peverel-Cirrus

The three Carlex whistleblowers of the Peverel-Cirrus scam were threatened with prosecution by the Office of Fair Trading  if they revealed the investigation. The threat was minuted by the OFT on September 27 2012 even though it had already decided to give Peverel leniency and not take any action. In a blatant example of shooting […]


Cirrus tee-hee email: Cheating oldies is ‘not an official part of the process (tee hee)’

Any retirement site on the list should contact Carlex to ensure proper compensation is paid for this cheating The secret contempt with which Peverel-Cirrus treated their elderly, vulnerable customers is revealed by the Office of Fair Trading. It has published emails from Cirrus employees in its full 268-report into the price-fixing scandal. This can be […]

Hall Mews in Boston Spa in Yorkshire is an attractive, stone-built site of terraced houses, but the residents are exasperated with Places for People housing association

Places for People defeated by Yorkshire pensioners who stopped paying service charges

The housing association Places for People has come off worse after taking 12 retirement leaseholders to the property tribunal for refusing to pay services charges. The dispute concerned payments for the house manager’s terraced house at Hall Mews, in Boston Spa, in Yorkshire. Feelings run high on the issue, and around 30 neighbours packed into […]

Elim Court residents in Plymouth are desperate to be rid of London freeholkder Israel Moskovitz and his business partner Joseph Gurvitz, who runs Y and Y Management

Devon pensioners humiliate Y and Y Management in tribunal ruling

London-based freeholder Israel Moskovitz and his business partner Joseph Gurvits must rue the day they snapped up at auction the freeholds of retirement sites in Devon. After a two-year legal marathon – which saw Moskovitz trying (and failing) to interest the Court of Appeal – Regent Court at last takes up its right to manage […]

The view from journalist Ann Treneman's window in Tonbridge, Kent

After homeowner gets £6,000 premium, will leasehold flood insurance be the latest scam?

Leasehold flood insurance: The owner of a leasehold house in Kingston, Surrey, has been quoted an insurance premium of £6,344 as a result of the flooding. And if he does get flooded, there will be a £10,000 excess – even though Kingston has been unaffected by the recent flooding. The owner, who rents out the […]


Tchenguiz backs down over demanding £5,000 from couple … for a conservatory built more than 20 years ago!

The Tchenguiz Family Trust has backed down on demanding £5,000 for consent for a conservatory that was attached to a  retirement leasehold bungalow more than 20 years ago. Two days ago, Carlex raised the issue with Estates and Management, which manages the Tchenguiz residential freehold portfolio. The original story can be read here


Tchenguiz Family Trust seeks £5,000 for conservatory ‘built 25 years ago’ … and Peverel will not permit their house manager to confirm when it was built

A couple who own a retirement bungalow with a conservatory face a demand for £5,000 from the Tchenguiz Family Trust freeholder. And the money might not need to be paid at all if the Peverel house manager were permitted to confirm the date when the conservatory was built – but she has been instructed not […]

Homewalk House in Sydenham has had two break-ins since last June and now the residents want CCTV

‘Too little to protect Homewalk House against intruders’

After two break-ins in a London retirement leasehold site nothing has been done to improve residents’ security, a Carlex reader has complained. In June and October last year intruders broke in to Homewalk House in Sydenham, south-east London, and one arrest has been made. “It was a very frightening experience for frail and elderly peopled, […]

These flats at Newburn in Newcastle were so undermined by flooding in October 2012 that they had to be demolished

Leasehold owners excluded from government’s insurance scheme Flood Re

This joint press release, issued on January 23 has received considerable coverage in the media, including MoneyBox Live on Radio 4 today. The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, which has been referred to in the FT among, provided figures demonstrating that the leasehold sector is far larger than government – on anyone else for that matter – […]


Number of leasehold homes is DOUBLE the figure the government believes, according to the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership

Shocking survey HERE The residential leasehold sector – mainly flats – is the murky corner of the housing market … and it is far larger than any government body has realised. The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, the sister organisation of Carlex, today publishes a report demonstrating that there are 5.37 million leasehold properties in England and […]

Cirrus sites have received ‘goodwill’ payments, says Entwistle

Retirement sites that were identified by the Office of Fair Trading in the price-fixing scandal involving Peverel / Cirrus have received their “goodwill” payments, Janet Entwistle of Peverel said yesterday. At a meeting with Carlex and Sir Peter Bottomley in Westminster, Entwistle said that she was confident all sites affected by the rigged tendering process […]


‘Bribes’, ‘crooked operators’, ‘villains turned angels’: Aussie baroness puts the boot into the leasehold fairytale in the Lords

COMMENT How impressed one has to be with the lobbying activities of the lawyers in ALEP: the Association of Leasehold Enfrachisement Practitioners. It waives a piece of paper pointing out that the powers of attorney – for those who are incapacitated – does not apply in Landlord and Tenant Law and – in no time, […]

Alan Roth's flats has been paying a 2/148ths portion in service charges for 25 years ... until now, when he must  pay double

Ex-cabbie, 77, gets doubled service charges owing to anomaly in the lease

Alan Roth, 77, a former cabbie, has had a nasty surprise in the service charges at his one-bedroom flat in north London. For the past nine and half years he has been paying 2/148ths for his flat at Parkview Court, Newbury Park, Ilford, in service charges, amounting to £610 pounds.


Carlex to meet Janet Entwistle over Cirrus scandal … but NO site that was cheated should accept Peverel’s £100,000 ‘goodwill’ payment

(… and one site contacts OFT saying it was left out of the investigation) Sebastian O’Kelly and Martin Boyd, of Carlex, are to meet Janet Entwistle, Peverel chief executive (right), with Sir Peter Bottomley at his Westminster offices on February 10. The discussion concerns the Cirrus price-fixing scandal and Peverel’s derisory offer to make a […]

Residents face demands from Anchor Trust for more money for the contingency fund. But perhaps they should be asking for some back instead

Fury at Anchor Trust may spill into right to manage mutiny

Godman’s Court, a retirement site run by Anchor Trust near Horsham in Sussex, is in a state of indignation over a demand for more money. They have been presented with a demand for a 30 year projection of works, which means contributions to the contingency fund must increase. Residents in 21 flats face a demand […]


Surge in right to manage interest after trust in Peverel evaporates

The Right To Manage Federation is reporting a surge in interest in right to manage as the media takes up the Peverel / Cirrus price fixing scandal. FULL LIST OF PEVEREL’S SCAM SITES The Office of Fair Trading issued its final report into the cartel – where stooge companies bid against Peverel’s own subsidiary in […]

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

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

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.


‘Peverel and Cirrus ripping off leasehold owners’ … ‘tricksy freeholders’ … ‘the corrupt ruining lives’. Another average day in the Commons …

…  a minor change in leasehold law was interesting by passing comments to what is now generally accepted   The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership – Carlex’s sister website – estimate on the number of leasehold owners was repeated in the Commons today. This is a coup for Martin Boyd (left), LKP stalwart and chairman of the […]


OFT’s ‘leniency’ deal saved Peverel / Cirrus £4m in fines, says The Oldie

The cleverness Peverel demonstrated over the Cirrus scam was revealed in The Oldie magazine this week. Had Peverel not suddenly decided to come clean in December 2009 – just after the issue had been reported in the Times, but before the full Carlex submission arrived in January 2010 – it could have been fined 30 […]


Contact Carlex before buying a leasehold retirement flat, says Daily Mail

By Sebastian O’Kelly Advice from the Daily Mail last week on buying a leasehold retirement property: contact Carlex first! Well, at least you will get the downside of this property transaction. Any purchaser must understand – as an experienced property investor put it to me last week – McCarthy and Stone and Peverel are absolute […]


Carlex / LKP plans leasehold meetings around the country

Following Saturday’s leasehold owner meeting in Epsom, Carlex is prepared to hold meetings around the country. We feel that these are best held at the retirement sites themselves. The point being, that it is those unpersuaded by right to manage or confronting unscrupulous or monetising freeholders and managing agents who most need to attend. Last […]


Cut out the nonsense and pay up for Peverel cheating! Cabinet minister tells Janet Entwistle

‘… On this issue you seem unwilling to listen, learn or improve’ Energy Secretary Ed Davey has today told Peverel chief executive Janet Entwistle to pay a “much larger compensatory offer” for running a price-fixing cartel. In December Peverel subsidiary Cirrus was found to have been running bid-rigging tendering for contracts worth £1.4 million at […]


The Independent covers Cirrus and other leasehold scandals

Last Saturday, The Independent wrote a wide-ranging report on leasehold issues including the Cirrus scandal and the need for reforms. Headed ‘The secret of how to give your flat a new lease of life … ‘  it was, in fact, a round-up of: the Cirrus scandal, the OFT investigation into leasehold (the scope of which concludes on […]


January 18: Carlex leasehold meeting in Epsom

Carlex is holding a meeting for retirement leasehold owners on January 18. The meeting will be addressed by Sebastian O’Kelly and Martin Boyd, of Carlex / Leasehold Knowledge Partnership. The issues under discussion will include:


Little warmth in this masonic handshake as Peverel website removes news of winning a new block

On the day the Office of Fair Trading announced its findings into the Cirrus scandal, Peverel Retirement declared it had won a new client: the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institute. Peverel would be taking over the management of the 13-flat Farnfield Court in Croydon, south London. The beleaguered property management – which has lost all its […]


Cirrus isn’t an ARMA member so we have nothing to say about the price-fixing scandal, says Michelle Banks

… but you must take it on trust that if those bits of Peverel that ARE members sign up to ARMA-Q these practices will be ‘outlawed’ and ‘speedily detected’ Michelle Banks (right), chief executive of the Association of Residential Managing Agents, has stated that her organisation will do nothing about the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing […]


Guardian covers more fall out from Peverel’s price-fixing scam with Cirrus Communications

The Guardian returned to the Peverel price-fixing scam involving Cirrus Communications yesterday. The personal finance editor Patrick Collinson reported Janet Entwistle, Peverel CEO, rejecting calls for compensation. Peverel is insisting on paying only £100,000 as a “goodwill” payment to settle a dispute in which it systematically rigged tender processes in favour of its subsidiary Cirrus […]

The Oldie magazine reports the frustrations at Regent Court this month

Israel Moskovitz ‘unappealing conduct’ reported in The Oldie

The monthly Oldie magazine has reported the failure of freeholder Israel Moskovitz to frustrate the right to manage application of the residents at Regent Court retirement site in Plymouth. Regent Court won right to manage in February 2012, but has been locked in legal wrangling for another 20 months after Israel Moskovitz repeatedly attempted to […]


Janet Entwistle to Bottomley: no move on £100,000 ‘goodwill’ payment over Cirrus, but she welcomes meeting with MPs and Carlex

Janet Entwistle, the Peverel chief executive, won’t increase the compensation – Peverel terms it ‘goodwill’ – offered to sites that were likely to have been cheated in the Cirrus price-fixing scandal. Her decision is made in reply to Sir Peter Bottomley – supported by LibDem Cabinet minister Ed Davey and Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick – […]


National Business Awards will not remove an award to Cirrus Communications in 2009 – even though 15% was for ethics!

A National Business Award given to Cirrus Communications Systems in 2009 – just before its owner Peverel confessed to the Office of Fair Trading that it was running a price-fixing cartel – will not be removed. The decision has been taken by UBM, the business magazine publisher that runs the awards. “Cirrus Communication Systems was […]

Lee Middlebrugh explains his genius to uncritical magazine Flat Living (which shares directors with insurer Residents Line)

ARMA gave Peverel clean bill of health – just as it admitted Cirrus was cheating pensioners with bogus tenders

Peverel was given a clean bill of health by an “independent audit” and was boasting of its improved services to ARMA – the Association of Residential Managing Agents – just days after admitting a price-fixing scam to the OFT. On January 4 2010, Peverel managing director Lee Middleburgh – who has since left the company […]


Guardian examines the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal tomorrow

The Guardian is publishing a major report into the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal in tomorrow’s newspaper. It is written by Patrick Collinson, the personal finance editor, and will appear on the front cover of the stand-alone Money section. It is understood that the report gives the background to the sham tendering that Peverel engaged […]

Anyone at these sites involved in the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scam, please contact Carlex

Here is the list of all the sites involved in the OFT investigation into Peverel’s price-fixing cartel. Can any residents at these sites please contact me as soon as possible. Thanks, Sebastian admin@carlex.org.uk 07808 328 230   Abbey Court, Priestpopple, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 1RN Fire system April – June 2009 CCSL and Owens


Peverel cheated pensioners in £1.4 million tenders at 65 sites, says OFT

… now ALL sites should exercise right to manage and be rid of them … ‘the system is rotten’ to have allowed Peverel / Cirrus to get off, says Bottomley   UPDATE: Guardian reports OFT / Peverel / Cirrus scandal UPDATE: BBC reports Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal The Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal was […]


Pravda alive and well on the websites of LEASE, ARMA and Peverel … who ALL support the OFT inquiry into leasehold

Not since the Soviet Union went out of business have we seen such clottish attempts to spin a positive line. It started with our old friends at the Leasehold Advisory Service deciding that the key point in Sir Peter Bottomley’s speech to leaseholders in London on November 12 was a passing polite reference to … […]

Residents at Canary Riverside have been “ripped off and exploited” by freeholder the Yianis Group, owned by John Christodoulou, according to Jim Fitzpatrick in Parliament yesterday

Freeholder’s barrister Justin Bates named in Parliament. And Benjamin Mire. And Tchenguiz. And Yianis. And Israel Moskovitz …

… Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick and Sir Peter Bottomley put the boot in to leasehold profiteers! Two senior MPs from opposite political parties yesterday delivered hard-hitting speeches in Parliament that highlighted the scandals in leasehold. And in a sign of the rising political temperature concerning these issues, neither hesitated to name names. Jim Fitzpatrick, the […]


Carlex / LKP gets full investigation into leasehold management by the Office of Fair Trading

The Office of Fair Trading today announced a full investigation into leasehold in England and Wales. The announcement has been prompted by the campaigning of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership (www.leaseholdknowledge.com) and its sister website Carlex (www.carlex.org.uk), the Campaign Against Retirement Leasehold Exploitation. In September LKP / Carlex involved prime minister David Cameron in the issue […]


OFT will report on the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal on Friday

The long awaited Office of Fair Trading investigation into the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal concludes on Friday at 11am. Click above or here for OFT website. But there will be a delay in publishing the Infringement Decision – if there is one. “If the final outcome in this investigation is an Infringement Decision, we […]


Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing report expected next month, OFT tells Carlex reader

Michael Hollands, a Carlex reader who comments frequently on the site, has been informed by the Office of Fair Trading that its long-awaited infringement decision over the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal will be published in December. “We are very nearly ready to make an announcement and anticipate the additional delay will be relatively short,” […]


Crisis in retirement housing is all down to planners, says ARCO (not greedy operators drawing up sneaky revenue-earning leases or management companies on the fiddle)

Here we go again! The apologists for property developers are blaming planners again – this time for the crisis in retirement housing. Something called Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO), which represents retirement village operators such as Anchor, Hanover, Retirement Villages etc, says the current provision of specialist retirement housing is “woefully inadequate”.

Goodbye, Peverel. But this is not a great debut for McCarthy and Stone Management Services …

This is from “G Farley” and the block is unknown. We are being taken over from Peverel to McCarthy and Stone Management Services at the end of February.  I will be pleased to see the back of Peverel, but we will still have a house manager that was trained by Peverel.

Residents at Radbrook House in Shrewsbury wanted to be managed by Peverel, the company claims

Peverel wins 37-flat Radbrook House … er, but loses 422-unit prime London site

Peverel Retirement is cock-a-hoop to have won a retirement site, 37-flat Radbrook House, in Shrewsbury, after apparently being “chosen” by the residents. But the news follows the revelation that Peverel (non-retirement) has been given its marching orders from the 422-flat Metro Central Heights in south London. Peverel had been retained after the site went right […]


Managing agent Benjamin Mire quit from property tribunal before he was sacked … BUT his company is still up for a string of industry awards

Benjamin Mire, the chartered surveyor and CEO of Trust Property Management, was to have been sacked had he not resigned his position on the property tribunal. The news came this afternoon from the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, but it coincided with the announcement that Trust is the finalist for FOUR News On The Block property […]


Sir Peter Bottomley condemns criminal behaviour in leasehold, price-fixing cartels, cheating freeholders, exit fee fiddles, opportunist lawyers playing the system and feeble judicial intervention … in a speech that ALL leaseholders have been waiting to hear

  Sir Peter Bottomley made the speech all leaseholder victims of the system were waiting for when he condemned the current practices in the flawed sector. Speaking at the annual meeting of the Federation of Private Residents’ Associations – which LKP urges all RAs to join – Sir Peter Bottomley said: Commonhold should be adopted […]

Regent Court in Plymouth, has been the scene of an epic RTM battle with freeholder Israel Moskovitz

Israel Moskovitz fails – again – to appeal against the Regent Court right to manage

An attempt by freeholder Israel Moskovitz to appeal against the granting of right to manage to Regent Court has been turned down by the Court of Appeal. Israel Moskovitz, who owns Avon Freeholds, applied for leave to appeal to the superior court after his appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) failed in August. Regent […]


MPs back Carlex / LKP call to reform residents association regulations – drawn up by the man who won back £500,000 from Tchenguiz / Peverel

Carlex / LKP has proposed changing the government regulations on the creation of residents’ associations, and has received widespread backing for the reform. The key changes that have been presented to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles are: That residents associations can be recognised with 50 per cent of qualifying residents plus one supporting the move, not […]

Meadow Park, by Hallmark Developments, may be lovely ... but £850 subletting fees indicate the worst excesses of retirement leasehold

It’s £850 for subletting … er, alright, I will take £100, says boss of Hallmark Developments

An appalled reader who received an £850 subletting demand from the boss of Hallmark Developments has had the bill slashed to £100 after contacting LKP / Carlex. Paul Couchman, of Stapleton in Bristol, received the demand after renting out his mother’s two-bedroom flat at Meadow Court in Braintree, Essex. Under the terms of the lease, […]

Click to read

The final exit fee – it’s your funeral, from McCarthy and Stone

A mischievous 80-year-old Carlex reader sends in this latest flier that has popped into his letter box: the McCarthy and Stone funeral plan. The company that pioneered retirement leasehold – with exit fees, subletting fees, atrocious re-sale values etc – is eager to ensure that your “loved-ones” aren’t left out of pocket when you die. […]

The giant M-shaped McCarthy and Stone's headquarters in Bournemouth is a monument to the achievement of john McCathy

McCarthy and Stone gives Peverel the push at 25 retirement sites

McCarthy and Stone has decided to give Peverel its marching orders at 25 retirement sites where it still owns the freeholds – although two weeks ago it said it was not going to do so (see below). Many of the sites still have flats for sale and the housebuilder made no attempt to defend Peverel’s […]


Fury at Briary Court as Peverel closes swimming pool … it’s ‘elf ‘n’ safety’, innit?

Briary Court, a retirement site on the Isle of Wight, was in a state of uproar after Peverel arbitrarily closed the swimming pool and drained it on ‘elf ‘n’ safety’ grounds. Furious residents attended a packed meeting two weeks ago with Peverel officials at the retirement site, which overlooks the sea at Cowes. Peverel officials […]

Regent Court in Plymouth, has been the scene of an epic RTM battle with freeholder Israel Moskovitz

‘Don’t make the pensioners of Regent Court take you to court AGAIN, Mr Moskovitz,’ urges Bottomley

The pensioners of Regent Court, in Plymouth, face the prospect of another encounter in court with their freeholder Israel Moskovitz after being presented with a £140,000 bill to pay for a new roof. The roof was damaged by storms in April 2012, but insurers AXA claim the condition of the roof would have voided the […]

Colin Dennard, 72, notes the disappearance of Benjamin Mire's judicial appointment on Trust's website

Benjamin Mire ‘resigns’ from property tribunal after complaints

Leasehold managing agent Benjamin Mire has “resigned” his judicial appointment at the property tribunal following complaints from two leaseholders. They argued that his position involved a clear conflict of interest. Mire, 52, a chartered surveyor and managing director of Trust Property Management, based in Colindale, north London, resigned while the complaints were being considered by […]


Our nine years in a retirement leasehold development

Norman Greed, of Eddington Court in Weston-super-Mare, writes his personal account of how he and his neighbours disputed charges at LVT – where they had £12,000 of costs awarded against them – but eventually broke free with right to manage   In August 2004 we purchased a two-bedroom McCarthy and Stone retirement leasehold flat from […]


What IS going on with Peverel’s lifts? Yet more residents are stuck indoors for weeks – we are up to NINE cases in two years!

  Click on images TWICE to read By Michael Epstein, Our man in the lift Peverel’s calamitous way with lifts seems to be continuing – a week after BBC radio highlighted pensioners imprisoned in their Bristol retirement site, Ferndown Grange. Now it is the turn of Mulberry Court in East Finchley, north London. Fortunately they […]

Any tips when renting a retirement flat (as we don’t want to buy a third!)

From Stella: My 90-year-old mother is desperate to move from her retirement leasehold flat to one nearer me. This would be her third Peverel flat: selling the first was a nightmare and selling the current (second) one looks set to go the same way, so I’m hoping to persuade her to rent the third! I […]

We are not bullies: Elim Court replies to Moskovitz and Gurvits

Bully Boy Directors, Mr Moskovitz and Mr Gurvits ? A Statement for publication by the Directors of the Elim Court Plymouth RTM Company Ltd We refer to the statement published by Carlex by Joseph Gurvits Managing Director of Y&Y Management Ltd on August 12th 2013. Mr Gurvits, apparently advised by Elena Andreadis his Property Manager, […]

Justin Bates, landlord's barrister

Barrister Justin Bates fails to block right to manage on the grounds that leaseholders’ company name did not include ‘RTM’ in the title

… but the Upper Tribunal was exasperated that right to manage had been delayed for 18 months owing to the ‘flimsy’ appeal A few weeks ago freeholders’ barrister Justin Bates was back from holidays and raring to put the boot in the courts. But he has just fallen flat on his face at the first. The […]


You DO have to pay sublet fees annually in retirement leasehold

The feeble deal between the Office of Fair Trading and the Tchenguiz Family Trust over retirement leasehold exit and subletting fees – the one in July 2012 where the OFT said they were an unfair contract but, no, it was not going to do anything about them – has been clarified to Carlex today. It […]

‘Another £40 to Tchenguiz for selling my dad’s retirement leasehold flat’

For the Carlex readership We recently sold my fathers McCarthy and Stone flat. One of the problems we came up against was we had to prove that the Ground Rent was paid to Estates & Management so we requested a receipt for the last payment we made. They sent a letter stating they do not […]


Should ARMA replace the ARHM?

This question is prompted by yesterday’s annual conference of ARMA – the Association of Residential Managing Agents. It has begun the process of self-purification by introducing a tough regulatory scheme called ARMA-Q, which comes into force in January 2015. Its core message is this:


Just how much can a freeholder charge on a flat sale?

Carlex applies to the wisdom of crowds on this one, being clueless on the issue. What is a reasonable fee for a freeholder to charge in processing a flat sale? In this housing association there may be procedures to confirm suitability of a purchaser for this type of housing. £250 all in would seem about […]


Pickles to stop councils charging leasehold owners more than £10,000 for major block repairs

DCLG Secretary Eric Pickles has stepped in to protect leasehold owners from staggering repair costs where local authorities are the freeholder. Full details here If central government money is being spent on improving local authority housing stock then leaseholders should not have to pay more than £10,000 … or, £15,000 in London. Many of these […]


New housing minister Kris Hopkins will not be a real minister …

… and he is one of Parliament’s ‘slimiest, nastiest MPs’, according to Nadine Dorries New housing minister Kris Hopkins will not be a full minister of state like his predecessor Mark Prisk, but an undersecretary of state. That means he is two steps down from his boss, DCLG Secretary Eric Pickles, not one. The former […]


Five ways retirement leaseholders can fight back

Carlex and LKP have pushed leasehold abuses up the political agenda. There are serious retirement leasehold disputes now being addressed in the constituencies of several members of the Cabinet. Sir Peter Bottomley, Tory MP for Worthing West, is determined to see these issues through and there will be a Commons debate before Christmas. He is […]


Sacking of Mark Prisk is bad news for retirement leasehold owners

  Mark Prisk who was sacked as housing minister this afternoon had the undoubted benefit of knowing something about housing, having been a chartered surveyor. He was also sympathetic to the problems faced by leaseholders and was beginning to appreciate the massive sums of money wrongly taken from them by monetising freeholders and the managing […]

Retirement leasehold is the worst property investment bar none!

Even one-bedroom flats in the centre of Leeds, which plummeted after the boom, hold value better than retirement leasehold. The explanation? Greed, simply. Retirement housebuilders, speculators who buy the freeholds when developers sell them off and management companies have proved unable to resist exploiting the weak and elderly. Leasehold law (which is unique to England […]


Our management fees have gone up 21 per cent. What can we do?

I am the chair of a residents association at a Peverel site that is 43 flats and 20 years old next year. We have a long running battle over Peverel’s management fees which for this financial year 2013/14 is £16,468 on top of all other costs in the service charge. Our research indicates that the fee […]


Private Eye covers the Peverel price-fixing scandal

Today’s issue of the satirical magazine Private Eye carries a report on the Peverel / Cirrus price fixing scandal, which is the subject of an Office of Fair Trading investigation. Peverel is co-operating with the inquiry and has been granted “leniency” from court action as a result. The OFT says Peverel turned itself in in […]


Hold on! Pensioners have been stranded by broken lifts in Peverel blocks FIVE times in the past TWO years!

UPDATE It is claimed on the Peverel website that the lifts at Ferndown Grange were finally fixed over the weekend of October 5-6. By Michael Epstein It emerges that pensioners living in Peverel retirement leasehold blocks have been trapped by broken lifts on four other occasions over the past two years, according to local press […]


Carlex interview with BBC raises Peverel price-fixing scandal and AgeUK logos

BBC Radio Bristol reported yesterday on pensioners stuck for five weeks inside Peverel-managed Ferndown Grange owing to a broken lift. The interview also reported wider issues concerning leasehold retirement by interviewing Sebastian O’Kelly, Carlex chairman. Last Friday’s decision by AgeUK to remove its logos from the Peverel Retirement website was reported, and O’Kelly raised broader […]


Pensioners stuck in flats for five weeks at Ferndown Grange … while spare-part for lift is made in Italy!

BBC Radio Bristol  reported this morning on the case of residents at Ferndown Grange (above) in Bristol being “imprisoned” in their block owing to a damaged lift. A report has also appeared on its website here The lift has been broken for five weeks with no end in sight as new spare-part is going to […]


Gardens not good enough for fire ladders, so £11,000 please!

Here is a letter from a reader, and Carlex’s reply. Any views from the Carlex “panel of experts? Homepine House in Folkestone had serious issues over safety safety improvements, as can be read here We have been told that the Fire Officer has said that we need a concrete path in our gardens as the […]


Sunday Times reports residents raise £2 million to rescue Crystal Fountain retirement site

The Sunday Times today reports an inspiring story of residents at Crystal Fountain Village in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, saving their homes and taking control of the site. The residents, headed by Peter Wilson and Betty Young, 72, saw off 22 rival bidders. Each resident had to chip in £30,000 to save the site. The story has […]

What happens if the managing agent or freeholder goes bust?

Would Carlex readers offer any thoughts to this concerned correspondent wondering about the financial health of managing agent and freeholder? We have put in an offer for a retirement flat for my grandmother.  I wondered if you could provide me with any details of what happens to a property should the landlord company or management […]


AgeUK removes logos from Peverel Retirement website

Yesterday: now you see them …   … today: now you don’t AgeUK today removed its logos from the Peverel Retirement website, after their presence was drawn to its attention by Carlex. No explanation has been given why the logos – for AgeUK, Age Cymru and Age Scotland – were placed on the Peverel Retirement […]

My mum has seen a retirement leasehold flat and loves it, but what are the pitfalls?

Any words of advice for this reader poised to buy a retirement leasehold flat? (Please do not grandstand or name individual companies: helpful advice only, thanks.)  Last week we went with my mother to view a retirement leasehold site in Cornwall.  We were all very surprised to be so impressed by the quality of the […]


Here is the shortlist of the EAC (Elderly Accommodation Counsel) awards

Carlex would very keen to hear views from residents regarding the EAC awards: whether they were merited and comments regarding the selection of the winners. The process involves playing a kind of card game (above, click to read) to select the shortlist, which may well be a fun way of doing this kind of thing […]


Will Edwina Currie be doling out award to one of Peverel’s alleged price-fixing sites at the Elderly Accommodation Counsel awards?

  By Michael Hollands  Only three days to go to the big award ceremony in retirement leasehold hosted by Edwina Currie. (Click on image to read) This is the Elderly Accommodation Counsel award for the Retirement Managers of the year being held at the National Motorcycle Museum. The awards are to be presented by Edwina […]


Peverel showed no ‘leniency’ for elderly leaseholders, so why should OFT? The Oldie reports price-fixing scandal …

  The alleged Peverel / Cirrus price–fixing scandal has been reported at length in this month’s issue of The Oldie (“a Zimmer frame for the mind”). (Click on image) It repeats Sir Peter Bottomley’s view that Peverel has undertaken “unlawful and probably criminal actions” and he dismisses the Office of Fair Trading’s fiction that Peverel […]


OFT’s price-fixing investigation into Peverel costs £458,000

A breakdown of costs of the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) investigation into the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal has been handed to Sir Peter Bottomley. It shows the cost of the investigation is £458,000, accounting for 10,660 hours of work. The costs were outlined after a meeting with the OFT on August 22 chaired […]


‘Buoyant sales’ in retirement leasehold, reports Peverel

An interesting exchange on the Peverel Retirement blog (click on image or here)  between David Gabriel, who heads Peverel’s estate agency Retirement Homesearch and Michael Hollands, who comments frequently on Carlex on retirement leasehold issues. Retirement Homesearch recently had a bit of luck getting a quote into the Daily Mail talking about retirement leasehold accommodation. […]


Barrister Justin Bates: Back from hols and raring to go (which may include appealing Regent Court’s right to manage)

So barrister Justin Bates is back from holidays, he Tweets his 204 followers, and is eager to get stuck into five Upper Tribunal cases and two potential Court of Appeal ones as well. Among the latter might be Regent Court, where freeholder Israel Moskovitz is determined to stop the pensioners achieving right to manage and […]

Sisters desperate to sell retirement leasehold face 10% exit fee, estate agent is run by freeholder’s brother and – yes – capital values have tanked

Carlex has advised the questioners to ask the freeholder what the 10 per cent exit fee is actually for, and copy the correspondence into their MPs – fortuitously Mark Prisk, the Tory Housing Minister, and former Tory health secretary Andrew Lansley. Some questions concerning the freeholder’s brother running the in-house estate agency might be in […]


Oldies should sell up and boost retirement housing, says Demos (in report paid for by developers)

A report into retirement housing from the think-tank Demos is getting air time today – saying that if oldies wanting to buy a retirement property were able to do so it would “free up” £307 billion worth of housing. The full report, titled The Top of the Ladder,  can be read here  And the first […]


Davey and Bottomley quiz OFT over its leniency deal with Peverel over the Cirrus price-fixing scam

Energy Secretary Ed Davey demanded answers this afternoon from the Office of Fair Trading over its tardy investigation into the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal. He and Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for Worthing West, wanted to know why the investigation was so protracted and why Peverel was offered a 100 per cent leniency deal. Peverel […]


The ‘dribbling geriatrics’ BBC report and Carlex’s busy November 2009

The autumn of 2009 was a particularly busy time for Carlex. Activists had complained about Peverel and the Tchenguiz companies which owned it – and the freehold and numerous associated companies that provided services. More than 100 attended a meeting in the Palace of Westminster, organised by LibDem MP Ed Davey, now the Energy Secretary […]

Should my 90-year-old mother move into a retirement leasehold flat?

Perhaps regular readers could answer this. I am considering persuading my 90 year old mother to sell up and move closer to the rest of the family.  I have been looking at two retirement homes in XXX, both operated by Peverel.  Having discovered your site you can imagine my disquiet. However, all the actions seem […]

Moskovitz / Gurvits: We fight on for the ‘wider implications’ of RTM law and to stop ‘bully boy’ right to manage directors with ‘vested intestests’

Freeholder Israel Moskovitz and his managing agent Joseph Gurvits, of Y and Y Management, are resisting the right to manage applications of Regent and Elim Courts, in Plymouth. Regent Court this month won its appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) earlier this month. Elim Court’s right to manage application failed at the LVT in […]


Israel Moskovitz and Joseph Gurvits fail to appeal Regent Court RTM victory

UPDATE: Mr Joseph Gurvits, of Y and Y Management, wants to make clear that neither he nor his company are not formally part of the appeal process. Freeholder Israel Moskovitz and his business associate and managing agent Joseph Gurvits have failed to obtain leave for appeal against the decision to grant Regent Court in Plymouth […]


Haig Court residents win back £6,123 off Fairhold

Residents at Haig Court, in Chesterton, Cambridge, who were facing a 20 per cent hike in the notional rent of the house manager’s flat have now been offered a £6,123 repayment – after contacting Carlex. The residents’ association was stunned that the freeholder Fairhold, part of the Tchenguiz Family Trust, proposed increasing the figure from […]

Peverel house managers ‘must use’ Ace Office Environments

A Peverel house manager writes in to say that all house managers have to order office and cleaning supplies from Ace Office Environments, a Bournemouth company. Until “a year ago” the managers were told to order through a company called Viking, “which was cheaper”. There is no suggestion that there is anything improper in this […]


McCarthy without Stone: Churchill Retirement Living ‘to spend £500 million on new sites’

Churchill Retirement Living, the retirement leasehold developer controlled by the McCarthy family who built up McCarthy and Stone, is spending £500 million on new sites over the next three years, says the Times. In what appears to be a re-write of a press release, the article echoes the company’s message that the retirement leasehold sector […]

39 sites are named Pegasus Court. This one is in Bournemouth

Names for Peverel to conjure with … 39 Pegasus Courts!

Carlex has had a closer look at the list of 1,466 Peverel managed retirement sites … and has discovered that 283 have the same names. That’s 19% of the total. The full list with the constituency MP is here: Peverel Retirement homes    And the full list grouped as names with postcodes is here: PeverelSites […]


Mere Court residents should vote as they wish, but tell Peverel it cannot sell the house manager’s flat until its ownership is clear

… the area manager was telling residents the flat was ‘part of estate’ only three months ago Mere Court residents have been given until August 19 by Peverel to vote on whether they want a live-in house manager. If they don’t, the flat will be sold. They should vote as they wish and according to […]


Find your Peverel site and contact your MP

Carlex today publishes a complete list of all Peverel’s retirement sites with links to contacting the constituency MP. We are just at the start of analysing this data, but one feature that is immediately noticeable is that 73 per cent of retirement leasehold sites are in constituencies with Conservative MPs. Click on link below: Peverel […]


Carlex / Bottomley demand Cameron calls meeting with Housing and Justice over OFT / Peverel price-fixing scandal

Demands that the Office of Fair Trading account for its supine leniency agreement with Peverel over the price-fixing scandal have now reached the attention of the prime minister. Number 10 is suggesting the issue be examined by a minister of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Sir Peter Bottomley, backed by Cabinet minister Ed […]


MPs demand ‘justice and recompense’ for victims of Peverel’s price-fixing scams …

Sir Peter Bottomley (left), the Conservative MP for Worthing West, and Ed Davey (right), the LibDem MP for Kingston and Surbiton and the Energy Secretary, are combining forces to demand why the Office of Fair Trading offered a leniency deal to Peverel over the Cirrus price-fixing scandal. After a meeting with Carlex this afternoon, Sir […]


Carlex meets lawyers over Peverel price-fixing scandal

A meeting was held in London on Wednesday with lawyers to discuss how Carlex should proceed with the Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal. Also, the Office of Fair Trading is under scrutiny at the highest level for cutting a leniency deal with Peverel, ostensibly because Peverel turned itself in in December 2009 by admitting the […]

At Ash Court, Knutsford, residents are dismayed that a well-liked house manager has quit ... while Peverel is jumpy about a right-to-manage uprising

After the furore at Mere Court, another Peverel site rebels in Knutsford

Acrimonious exchanges between Peverel management and a house manager of 10-years standing have caused a second retirement leasehold site in Knutsford to erupt in rebellion. Marge Ashley, 67, originally from South Africa, handed in her notice two days ago at Ash Court. Her departure has caused widespread dismay among residents. The case comes within days […]

Residents at Mere Court in Knutsford were told the house manager's flat belonged to Proxima. In fact, it belonged to Peverel, which wanted to sell it

Hand over £100,000 Mere Court house manager’s flat and we will give you £10,000, say Peverel / Tchenguiz

Residents at Mere Court in Cheshire have been offered a £10,000 donation to their contingency fund – provided they surrender their interest in the house manager’s flat. A meeting was held by Peverel at the 39-flat site last Friday (July 19) and the residents are now to be balloted on whether they wish to dispense […]


How we fiddled the Cirrus contracts, by an ex-Peverel employee

This illuminating email has been sent in by a former Peverel employee, whose name is being withheld: As an ex Peverel Retirement technical officer who was made redundant, thus incurring residents with extra costs for people like AEDAS with no reduction in service charges for services paid for and not given, I am in a […]

Regent Court in Plymouth, has been the scene of an epic RTM battle with freeholder Israel Moskovitz

Israel Moskovitz and Joseph Gurvits fail to thwart ‘right to manage’ at Plymouth retirement site …

… and freeholders’ barrister Justin Bates loses again London freeholder Israel Moskovitz and his associate Joseph Gurvits have failed to thwart the right to manage of a retirement leasehold site in Plymouth. But their legal stratagems will have delayed the process by more than 20 months by the time the pensioners take control of the […]


Cabinet minister condemns ‘monstrous’ companies as prime riverside site ousts freeholder

YouTube videos Charter Quay: the epic trailer Charter Quay with Ed Davey speech Sebastian O’Kelly writes: Although not a retirement site, but an affluent Thames riverside development, Charter Quay has gained a knowledge and experience that has already benefited hundreds of leaseholders elsewhere in their unequal disputes with the companies that prey upon them. And […]


Bottomley: ‘possible criminal behaviour involving Peverel’ over tendering scams

Articles in The Times in 2009 also show Carlex had publicly raised the issue of Cirrus’s tendering scams before Peverel turned itself in   Sir Peter Bottomley has waded into the Peverel price-fixing scandal by publicly doubting whether the company had “confessed” to the Office of Fair Trading before being alerted by the three Carlex […]


Rebellion at Blagdon Retirement Village over 12.5% exit fees

Residents at Blagdon Retirement Village, an upmarket retirement complex near Taunton in Somerset, are mobilising to fight 12.5 per cent exit fees involving all Retirement Village sites. Blagdon is a complex of 85 cottages, bungalows and flats “clustered around Blagdon Lodge where communal facilities can be found”. With 20 “interest and social groups”, the Lodge […]


Meet your freeholder, poised to ‘butcher’ his enemies

Here’s a rare chance for Carlex visitors to see their freeholder Vincent Tchenguiz speak courtesy of Bloomberg … Things might seem tough for Vincent Tchenguiz right now, with Lloyds Bank poised to pitch a fifth of his freehold portfolio into administration (subject to a court hearing this week). Plus there’s his and his brother Robert’s […]


LEASE threatens Leasehold Knowledge Partnership and demands apology

LEASE, the Leasehold Advisory Service, has demanded that the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership remove a critical article from its website and issue an apology, or it “reserves the right to take appropriate further action”. It is an open question what is meant by this threat, which comes in the form of a letter from LEASE chairman […]


Tchenguiz: is this the end?

Vincent Tchenguiz could lose a fifth of his freehold portfolio after failing to agree repayment terms on a £230 million debt with Lloyds Bank. The taxpayer-owned bank sought court approval on Thursday to appoint KPMG as administrators over more than 50,000 residential freeholds. It is not known which portfolios these may be. It is possible […]

My recipe for retirement leasehold happiness

By Michael Hollands Searching for the Ideal Retirement Home Despite all the horror stories I read I have not been totally put off and continue my quest. So far I have been searching for 3 years

Peverel meets Homepine House over £70,000 fire safety upgrade

Ninety residents were present at an “unruly” meeting at Homepine House yesterday to hear Peverel representatives justify a £70,000 fire safety system most do not want. It is unknown whether a representative of Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe, was present, but a local newspaper journalist was.

Yet another desperate seller facing forfeiture …

Just received this: Dear Sebastian We are a charity which was helping an elderly lady living in a Peverel sheltered leasehold flat prior to her move to a Home and subsequent death in 2010. We had made some loans to the lady concerned and have been in touch with her son, who lives abroad, over […]


MP tells Metcalfe Court it has won ballot to end live-in house manager

The residents’ association at Metcalfe Court, in Romiley, Cheshire, has won its protracted and acrimonious struggle to end having a live-in house manager. The count of the vote was supervised in the London offices of freeholder Fairhold by local LibDem MP Andrew Stunell (left). Fairhold is a freehold owning company of the Tchenguiz Family Trust, […]


Prisk sets up mobile home advice line at LEASE

Housing Minister Mark Prisk has set up a dedicated advice line for park home owners at LEASE, the Leasehold Advisory Service. This is a “free and independent service, manned by experts who understand the issues faced by park home residents”, says Prisk. It can be contacted on: 0207 383 9800 or at www.lease-advice.org The change […]

Is our money safe if Peverel goes bust (again)?

Can anyone help this reader with his query about Peverel bank accounts? Please leave comments. I am contacting you to ask if you can give me some advice about an issue concerning Peverel Management Services. I am delegated by the leaseholders at XXX to deal with Peverel and Fairhold Homes on any matters concerning our […]

Pensioners in Homepine House in Folkestone face £70,000 fire safety upgrade that the local fire service says is not needed

Homepine House involves MPs after Kent Fire Service says Peverel £70,000 ’elf ’n’ safety upgrade is unnecessary

Residents in Homepine House are involving MPs Damian Collins and Sir Peter Bottomley after being presented with a £58,000-£70,000 fire safety upgrade from Peverel, which they say is unnecessary. Kent Fire & Rescue Service also says the upgrade is unnecessary. In a letter to residents of December 12 2012, it writes: “Following the fire safety […]


Council ‘guesstimate’ £50,000 new roof blamed for death of leasehold owner aged 93

The family of a woman, aged 93, who died in her ex-council leasehold flat blames the council causing her death by submitting a “guesstimate” £50,000 bill for a new roof. It now appears that an LVT has accepted a surveyor’s report that the roof might have lasted another 40 years. Florence Bourne died in her […]

Metcalfe Court: Residents laugh at Fairhold “bullying” accusations

UPDATE: Fairhold ballot papers came with franked addressed envelopes dated May 23, but it is now an open question whether all the replies will be received. In a farcical turn of events, one resident went to the post office today to post her vote by registered post and was told that the franked envelop was […]

Retirement leasehold flat falls £119,000 in two years

Never, EVER buy property like this! Never use part-exchange schemes Don’t use a developer’s solicitor – that in itself is a disqualification If you absolutely insist on buying retirement leasehold – as opposed to renting first – then buy a re-sale property, not a new one with a “value” that’s just a salesman’s try-on Carlex […]


Trapped in a Retirement Villages site: once you are in, how do you escape?

The following is from  residents in a Retirement Villages site, who are trapped as exit fees are a staggering 12.5 per cent. Selling up in such circumstances is very difficult, leaving aside the likelihood that capital values have almost certainly taken a hard hit. It is difficult to advise in these circumstances. Retirement Villages are […]


We need ten new Manchesters to house elderly, says McCarthy and Stone. Fine, so long as you don’t build them

UPDATE June 8: McCarthy and Stone has no ongoing relationships with Lloyds Bank It is a fantasy figure which Housing Minister Mark Prisk has already consigned to the bin: 10 Manchester sized cities over the next 20 years is required to house the ageing population. This nonsense comes from McCarthy and Stone, which is in […]

An inheritance that comes with ... £10,000 in unpaid service charges and a possible forfeiture action

Poisoned chalice of a retirement leasehold inheritance

The inheritance of a retirement leasehold flat has proved a mixed blessing for one Carlex reader: who now faces demands for £10,000 in unpaid service charges to Peverel with the dreaded F-word – forfeiture – also being mentioned. In March last year retired academic Michael Welch, 64, inherited his father’s one-bedroom flat at Risingholme Court, […]


AgeUK to wind down retirement leasehold service

AgeUK is winding up its small department that looks into retirement leasehold affairs headed by Mark Spall. It is a bitter blow to retirement leaseholders, 300-350 of whom contacted the department last year seeking advice. Many leaseholders have been assisted by Spall and his team, and his mediation efforts have won back significant sums of […]

Metcalfe Court is now the scene of a secret ballot, organised by freeholder Fairhold

Fairhold holds secret ballot over in-house manager at ‘bullying’ retirement complex

Residents at a retirement development in Cheshire are in the midst of carrying out a second – secret – ballot over whether they wish to have a live-in house manager re-appointed. The vote has been insisted upon by freehold-owner Fairhold, part of the Tchenguiz Family Trust, even though the residents at Metcalfe Court, in Romiley, […]


Leasehold Advisory Service annual conference 2013 … where, this time, leaseholders are invited

What a difference a year makes. In 2012 LEASE, the Leasehold Advisory Service, held its “annual conference” in a Mayfair hotel charging £310 a head and the event was a blatant trade show for the vested interests in the leasehold sector. Leaseholders themselves – apart from an emotional gatecrasher, read here – were entirely absent. Yesterday, the […]

Peverel response to £70,000 fire safety overhaul at Homepine House

Carlex received the following email from a reader (name withheld), and Peverel’s explanation. It appears the site requires re-wiring: My mother has recently bought  retirement flat in Homepine House, Folkestone.  The managing agents, Peverel, have just sent out a Notice to All Residents setting out their intention to install fire alarms in every flat, 136 […]

Carlex campaigner seeks house manager’s job description

A “well known” Carlex campaigner is seeking a house manager’s job description, presumably a Peverel one. Could anyone provide us with one? Absolute discretion guaranteed. admin@carlex.org.uk    


Tchenguiz / Peverel meltdown left my bungalow behind a ransom strip

It was not only thousands of retirement leasehold owners who were tossed in the swell after the Tchenguiz were arrested in March 2011 and Peverel went into administration: a small-scale builder was as well. Des Clark, a self-employed builder in Rochester, Kent, thought building a couple of freehold retirement bungalows on a site with access […]


Help! Is a second satellite dish one dish too many?

Can anyone assist this Carlex reader? We are aware that satellite dishes can be a fraught subject – possibly even an income stream for the freeholder – but don’t have details. All assistance would be gratefully received. “I live in a block of 34 leasehold retirement apartments. By our own request and with full permission […]


Is Peverel quietly up for sale again?

It’s a question worth asking, as its current owners venture capitalists Electra and Chamonix will get shot of it at the propitious moment. In February 2012 they bought Peverel, which had been part of the Tchenguiz empire from 2007 until it went into administration in March 2011. The deal involved a £62 million transaction supported […]


Carlex / LKP visitors hit 29,000 in April

Carlex / LKP websites hit fractionally under 29,000 visitors last month – the highest readership ever recorded by the sites. April 16 also saw the Leasehold Knowledge Partnerhip being named in the House of Commons by Sir Peter Bottomley. He also named and praised Carlex’s Sebastian O’Kelly and Martin Boyd, who he urged to be […]


Should Peverel customers pay up using Premium Credit?

Carlex readers have been in touch saying that if they wish to pay their Peverel service charges monthly by direct debit they must now enter a loan agreement with Premium Credit. Details are sketchy and Peverel says the payment system has been in place for more than 10 years and there is no change in […]


Prisk to Bottomley: what’s the evidence that the Leasehold Advisory Service is not ‘balanced’? Well, how about this for starters …

Housing Minister Mark Prisk has rounded on Sir Peter Bottomley to demand why he believes that the Leasehold Advisory Service in not ‘balanced’. Sir Peter, the Tory MP for Worthing West, made his comments in the Commons on April 16: “To have clever lawyers, some of whom will appear at LEASE—the Government-approved agency for giving […]

After scandalous delays of 14 months, Regent Court has its RTM appealed against today

Fourteen months of winning right to manage, Regent Court leasehold residents were at the Land Tribunal today fighting off their freeholder’s appeal. In – yet another – example of how the leasehold system lets down those who pay for it, the Plymouth pensioners have had their inaccurately described “right to manage” frustrated through the legal […]

Carlex activists praised in Commons: clean up ‘muck’ of leasehold and stop ‘ripping off leaseholders left, right and centre’

Sir Peter Bottomley (left) yesterday made his strongest Commons intervention yet on the scandals in leasehold. He named and praised the two keys figures in the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, named and criticised Tchenguiz and urged a full debate on leasehold under the cover of parliamentary privilege. He attacked the role of LEASE, the Leasehold Advisory […]


Been ripped off over leasehold insurance? Take your complaint to the secret ombudsman, says Peverel

UPDATE April 18, 15.55 Peverel statement at the end of the article A retirement leasehold resident disputing Kingsborough insurance commissions with Peverel has been told she must take her dispute to an ombudsman, whose rulings are not published. Joan Wade, who has lived at Grasmere Court in Worthing since 2003, was appalled to receive a […]

Mark Prisk’s department sabotages attempt to license leasehold managing agents

A clever Lords amendment by Baroness Gardner that would see leasehold managing agents required to have a licence will be sabotaged in the Commons tomorrow. Instead, the Department of Communities and Local Government wants to insist managing agents belong to an ombudsman scheme. Ombudsmen are widely popular among the vested interests in the status quo […]


More sites rebel against Anchor Retirement allowing sub-letting … in defiance of leases that ban it

UPDATES APRIL 5, 17.51: In a statement justifying its policy, Anchor Retirement refers to the Office of Fair Trading report which stated that “terms in long leases preventing sub-letting have potential for unfairness” and that “permission [to sub-let] should not be unreasonably withheld”.  See below APRIL 5 It emerges that another Anchor Retirement site is in ferment over this […]


One in the Eye for a leasehold dispute

This week’s issue of Private Eye, the satirical magazine,  has reported the Dennis Jackson forfeiture case, in which Leasehold Knowledge Partnership has been involved for the past six months. Headed “Grabbit and grab some more”, the article compares Jackson’s travails through the courts with the never-ending Jarndyce v. Jarndyce in Bleak House. The main point […]


Is Peverel looking for a £90,000 spin doctor with ‘personal integrity’?

Can this be our old friends at Peverel tarting up their image in leasehold management by recruiting an artful ‘Head of Communications” for £90,000 a year? It sounds like it from the description … “to restore the reputation of this multi-brand, market leading service provider with its customers, staff and the media”. The job is […]


Prisk tells Nick Clegg that ARHM’s new code ‘must say more about exit fees’

Housing Minister Mark Prisk is expecting the new code of the Association of Retirement Housing Managers to address the controversial issue of exit fees. These have been the subject of a long-running Office of Fair Trading investigation which concluded that they were wrong, but that it was not going to do anything about them. Fighting […]

John Bottomley

Heirs of empty retirement leasehold flat now face doubled council taxes … on top of plummeting re-sale value, on-going service charges and an exit fee if it ever does sell

A son trying to sell his deceased mother’s retirement leasehold flat has been told that he will have to pay double the council tax on the empty property. The flat has fallen foul of Chester’s efforts to penalise owners of empty properties so that they are brought back into use – and increase revenues for […]

Sacked Peverel house manager went on spending spree … on flowers

A sacked Peverel house manager at a Shropshire retirement development went on a spending spree that will see the residents receive a £3,600 rebate on their service charges this August. The live-in house manager at Ashbrook Court, in Church Stretton, spent the money on cut flowers and plant pots to decorate the premises. “They all […]


Lee Middleburgh quits Peverel: A nation mourns …

A long standing member of the Peverel Politburo Lee Middleburgh, from before the era of Janet Entwistle, has resigned. His departure follows that of Keith Edgar, former head of Peverel Retirement in December. Peverel today issued the following statement: To be attributed to Janet Entwistle: Lee Middleburgh, Managing Director, Peverel Property Management, has decided to […]

Dennis Jackson, 73, faced losing his home and his life-savings in a forfeiture action heard behind closed doors today

Pensioner, 73, given last minute reprieve over forfeiture of his home

The pensioner who had the lease on his £800,000 flat forfeited won a reprieve today when his mortgage lender stepped in to pay his outstanding debts. Dennis Jackson, 73, a former commercial photographer, had the lease on his split-level flat at Plantation Wharf in Battersea forfeited last month and had 28 days to be out […]


Service with a snarl: anatomy of a leasehold ground rent demand

A Carlex reader has got in touch with his leasehold ground rent demand from Estates and Management, which he feels is a little peremptory and abrupt. So, let’s take a look. Before doing so, it is worth informing any new readers that the Tchenguiz Family Trusts owns one per cent of all the freeholds in […]

Housing minister holds round-table discussion on leasehold

On Wednesday the leasehold “industry” was given the opportunity to persuade Housing Minister Mark Prisk that it has cleaned up its act with new codes of practice and consumer charters. The representation was largely from the commercial interests of leasehold and from the trade bodies that serve them. But there were also members of Parliament, […]

ARHM wants to know your views about its new code of practice

The Association of Retirement Housing Managers is holding consultations on its new code of practice. Reading the whole document may be for insomniacs only. On the other hand, for those with a forensic interest in leasehold issues, it is important. Peverel is, of course, the principal paymaster of the ARHM, which has pretended for years […]


Minister holds roundtable talks on leasehold

Housing Minister Mark Prisk (left) is holding an hour-long roundtable discussion on residential leasehold tomorrow. The meeting is to be attended by trade body representatives such as Michelle Banks, of ARMA – a former civil servant at the Department of Communities and Local Government – RICS, and the Association of Retirement Housing Managers (ARHM). Representatives […]

Dennis Jackson, 73, outside Wandsworth County Court this afternoon

Dispute over £9,000 in service charges results in leasehold pensioner, 73, receiving forfeit order on his £800,000 flat

Leasehold pensioner Dennis Jackson, a neighbour of Commons speaker John Bercow and TV chef Nigella Lawson, has had his leasehold £800,000 riverside London flat at Plantation Wharf forfeited by court order. Unless a deal is brokered, retired photographer Jackson, 73, has until February 27  to pack his bags and get out of the attractive split-level […]


Sorry right to manage is ‘somewhat daunting’ says junior minister Don Foster … but I’m not going to do a thing about it

Junior minister Don Foster (right) has defended his remark that the elderly and the vulnerable find exercising right to manage as “somewhat daunting”, which some leaseholders find somewhat insulting. Foster, who was made a parliamentary under secretary of state for the Department for Communities and Local Government in September 2012, says: “As this is a […]

Girlings: Renting in a retirement community could help isolated elderly

What are people’s opinion of this from Girlings, please Last month The Department of Health announced that it is creating a ‘loneliness map’ to show areas in the UK where elderly people feel most isolated. According to Age UK as many as one in 10 pensioners or 90,000 people in Britain are lonely. However, the problem […]

We will fight to the end for our right to manage, says Elim Court

By Keith Phillips, OBE We, the residents, of Elim Court read with great interest Carlex’ reportage  of recent meetings involving Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Israel Moskovitz, Joseph Gurvits et al and Oliver Colvile MP with the residents of Elim Court on Saturday  2nd February. May we say that we very much welcome the spotlight provide […]


Oliver Colvile pledges support for right to manage pensioners

Tory MP Oliver Colvile (left) yesterday pledged his support to the two retirement developments in Plymouth that are locked in right to manage disputes with their freeholder. At two packed meetings at Elim Court and Regent Court in his  Sutton and Devonport constituency, Colvile told the residents that he would support them in their litigation […]

End transfer fees, or let LVTs rule on whether they are reasonable, says OFT

Parliament should end the levying of transfer fees – that is, exit fees and sub-letting fees – or allow the Leasehold Valuation Tribunals to rule on their reasonableness, This is one of the key findings in the Office of Fair Trading’s prolonged investigation – published today – into a lucrative and unjustifiable earner that is […]

Bottomley meets Joseph Gurvits and Israel Moskovitz over disputes at Plymouth retirement developments – but leaseholders are determined to fight it out

Sir Peter Bottomley MP (left) held a meeting yesterday at his Westminster offices with the freeholder and managing agent who are locked in right to manage disputes with leaseholders at two Plymouth retirement developments. The meeting was an informal exchange of views between freeholder Israel Moskovitz, property manager Joseph Gurvits and Sebastian O’Kelly and Martin […]

Regent Court in Plymouth, has been the scene of an epic RTM battle with freeholder Israel Moskovitz

Gurvits named in Commons after thwarting pensioners’ right to manage

The behind-the-scenes concern of senior politicians over the activities of managing agent Joseph Gurvits broke into the open yesterday when he was named in the House of Commons. Gurvits was named in a brief intervention – without comment and along with Peverel and Tchenguiz – in the rental housing sector debate yesterday by Sir Peter […]

Pensioners fail in third RTM attempt to escape Gurvits

Pensioners in Plymouth have failed for the third time to break free from London freeholder and managing agent Joseph Gurvits, Carlex was informed yesterday. Elim Court’s third right to manage application in the past 18 months was thrown out at the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal owing to a mistake in the application. The decision is a […]

Paul Letman ... has form with lay applicants

Exit fees court battle fails … but it cost Fairhold thousands and Carlex now has its legal argument why it believes the contract terms are fair

Susan Wood failed in her court struggle earlier this week to be reimbursed the £1,150 in exit fees paid when her late father’s flat was sold in 2010. Wood argued that as the fee was for a service that was not carried out – ostensibly to vet the capability of the flat’s purchaser for “independent […]


Complacent and lazy letter on leasehold from junior minister Don Foster

Carlex supporters in Yeovil have received a woefully complacent letter from government minister Don Foster after raising retirement leasehold issues with their MP, David Laws. In spite of all the efforts of Carlex, Age UK, assorted trade bodies and the British Property Federation, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government could still […]


Pensioner in £3,500 LVT win complains that managing agent sits on tribunal panel

A pensioner who won £3,500 at a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal has made a formal complaint that Benjamin Mire, who runs a large property management company and was criticised in the case, also sits on the same local LVT as a panel member. “This is a clear conflict of interest and affronts every notion of justice […]

Bicester House, where the majority of residents do not wish to allow any sub-letting of the 44 properties

Fury at Anchor Trust allowing sub-letting as retirement leasehold market turns sour

Residents at an upmarket retirement development in Oxfordshire are incensed that the Anchor Trust appears to be intent on permitting sub-letting even though this may be in breach of the lease. In a nationwide policy, Anchor Trust is allowing leaseholders, or their executors, to rent the properties in exchange for a fee of £175 plus […]


Elim Court pensioners must wait until New Year before hearing whether they are free of Gurvits

Pensioners at Elim Court in Plymouth must wait until the New Year to discover whether they were successful in yesterday’s LVT action to win right to manage from London freeholder / managing agent Joseph Gurvits. It is the pensioners’ third attempt to mount a right to manage application, and the second to have come before […]

Carlex meets McCarthy and Stone, but let’s talk about making the leases fair

OPINION Carlex has declined this afternoon to participate in talks over a new consumer charter with developer McCarthy and Stone – but is quite happy to discuss more substantive matters. The offer was suggested at an informal, agenda-less meeting in which several issues were raised between Sebastian O’Kelly and the new company secretary John Davies in […]


ARHM: Are we really that bad?

Leasehold: Are we really that bad? was the promising title of the Winter Seminar of the Association of Retirement Housing Managers (ARHM) held in Westminster this afternoon. But it quickly became clear that ARHM was not going to engage in a bout of self-criticism. Indeed, there was no sign from the organisation’s hierarchy that there […]

Carlex / LKP websites top 100,000 page views in November

November figures on the Carlex / Leasehold Knowledge Partnership websites show a surge in leaseholder readership, with more than 108,000 page views. The figures confirm widespread interest in leasehold and in measures to reform its many abuses. Visitors to the sites amount to nearly 23,000 – a figure that rebuts advice from the (three) officials in […]

Plantation Wharf pensioner wins 28-day reprieve on forfeiture of £800k flat

… but the legal feeding frenzy continues with a £4,000 bill Dennis Jackson, 73, escaped forfeiture today of his £800,000 flat at the Plantation Wharf in Battersea. In a five-minute hearing Deputy District Judge Cole brushed aside arguments from Alexander Bastin, the barrister representing the freeholders and Plantation Wharf Management Limited, who demanded forfeiture of […]


Housing Minister Mark Prisk holds leasehold meeting with Carlex – but keep pestering MPs!

After years of banging on a closed door, Carlex / Leasehold Knowledge Partnership held a meeting with Housing Minister Mark Prisk (left) yesterday. But Carlex activists are urged to keep pressing MPs (and copy us in to your correspondence!) As a result of the meeting, the minister is reviewing the following: How right to manage […]

Elim Court residents in Plymouth are desperate to be rid of London freeholkder Israel Moskovitz and his business partner Joseph Gurvitz, who runs Y and Y Management

Pensioners in their 80s stage their escape from Gurvits

A retirement development in Plymouth launches its third attempt to obtain right to manage on December 11 to escape from London landlord/ managing agent Joseph Gurvits. Gurvits and his associate Israel Moskovitz, who operate out of the same address in north London, picked up the freehold of Elim Court nearly two years ago and added […]

Denehurst Court in Church Stretton, where property values have plummeted

Pensioner blames Peverel for loss of value to her flat

A pensioner who blames Peverel for reducing the value of her leasehold flat is having the case heard by mediators on December 11. And head of Peverel Retirement Keith Edgar – who leaves Peverel in December – is attending the hearing himself. For five years, Muriel McNally, 75, has been fighting the action, involving local […]


At Knights Court fire safety is too precious for Peverel to put a price on

Residents at Knights Court in Coventry were not happy to get a poster on their notice board earlier this month to say they are going to have to pay more for a fire risk assessment. In the past Peverel included the assessments as part of the service charges. Now they are to be farmed out […]


Carlex campaign reported in Mail on Sunday

An excellent article yesterday on the state of Carlex’s campaign and retirement leasehold in the Mail on Sunday. It was written by Richard Dyson and is the second piece by Richard on leasehold in two weeks. It can be read here. Entitled ‘I beat bullying managing agents on excessive charges’: Retirement home owners fight for fairness as […]

Dennis thinks he has saved fellow residents £150,000 in service charges

Pensioner who defied service charges faces forfeiture of his £800,000 flat

By Sebastian O’Kelly A pensioner faces having his £800,000 flat in one of London’s prime riverside developments forfeited by court order for refusing to pay service charges that he could not understand. Astonishingly, the court action on November 28 is being pursued by the pensioner’s own neighbours in Plantation Wharf, Battersea – who may shortly […]

Baroness Gardner and FPRA Bob Smitherman at the meeting earlier tonight

‘Drive your MPs nearly mad to change leasehold,’ says Baroness Gardner

Around 250 leaseholders met in London tonight to hear Baroness Gardner of Parkes say that reform of the troubled sector is at last very much on the political agenda. “But to see this through you must keep on campaigning: make a real nuisance of yourselves,” she told the audience. “You have to drive MPs nearly mad […]


Carlex / LKP leasehold websites top 70,000 page views a month

The Carlex and Leasehold Knowledge Partnership websites have confirmed their position as a vital information resource for ordinary leaseholders. Figures from Awstats show that the combined readership of the LKP / Carlex websites topped 70,000 page views in October. This is an astonishing number and shows that there is growing interest among ordinary leaseholders for […]


Young barrister who won ‘legal torture’ case nominated for an award

The young barrister who represented for free the pensioners in the notorious ‘legal torture’ case at Oakland Court in Worthing is up for an award. Stephanie Smith, a barrister in her twenties, defeated Justin Bates, who was acting for the freehold-owning landlord and is a more senior lawyer in her Arden Chambers. Bates is an […]

Carlex re-introduces a ‘Forum’ – please do use it to share information

Last time Carlex attempted a forum we had to abandon the process owing to technical issues. It seemed to be slowing the whole site down. We are now reviving one and very much hope that Carlex readers will make it an active and vital part of the site. It is an excellent place to share […]

Full Carlex / LKP briefing notes on leasehold abuses for MPs

The following document was handed to MPs and Lords who attended the Carlex / LKP meeting at Westminster yesterday: From ‘legal torture’ to £1 million repayments to leaseholders A briefing by the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership and the Campaign Against Retirement Leasehold Exploitation- LKP/CARLEX. The meeting has been kindly hosted by Sir Peter Bottomley MP, who […]

Carlex supporter’s plea to DCLG civil servant to attend MPs’ meeting was ignored

Carlex supporter Michael Hollands is furious that civil servants at the Department of Communities and Local Government declined to attend the Carlex / LKP meeting with MPs yesterday. Hollands, who is a constituent in Nottingham of Kenneth Clark, urged the named official – who has responsibility for leasehold issues – to attend, but the civil […]

Sir Peter Bottomley heads Westminster meeting over leasehold reform this afternoon

Bottomley demands meeting with Housing Minister Mark Prisk

Sir Peter Bottomley is to calling for an urgent meeting about leasehold issues with Housing Minister Mark Prisk, following the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership / Carlex conference at Westminster this afternoon. “It is quite clear that pensioners and other leaseholders are facing serious issues and this need to be addressed,” Sir Peter told a gathering of […]


Retirement leasehold is a dud property investment, says Mail on Sunday

A bleak but truthful article by Richard Dyson in the Mail on Sunday analyses the plummeting values of retirement leasehold ­— and highlights the Carlex MPs’ meeting on Tuesday. Most articles in newspapers about retirement property are just venal puffs that are run in order to bring in the adverts. Unwelcome though the message may […]

Speakers at next week’s MPs meeting on leasehold

The line-up of speakers at next Tuesday’s Leasehold Knowledge Partnership / Carlex  meeting at Westminster for MPs and Lords, which is being hosted by Sir Peter Bottomley (right), MP for Worthing West, has been finalised. They will include the authors of three key reports on leasehold which have been published this year. The event, which […]


After £11,500 Peverel victory, Strand Court dumps second managing agent

In June Carlex reported how former wartime squadron leader Eric Matthews, now aged 95, had won back £11,500 off Peverel in a brilliant Leasehold Valuation Tribunal victory over insurance and other commissions at Strand Court, in Rye, East Sussex. And last month Matthews was interviewed in the Channel Four Dispatches documentary on retirement leasehold, which […]

Peverel’s approach to self-regulation is … you pay for it and it goes on the service charge (even though an LVT says it shouldn’t)

UPDATED 4/11/12 Peverel commented on issue: “The LVT decision you refer to was specific to one development. “We would prefer to resolve issues when they arise, long before an LVT is considered. We are therefore reviewing the use of Ombudsman and mediation services across the Peverel Group and will announce any changes when a full review […]

Progress report on our Houses of Parliament briefing

There is exactly two weeks to go before the LKP/Carlex briefing at the Houses of Parliament things are moving along at a pace.  All MPs and Lords have now received a formal invitation to attend from Sir Peter Bottomley MP. Our speakers are lined up. Key members of staff from the Ministry of Justice and […]


Dear Carlex readers, LKP and CARLEX have organised a briefing meeting for MPs and Lords at the Houses of Parliament at 3pm on 30th October. We need your urgent help, so that we can help you. Please write to your MP as soon as you can to explain why its very important they attend this […]

Exclusive: Tory chairman rocked by ‘get rich quick’ probe

So says the headline in today’s Independent newspaper. The same story is already  covered in almost every other paper. CARLEX readers may remember we wrote about the ex Housing Minister Grant Shapps and his double life nearly a month ago. http://www.carlex.co/mechanised-plagiarism-and-psycho-babble-are-grant-shapps-little-earners-outside-politics/#more-2604. Since then most of the web sites we reported as being run by “Mr […]

"We want exit fees tested in court," says Bruce Moore, of Hanover housing assoviation

Exit fees: what to do after the OFT/Tchenguiz deal

OFT website outlining the agreement is here http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2012/77-12 After a three-year investigation, the Office of Fair Trading finally expressed its view earlier this month that exit fees on sale were “likely” to be unfair … but that they still need to be paid. The announcement came in the form of a deal with the Tchenguiz […]


McCarthy and Stone and a media firestorm in 1991

The Dispatches programme on Monday night is not the first time McCarthy and Stone has been in the eye of a storm. In 1991 it launched a disastrous High Court action against the Daily Telegraph claiming £800,000 damages over articles about service charges. The fallout of the affair was that the housebuilder sold off Peverel […]

McCarthy and Stone proud of 35 years of ‘fairness and respect’

McCarthy and Stone has replied on its website to the exposé carried out by Channel Four’s Dispatches on Monday evening. You can read the page here It says: “Treating our customers with fairness and respect is at the cornerstone of what we do and over the course of the last 35 years, our staff have helped […]


Brilliant exposé of retirement leasehold on Channel Four Dispatches

Tonight’s Dispatches programme (September 24 2012) on retirement leasehold was a brilliant example of television journalism that was extremely damaging to both McCarthy and Stone, and to Peverel. It is excellent that Peverel’s disgraceful treatment of the pensioners at Strand Court, Rye, has been given a wider airing (search Strand Court on this site). But […]


Pensioner ‘spy’ to lift the lid on retirement leasehold 8pm tonight

On Monday night (8pm) Channel Four’s Dispatches carries out a special investigation in the fraught world of retirement leasehold with much of the material provided by an undercover pensioner ‘spy’. Carlex activists have been interviewed for the progamme, and we have given the filmmakers, October, every assistance over the past few months. It is understood […]


After Carlex, the Daily Mail takes an interest in Grant Shapps’ colourful business career

Full article can be read here or http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2204292/How-Labour-want-probe-Grant-Shapps-family-business-potential-fraud-claims.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Carlex activist told OFT exit fee deal with Tchenguiz also includes Proxima

OFT website outlining the agreement is here http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2012/77-12  Carlex’s concerns that the Office of Fair Trading’s deal with the Tchenguiz Family Trust over exit and sub-letting fees would be restricted to Fairhold, as indicated on the OFT’s press release of September 6 (see below)  appear to be unfounded. Carlex activist Alan Eadie has received a letter […]


Channel Four documentary on retirement leasehold on September 24

Channel Four’s Dispatches is to broadcast its documentary on retirement leasehold on September 24. Carlex activists have given full assistance to the programme and Carlex chairman Sebastian O’Kelly has been interviewed. Dispatches aired a documentary on residential leasehold on August 26 – Property Nightmare: The Truth About Leasehold. More information will be provided closer to […]

The headquarters of Grant Shapps' publishing empire looks like it needs to be re-housed

Mechanised plagiarism and psycho-babble are Grant Shapps’ little earners outside politics

Michael Heseltine it isn’t … but ex-Housing Minister and Tory chairman Grant Shapps has a flourishing little publishing business to fall back upon in the event that his political career comes to a grinding halt. Run out of squalid little offices in Enfield, north London, the Shapps family offer codswollop Freudian analysis of dreams and […]

Grant Shapps cuts Wikipedia references to property tycoons’ donations to his private office

The Observer revealed yesterday that the former Housing Minister and new Tory party chairman Grant Shapps deleted Wikipedia references to donations from property interests to his private office. He did so secretly, breaking the online encyclopedia’s code of practice which urges that those changing information in personal entries first identify themselves. The original entry, the […]

OFT does deal with Tchenguiz to cut sub-letting fees to £85 at retirement developments – but exit fees on sale still stand

OFT website outlining the agreement is here http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2012/77-12  The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has secured undertakings from Fairhold Homes Ltd and associated companies (Fairhold) owned by the Tchenguiz Family Trust  to change how they charge and enforce transfer fee terms in their 53,000 retirement home leases. The OFT has been investigating exit fees, which are […]

OFT announcement on exit fees not as “substantive” as we all hoped … oh, and the timing has “slipped”

OFT website outlining the agreement is here http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2012/77-12  When the Office of Fair Trading finally says something about the issue of exit fees, it won’t be concerning the whole leasehold sector but only one single company. This information has been given to a Carlex / LKP activist in an email from one of the OFT’s bureaucrats. […]

Pensioners in Oakland Court, Worthing, have been paying for the notional rent of the warden's flat since 1986

‘Legal torture’ Oakland Court residents settle for £68,500 … but two of the original applicants have since died

Residents at the Oakland Court retirement development in Worthing today accepted a £68,500 settlement of their dispute with their landlord over the notional rent of the house warden’s flat. Sadly, two of the original applicants have died and three have moved to full-time nursing care since the application to the LVT was made in April […]


The Dear Leader of Peverel addresses her adoring supporters with a frank and informative statement

The Carlex chairman draws on his experience of North Korea to translate the latest pronouncement from Peverel HQ Not since I was a young reporter sent to North Korea, and had to sit through hours of bum-numbing adoration of the Great Leader Kim Il Sung, have I read anything quite as extraordinary as Janet Entwistle’s […]


Dispatches reveals a host of leasehold fiddles on TV

The long awaited Dispatches documentary last night, Property Nightmare: The Truth About Leasehold, was an excellent and welcome overview on the issues facing leaseholders. The best part of it was the report on the plight of those leaseholders who have bought ex-local authority properties but where the block is still run by the council. Profligate, […]


The Guardian money editor wades into leasehold

The Guardian is the latest media group to write about leasehold today, with an online article by Patrick Collinson, the personal finance editor. Collinson, who has written on leasehold issues several times in the past, says The Dispatches documentary tonight will feature the case of Rona Buretto, who bought her one-bed flat in Hounslow, London, […]


Think tank urges £2 per flat owner to regulate leasehold

The leasehold sector “is not fit for purpose” and requires immediate regulation that could be paid for by a charge of £2 per leaseholder, according to the CentreForum report published today. An independent regulator – that is, not one originating from the compromised existing trade bodies in the sector – would ensure all managing agents […]


‘Some of the worst spivs in property are in leasehold,’ O’Kelly tells The Times

Ahead of tonight’s Channel Four Dispatches documentary on leasehold, ‘Property Nightmare: The Truth About Leasehold’ (C4 8pm), The Times today quotes Sebastian O’Kelly, of Carlex and the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, saying that there is “industry-wide fiddling” in the sector. “Leasehold gives some of the worst spivs in property the opportunity to make money by making […]


The FT’s shocking page 3 today … a report on leasehold

Ahead of tonight’s Dispatches programme on Channel Four (8pm) and the CentreForum think tank report on leasehold, the Financial Times carried a report on leasehold. It can be read on the FT website here, although you must log in.

Radio Four Today programme highlights leaseholder “rip-offs”

“There are clear instances of leaseholders being ripped off,” Chris Paterson, the author of the CentreForum report into leasehold, told Radio Four’s Today programme this morning. Interviewed by Justin Webb about the report, Paterson claimed that LVT complaints by leaseholders had increased four fold over the past ten years. There is unanimity for greater regulation […]

Countdown to a media storm over leasehold

Tomorrow (Monday August 20) sees the Dispatches documentary on Channel Four and the release of an influential report on leasehold by the liberal think tank CentreForum. There will be an article on the subject in The Times by property writer Deirdre Hipwell. But first off is an excellent polemic in today’s Independent on Sunday by […]


Property Nightmare: The Truth About Leaseholds on Channel Four August 20 at 8pm

This is the first of two documentaries about leasehold to be shown on Channel Four. Carlex gave extensive support and encouragement to the documentary.  The views expressed are those of the Dispatches filmmakers. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/episode-guide/series-111/episode-3

Caroline Lucas ... the Kingsmere case will leave you feeling green

Green MP steps in to help leaseholders who face £30,000 legal bills after bungled right to manage

Residents from the Kingsmere development in Brighton – who face legal bills of £30,000 following a bungled right to manage application – are to meet their local MP today (August 10). Caroline Lucas, of the Green Party, has taken an interest in the issues raised and is demanding to know how ordinary families at the […]

Question for Shapps: why is regulation of park homes good, and regulation of leasehold bad?

Why does Shapps want to regulate park homes, but not leasehold?

Housing Minister Grant Shapps is alone in resisting leasehold regulation saying it will add to costs and landlords don’t want it … even though the British Property Federation, which represents the country’s largest landlords, has assured LKP that it favours the move. But why – for the sake of consistency – does this minister feel […]

Shapps grilled on TV, leasehold report and OFT statement on exit fees

Today both Housing Minister Grant Shapps and Siobhan McGrath, the senior barrister who presides over the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal system, face the cameras as part of the Channel Four Dispatches documentary into leasehold. The programme will be shown on August  20. A second Dispatches programme on retirement leasehold is also nearing completition, although it has […]

Susan Wood

Pay back my £1,150 exit fee, or we are off to court

Veteran Carlex supporter Susan Wood is considering legal action against the retirement development landlord Fairhold on the thorny issue of exit fees and wants back £1,150. The case concerns her deceased father’s flat at Kings Court, in Sheffield, where Wood and her two siblings were charged two per cent exit fees on sale. One per […]

John Fenwick addresses leaseholders at the Worthing meeting organised by News on the Block

More than 50 leaseholder representatives gather in Worthing

More than 50 leaseholders attended a meeting in Worthing last week to hear John Fenwick explain how he managed to win a legal battle over £137,000 of service charges at his retirement development in the town. The fees concerned the notional rent for the house manager’s flat at Oakland Court, and dated back to the […]

Fraudster managing agent gets 30 months jail after using leaseholders’ cash to fund high life in Chelsea

Simon van Houten, 31, was given a 30-month prison sentence at the Old Bailey this afternoon after pleading guilty to stealing £122,000 from leasehold service charge accounts held by London managing agent Rendall and Rittner. Van Houten carried out the fraud for two years between 2008 and 2010 by issuing invoices for a bogus maintenance […]

Carlex question for minister Baroness Hanham after blocking leasehold protection: How many more pensioner votes does the Tory party want to throw away?

We are not going to protect leaseholders’ funds because … well, that’s what the last government wanted to do

The House of Lords was told today that key clauses in the legislation that would help protect leaseholders’ funds that are controlled by managing agents won’t come into force because this was the Labour government’s policy. This was the explanation from Baroness Hanham, Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government, why the Section […]

John Fenwick and Sebastian O'Kelly

Leaseholders’ meeting this evening in Worthing (July 25)

John Fenwick, who won the £137,000 LVT action at Oakland Court in Worthing, and Carlex chairman Sebastian O’Kelly are to address an open meeting for leaseholders on July 25. The event takes place at 6.15pm on Wednesday evening at the Chatsworth Hotel and all are welcome. Fenwick, 65, will tell how he managed to mobilise […]

Baroness Gardner wants leaseholder funds held by managing agents to be protected

After £122,000 fraud, Baroness Gardner demands protection of leaseholders’ money held by managing agents

Following the conviction of fraudster Simon van Houten, 31, the Rendall and Rittner managing agent who “can expect a custodial sentence” for stealing £122,000 next Thursday, Baroness Gardner of Parkes is calling for leaseholder funds to be protected. Next Monday in the House of Lords, she is to ask the Government to introduce a transparent […]

OFT promises ‘substantive announcement’ on exit fees in August

A letter to a Carlex activist reveals that the Office of Fair Trading, whose seemingly interminable investigation into exit fees has lasted three years, will be making a “substantive announcement” in August. The news comes in a letter of July 11 from Martin Harvey, of the “Retirement Homes Investigation Team”. But there have also been […]

Sort out LVTs and keep on exposing leasehold ‘legal torture’, says Sir Peter Bottomley

Sir Peter Bottomley, Conservative MP for Worthing West, praised those who have been exposing leasehold abuses in a statement to the Commons this afternoon. He also called on the government to examine the process of Leasehold Valuation Tribunals and asked for a written ministerial statement on their workings to be provided in September. He cited […]

This is not going to be a good week for Housing Minister Grant Shapps

No regulation, but I may make changes to leasehold, says Shapps

Housing minister Grant Shapps has ruled out statutory regulation of the leasehold sector, but may well introduce measures to improve Leasehold Valuation Tribunals. Furthermore, an announcement on the fraught issue of “exit fees” in the leasehold retirement sector, which are payable when a flat is sold, can be expected soon. These have been the subject […]

Elim Court residents in Plymouth are desperate to be rid of London freeholkder Israel Moskovitz and his business partner Joseph Gurvitz, who runs Y and Y Management

Gurvits / Moskovitz face RTM rebellion at retirement site in Plymouth

Two retirement developments in Plymouth are seeking to exercise right to manage against their North London managing agent and freehold owner: Joseph Gurvits and Israel Moskovitz. The residents are also contacting their local Tory MP, Oliver Colvile. No reasons need to be given for RTM as it is a no fault process. The freehold owning […]


‘Much to be proud of’ … Keith Edgar is leaving Peverel

Keith Edgar, head of Peverel Retirement, is leaving the company and house managers have been posting the news on noticeboards at Peverel sites. This is Keith’s valediction on the Peverel website: “After almost 20 fantastic years at the Peverel Group I have made the difficult decision to move on to a new challenge. It’s been […]

Tranquil Burford, in the prime minister's constituency, was the unlikely setting for a three-year row over service charges

Cameron wades into retirement dispute in his Witney constituency … but what about the rest of us?

David Cameron stepped into a row at a retirement development in his own Witney constituency where the freeholder is the Tchenguiz’s owned Retirement Care (BH) Limited and the managing agent was Peverel. Both appear to have bent over backwards to accommodate the prime minister, and – remarkably – Peverel walked away without fighting the issues. […]

John Fenwick and Carlex to address free leaseholders’ talk at Worthing on July 25

John Fenwick, who won the £137,000 LVT action at Oakland Court in Worthing, is to address a free conference for leaseholders in the town on July 25. He is to be joined by Carlex chairman Sebastian O’Kelly, who is also director of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership. Fenwick, 65, will discuss how he managed to mobilise […]


New chairman for Carlex

Sebastian O’Kelly has been appointed chairman of Carlex. In this role he replaces co-founder Melissa Briggs, who has decided to stand down owing to ill health. As property editor of the Mail on Sunday for 10 years, Sebastian has written on leasehold issues many times and, with Melissa, he is co-director of the Leasehold Knowledge […]

Eric Matthews, dealing with irritants aged 94

Wartime squadron leader, aged 94, chalks up £11,500 victory over Peverel

During the Second World War, when Eric Matthews, 94, was an RAF squadron leader, he was used to chalking up downed enemy aircraft. Now he is celebrating another victory over a lesser adversary: Peverel, which has had to pay back £11,475.34p. The money is being re-paid after a series of  inter-company deals by the property […]

Janet Entwistle: ‘There are problems with Peverel’s reputation, but new owners are in it for the long term’

Janet Entwistle has published a digest of the questions and answers either emailed to her or asked at her public meetings with Peverel’s leaseholders on June 12. The comments are a frank admission that the company has “problems of reputation” and address fraught issues such as insurance commissions, sub-letting fees and service charges – subjects […]

Leasehold Advisory Service denies seeking ‘bungs’ to pass on leaseholders for professional services

LEASE, the Leasehold Advisory Service, is a taxpayer-funded quango, so why on earth is it asking solicitors and others whether they would be prepared to pay referral fees to be put in touch with the distressed ordinary leaseholders who call up for advice? Referral fees – or ‘bungs’ as they are less politely termed – […]

Should Esther Rantzen be a speaker at today’s ARHM jamboree?

By a pretty wide margin, Esther Rantzen has been the country’s most outstanding campaigning journalist … so why is someone with her acute antennae speaking at this summer’s ARHM annual meeting? It is wrong to believe that the Association of Retirement Housing Managers is filled with cold-hearted cynics seeking to profit from the elderly. It […]


How you get scammed on insurance

Buying a freehold and then adding to the ground-rent income by loading the insurance is such a well known money-making opportunity it even appeared in the Sunday Times personal finance section as a “good thing to do”. The absolutely brilliant bit about it is that leaseholders do not have to be told what the commission […]

TV journalist seeking information on the retirement industry

A TV production company is working on a story about the retirement home industry and would like to hear from people that have bought a leasehold retirement apartment built after 2009. All information will be dealt with in strict confidence, please get in touch with Sebastian O’Kelly: sok@leaseholdknowledge.com or 07808 328 230

Sub-letting fees should not be more than £40, landlords are told (four times by the Land Tribunal)

Inevitably retirement flats are going to fall empty at some point, as the residents go into care or die, which leaves the owners’ heirs will the problem of what to do with them. Selling up is often difficult, as values of retirement properties have crumbled as badly as small inner city flats. Sometimes even more […]

Sign up for a date with Janet Entwistle

A “Customer Research Meeting” organised by Peverel is to take place next Monday (June 11) in Westminster, with one earlier in the day in Solihul. The move is the initiative of chief executive Janet Entwistle, who joined the company three months ago after it was bought for £60 million by venture capitalists. Entwistle is eager […]

Stop this ‘legal torture’ of pensioners, says Sir Peter Bottomley

A senior Tory MP has today placed a post on the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership website to express his utter disgust at the delaying tactics used by the freeholder  – whose legal team included Laceys, who proclaim themselves the “honorary solicitors” of ARMA – at the Oakland Court LVT earlier this month. Sir Peter Bottomley, MP […]

Pensioners win epic £137,000 victory over warden’s flat rental

In a landmark case, 40 elderly leaseholders have won an epic battle against paying for the notional rent of their warden’s flat through the service charge. Since 1986 this has cost the residents in Worthing, Sussex, £137,000. The battle was fought in the face of repeated delaying tactics by their landlord, the Oakland Pension Fund, […]

Leasehold Advisory Service: ‘Lawyers here won’t even speak to me because I cannot afford their fees’

An emotional Julian Shersby tells the Leasehold Advisory Service annual conference it is failing ordinary leaseholders.   In the last ten minutes the Leasehold Advisory Service annual conference burst into life this afternoon when a furious delegate grabbed the microphone and said the quango was failing to represent the interests of ordinary leaseholders. “I see around me […]

Hanover: we wanted court case on exit fees, but OFT doesn’t

Devastating criticism of bungling OFT investigation by housing association that manages 17,000 retirement properties By “Barrack-room Lawyer” The Hanover Housing Association, which manages 19,000 retirement properties, has issued a devastating criticism of the Office of Fair Trading for its bungling investigation into exit fees. The transfer fees that leaseholders pay when retirement properties are bought […]

April news headlines

24.04.2012 Peverel and Tchenguiz named in Parliament Both Peverel and Tchenguiz were named in a wide-ranging debate about leasehold service charges in the House of Lords yesterday. Carlex was also praised for its activities in highlighting exploitaton of residents in retirement developments. 23.04.2012 Lords debate on leasehold reform today Read our full report later this […]

HSBC faces £40m bill for mis-selling to elderly in care

This particular scandal unfolded between 2005 & 2010, during which period NHFA (an HSBC subsidiary) sold completely unsuitable investments to 87 per cent of their customers – 2,485 people in total -  in order to fund their care costs. NHFA was the leading supplier of financial advice on products to help pay for long-term care, […]

ARHM president Baroness Greengross says ‘sorry’ to Carlex supporter

Carlex supporter Brenda Banks was so indignant that Baroness Greengross, who is president of the trade body the Association of Retirement Housing Managers, dismissed complainers in retirement developments as “barrack-room lawyers” with too much time on their hands that she wrote to complain. Baroness Greengross Today, Greengross has replied saying: “I am sorry if my […]

Managing agents offered ‘incentives’ up to £250,000 to place gas and electricity contracts – spending your money!

By Barrack-room Lawyer A company offering bungs to managing agents if they sign up for new gas and electricity supplies is being touted to … all the members of the Association of Residential Managing Agents! An outfit called Energy Renewals is offering what it politely terms “incentive payments” of between £3,000 and £50,000 a year. […]

Buy freeholds to stay rich, says Sunday Times

Depressing news for anyone living in a leasehold flat: buying up freeholds is one of the best ways the rich can increase their wealth, according to the Sunday Times. One fund rose 5.8 per cent last year. This means freeholds are an attractive alternative to artworks or stamps, although London parking spaces have shown a […]

Wolverhampton flood victims win £16,000 at LVT … and are coming back again for £40,000 more

Celebrations at Market Square, Wolverhampton More than 100 residents at Wolverhampton city centre’s premier housing development were today(mon) celebrating victory in a battle with the landlord over a £16,000 repair bill – and are now planning to go back into action over a further £40,000 dispute. A tribunal has ruled that people living at seven-storey, […]

Baroness Hanham and Rupert Murdoch: spot the difference

One is parroting the non-policy of Grant Shapps, and the other has never met him or, if he has, asked no favours. Baroness Hanham and Rupert Murdoch By ‘Barrack-room Lawyer’ (As ARHM president Baroness Greengross defined OAP complainers in retirement flats with too much time on their hands) In last Monday’s House of Lords debate, […]

‘You are all barrack-room lawyers with too much time on your hands’ – says ARHM president

At the House of Lords debate on Monday, Baroness Greengross, a Crossbencher peer and the president of the Association of Retirement Housing Managers trade body, caused outrage by claiming complaining pensioners in retirement developments were “barrack-room laywers” with too much time on their hands. “She has a nerve,” said Julia Scott, who lives in North […]

“I’m not saying everything everybody did was wonderful — it wasn’t,” says Janet Entwistle of Peverel

Below is an interview in Property Week with Janet Entwistle, the new chief executive of Peverel. It was originally headlined: New chief plans to put Peverel’s problems in past 20 April 2012 | By Emma Haslett Private equity owners hope Entwistle will combat Tchenguiz effect. Emma Haslett reports Janet Entwistle, newly appointed chief executive of […]

Tchenguiz and Peverel named in House of Lords debate

Melissa Briggs, of Carlex, meets Tory peer Baroness Gardner at the House of Lords in February Both the Tchenguiz family and Peverel were named in a House of Lords debate yesterday on leasehold service charges. They were singled out by Baroness Gardner of Parkes (Conservative) – the only freeholders and managing agents named in the […]

A commission fit for a Kingsborough … Peverel’s way with insurance

In leasehold blocks, it is the landlord’s responsibility – and perk – to arrange the building’s insurance, though  as with everything else, it is the residents who pay. Where Peverel is the management company, it has until very recently used its sister company Kingsborough – which was also also part of the Tchenguiz Family Trust […]

Such a lonely and obstinate Shapps: minister alone against regulation

The body representing the most powerful interests in British property fully supports greater regulation of the leasehold sector – leaving Housing Minister Grant Shapps isolated in blocking regulation. That was the main finding of LKP’s meeting with the British Property Federation’s chief executive Liz Peace and Ian Fletcher, who heads the BPF’s residential division. The […]

April news headlines

24.04.2012 Peverel and Tchenguiz named in Parliament Both Peverel and Tchenguiz were named in a wide-ranging debate about leasehold service charges in the House of Lords yesterday. Carlex was also praised for its activities in highlighting exploitaton of residents in retirement developments. Read full report here 23.04.2012 Lords debate on leasehold reform today Read our […]

London Assembly damns property management racket

A London Assembly report into leasehold service charges published today is a devastating attack on the Tchenguiz/Peverel stealth charge business model and it urges the property industry to clean up its act. Referring to “opaque” service charges regimes at numerous London developments, the report can also be read as veiled criticism of Housing Minister Grant […]

March news headlines

31.03.12 – Lords to debate leasehold abuses The House of Lords is to debate residential service charges next month. The move comes from Baroness Gardner (left) following meetings with Melissa Briggs and Sebastian O’Kelly, of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, in February. Baroness Gardner, a former Westminster councillor who as an Australian comes from a country […]

Charter Quay keep out County Estates Management

Charter Quay, Kingston: its LVT victory is the most damning document against the whole leasehold racket 29.02.2012 Today the LVT published its decision for HML Andertons to continue as their Tribunal appointed managing agent at Charter Quay, Kingston, until the end of 2014. In their findings the Tribunal made very strong criticisms of their Tchenguiz […]

February news headlines

Flat Living’s Leaseholder Seminar is reported to have drawn only 13 visitors, despite their assurance that over 50 had registered Flat Living’s Event in Bournemouth that took place yesterday, (organised by Belinda Thorpe of the online magazine and Residents Line Insurance, in conjunction with less than popular Property Manager MainStay) drew an audience of less than 20 […]

Chainbow merges block management business with Trinity

You read it on the CarlEX website first.  This Property Week article by David Doyle was published on the 27th January. Chainbow has merged its block management business with Trinity (Estates) Property Management to form Trinity Chainbow – an enlarged block management business servicing around 40,000 home-owners. At the same time Southam will realign the […]

Joanna Worth thinks Peverel's 1% tax on sub-letting is wrong

‘Sub-letting fees aren’t fair, and I’m not paying’

A fanfare of trumpets for Joanna Worth, 49, who is making a stand against exit fees. Joanna is defying Peverel, which is demanding one per cent of the capital value of her flat in Beckenham, Kent, because she has sub-let it out to a pensioner. So far she has received three communications from Peverel, including […]

Exit fees: second response to Carlex from the OFT

  Anyone having to pay stealth charge exit fees on selling – or letting – their retirement flat may wonder whether John Fingleton, chief executive of the Office of Fair Trading, is worth his £279,999 salary. The OFT has been written off as toothless several times. It obviously just hoped the retirement flat issue would […]

February news archive

As there is so much news to share, we are now publishing it as separate articles. Click on the read more links for the full stories 17.3.12 – Enfranchisement or buying your freehold News on the Block published a whole section on this topic in issue 58, plus various articles on service charges.  We will […]

Battle with Lakeside Developments and Trust Property Management

Colin Dennard, 71, had always been an owner of freehold houses, so he was astonished at how the charges mounted up at his 28-year-old son’s £160,000 leasehold flat in a block of only ten at Bournemouth. The development, called the Bays, had developers Lakeside Developments as the landlords with Trust Property Management as the managing […]

Chelsea Bridge Wharf wins first round of RTM struggle

Unhappiness at Chelsea Bridge Wharf For anyone thinking about buying Peverel – and the administrators are now in serious talks with a buyer – it looks like yet another flagship Thames-side development is about to slip out of its clutches. Chelsea Bridge Wharf, beside the old Battersea Power Station site, is in the process of […]

Chelsea Bridge Wharf wins first round in RTM struggle

Unhappiness at Chelsea Bridge Wharf – thanks to you-know-who. St George’s Wharf and Charter Quay, Kingston, are two other riverside disasters for Peverel For anyone thinking about buying Peverel – and the administrators are now in serious talks with a buyer – it looks like yet another flagship Thames-side development is about to slip out […]

London Assembly prepares evidence for leasehold report

The London Assembly report into the woes of leaseholders is shaping up to create a rift with central government, and particularly Housing Minister Grant Schapps. The Assembly is still gathering evidence, but what it has accumulated so far is pretty damning. With more than 90 written detailed written submissions there has never been such a […]

Aussie baroness told leasehold law is just fine as it is

The government has no plans to introduce changes to leasehold law, regulated managing agents, enforce a code of practice or even insist that managing agents belong to an ombudsman scheme. That was the answer on Tuesday in the Lords to Baroness Gardner, who is a former dentist known as Trixie who is from Australia – […]

Peverel: how to sell up and avoid the fees

Are you in a retirement property, and in a position of trying to break free fron Peverel?  Maybe you’ve decided to move.  Or maybe bereavement has forced a sale. Here are a few pointers to guide you on your way, which have been collated from actual experiences. However, if any of you have anything to […]

How the media reported the tenants fighting back in 2011

Tenants are Fighting Back There were a number of excellent articles on leasehold in the press during 2011, but we are singling out Patrick Collinson’s comprehensive Guardian article of 12th February: “The Peverel Tenants who are Fighting back”. (See our Press Page for the link to this article.) Patrick detailed the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decisions […]

How Southern Cross became an investment vehicle that couldn’t deliver

2011 has been a tumultuous year in the entire financial world.  However, some of the scandals which have been exposed have impacted particularly on the elderly. For starters, in June, Southern Cross lept into the limelight, for all the wrong reasons.  Southern Cross was a significant player in the Care Homes sector, with 752 care […]