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Michelle Banks steps down at ARMA

Michelle Banks, the ARMA chief executive, is to step down in July.The announcement to ARMA members comes from ARMA chairman Martin Perry.“ … sadly I have to announce that Michelle Banks will not be joining us in this next phase [of ARMA-Q] having taken the decision to join her husband in retirement.“Michelle will be standing down from her position as CEO of ARMA in July this year.”Roger Southam, chairman of LEASE, issued a statement: “It was a surprise to see Michelle retiring … [Read More...]


We save money living at Woodchester Valley Village … but then we do all own it ourselves

When his retirement village outside Stroud, in Gloucestershire, went bust – with many of the leasehold properties unsold – Peter Wilson and the other residents decided to buy the site off the administrators, raised £2 million and now run the site themselves. The result is Woodchester Valley Village, a mutual ‘not for profit’ village. What the elderly residents have achieved has captured national attention. It is also a standing rebuke to some of the retirement housing providers operating in … [Read More...]

Pier Management admits issuing £120 sublet demand before reading the lease at Nightingale House, it is claimed

Pier Management issues £120 sublet demand on the dead

... Which did not even need to be paid by the livingLeasehold reached a new low with Pier Management demanding a subletting fee from a man who is dead.Nor was a sublet fee payable had Mr A Gaffney, of Dublin, been alive.Pier Management admitted it had not read the lease before demanding the money, it is claimed – a not infrequent omission in sublet demands.The leases at Nightingale House, in Stockwell south London, state: “The sub provisions 4 and 5 of this clause shall not … [Read More...]


Three MPs worth voting for if you are a leaseholder

Carlex / LKP has no political affiliation, and our three MP patrons – Sir Peter Bottomley, Jim Fitzpatrick and Ed Davey – come from the three main political parties.The below explains what they have done for leaseholders:Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative) represents Worthing West, which has a high number of flats and retirement sites.He became involved in leasehold issues following a dispute at a retirement site in his constituency where the residents wanted back tens of thousands of … [Read More...]


Should you buy a leasehold retirement flat, asks Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph yesterday published an excellent balancing article to the usual advert-friendly dross that accompanies features on retirement housing.It can be read here. Please do comment on it (and here, of course).Written by Fleet Street veteran Liz Hodgkinson, the article addresses the points raised by Carlex – which every would-be buyer of these products should be aware of.Sadly, too many families buy retirement flats in a hurry to address an immediate crisis.Only … [Read More...]


ARMA ends four-month farce after finally saying who its members are …

But don’t feel any obligation to join on our account!ARMA has finally published a list of its full members – more than four months after making the more rigorous ARMA-Q the criteria for membership.Until today, the only clue as to who was a member of ARMA was the stream of congratulations posted on Twitter, which began last October.Now at least the trade body is formally acknowledging its membership. … [Read More...]


Whistleblowers to Serious Fraud Office ‘wasting their time’

Bad news for LKP / Carlex, our MP patrons, and anyone else who cares about the Sisyphean labour of trying to encourage integrity and honesty in our corporate governance.The law firm Pinsent Masons has found that 2,500 whistleblowers approached the Serious Fraud Office, but that only resulted in a dozen investigations, the Times reports today.No great surprise, LKP / Carlex feels, having some experience of the cowardliness and tokenism of so many of our (well remunerated) officials. … [Read More...]


Right to manage in chaos after Court of Appeal decision

UPDATED with analysis of the decision belowRight to manage legislation is in chaos following Friday’s Court of Appeal decision to prevent RTM companies from managing more than one building at a site.The decision drives a hole through current RTM legislation and, in LKP’s view, can only be addressed with primary legislation.It means that any detached buildings on a site cannot be managed by the same RTM company.The victory of the landlords – who included Vincent Tchenguiz and … [Read More...]

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Will ARMA-Q bring change?


ARMA-Q: an ethical facelift for a flawed trade body

Next month the Association of Residential Managing Agents unveils its new ethical facelift ARMA-Q – having never, in its 21-year history, publicly expelled a single member. (See ARMA’s draft announcement pdf at the bottom of this article.) There is to be a 10-point “consumer charter” to reassure leaseholders and an apparently independent regulatory chairman, assisted […]


Stuff a leaseholder and win an iPad! The unpromising debut of ARMA-Q

Tomorrow, May 15, ARMA-Q gets a formal unveiling at the House of Lords and the corporates of the property management world will herald this as a new dawn. In fact, ARMA-Q was unveiled at the organisation’s annual conference last September, and that signified less bright “new dawn” than “same old racket”. One of the sponsors […]

ARMA-Q must expose managing agents’ ‘financial interests’

Robert Plumb
, chief executive of managing agents HML Holdings, which is accredited to LKP and is a member ARMA, considers ARMA-Q and the complexity of transparency for residential managing agents Growing leaseholder empowerment and awareness combined with the immediacy of communications will inevitably mean that managing agents will require a thorough understanding of what it […]


ARMA-Q solves ARMA’s problems, not those of leasehold

ARMA-Q, the scheme to give ethical credibility to the Association of Residential Managing Agents, was given the blessing of the government and the leasehold establishment yesterday with a House of Lords launch. Already the new ARMA-Q regulator Keith Hill (above), a former New Labour housing minister, has six cases of complaint to deal with “which […]


ARMA membership … Find out on Twitter!

In piecemeal fashion, ARMA is announcing companies that have signed-up to the new regulatory regime ARMA-Q on Twitter. These are the new criteria for membership of the trade body. The decision marks an abrupt reversal of a decision last week by Michelle Banks, the CEO, to announce the accredited companies in February once all applications […]


Now we are told Countrywide is STILL an ARMA member … well, until February 1

Staff working overtime to process applications “to take our members on a journey …” LKP / Carlex has received a statement at 11.14am today from ARMA addressing its peculiar manner of announcing the membership of ARMA-Q. Previously, we were informed that any company that had not applied to the more rigorous ARMA-Q regime by January […]


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Recognised tenants’ association should be easier to form

… because they can examine the books LKP / Carlex is very pleased the government has launched a consultation on “Making it easier for leaseholders to gain recognition of a tenants association”. A recognised tenants’ association has one significant power: it can call in an auditor to examine the accounts.


LKP and LEASE thank DCLG civil servant for helping leaseholders

The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership and LEASE jointly held a party last night to thank Paula Hassall, a DCLG civil servant, for her contribution to helping leaseholders. Paula was appointed to the leasehold section 13 months ago and helped bring about significant improvements to the leasehold sector. Sadly, she leaves at the end of this week to […]


Freeholders must not get away with ‘abusing’ leaseholders, says Bottomley in Budget debate

Sir Peter Bottomley intervened in the Budget debate yesterday calling for adequate resources to protect leaseholders from predatory freeholders and the managing agents that they employ. He also repeated his call for Parliament to bring in “commonhold properly” and stop perpetuating the flawed leasehold system. Sir Peter said: “I say to the Government that there […]


Stop keep asking who our members are, ARMA tells pensioner

Michael Hollands, an indefatigable letter-writer on retirement leasehold issues, has been told to stop writing to ARMA for to find out who are the current members of the trade body. The ARMA membership has been in a state of confusion since the January 1, the supposed deadline for application through the more rigorous ARMA-Q membership […]

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