Solicitors squabble in High Court, while leaseholders face a £30,000 right to manage legal bill

Moral among residents at Kingsmere in Brighton has collapsedd after the LVT defeat, with one resident losing £3,000 of savings to mount the action. They now face a £30,000 loss and will continue to be managed by their freehold-owning landlord

Residents at the Kingsmere estate in Brighton, who have been left facing legal bills of £30,000 following a disastrous right to manage action, are being dragged into a squabble between rival firms of leasehold solicitors. Last Thursday (July 26) Yashmin Mistry, the leasehold solicitor with JPC Law who acted for them, was the subject of […]

Sub-letting leasehold flats should be around £40, LVT rules quoting precedent

Justin Hempson-Jones was more buffed up – legally speaking – than his landlord at the LVT

Leasehold Valuation Tribunals dealing with sub-letting issues are referring to the precedent established in February by the Land Tribunal by slashing landlords’ supposed administration fees. The fees have long been resented by leaseholders as the consent and registration of a sub-letting are regarded as simply a try-on by landlords, even though a charge of some […]

Fraudster managing agent gets 30 months jail for using East Londoners’ cash to fund high life in Chelsea

VanHoutenslider

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 […]

We won’t protect leaseholders’ funds even after Van Houten’s theft because … that was the last government’s idea

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 key […]

Baroness Gardner calls for leaseholders’ money held by managing agents to be protected

Baroness Gardner wants leaseholders' money to be protected

Following the conviction of fraudster Simon van Houten, 31, the Rendall and Rittner managing agent who will be jailed for stealing £122,000 next Thursday, Baroness Gardner of Parkes is calling for leaseholder funds to be protected. On Monday in the House of Lords, she is to ask the Government to introduce a transparent scheme, similar […]

Van Houten abused trust of clients and colleagues, says Rendall and Rittner

VanHoutenheadshot

The property management company Rendall and Rittner has made a statement to LKP about its former executive Simon van Houten, 31, who faces jail next week after pleading guilty to stealing £122,000 at the Old Bailey. A spokesman for the company said: “Mr Van Houten abused the trust of both clients and colleagues. Rendall and […]

OFT to make ‘substantive announcement’ on exit fees in August

A letter to a Carlex activist (the Campaign Against Retirement Leasehold Exploitation) reveals that the Office of Fair Trading, whose seemingly interminable investigation into exit fees on sale of leasehold retirement properties has lasted three years, will be making a “substantive announcement” in August. The news comes in a letter of July 11 from Martin […]

Rogue managing agent, who stole £122,000, claimed to be MIRPM qualified … and helped colleagues pass the exams

Simon van Houten, who was paid £42,000 salary, used East London leasehold accounts to pay for a "life beyond his means" in Chelsea

Simon van Houten, 31, the Rendall and Rittner executive who stole £122,000 from leaseholders’ accounts, passed himself off as a Member of the Institute for Residential Property Management and helped other employees at the firm prepare for the examinations. As a result of the case, IRPM is considering a rule change to make public the […]

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

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 […]

Shapps: ‘I have not ruled out making changes to leasehold’

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 […]

HML group with 33,500 units under management joins LKP

The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership is delighted to welcome managing agents HML Holdings plc, which has today joined the accreditation service. The AIM-listed company, which comprises HML Anderton, HML Hathaway, HML Hawksworth and HML Shaw, has 33,500 units under management, predominantly in London and the South East. The largest element of the group, HML Anderton, joined […]

Head of Peverel Retirement quits

Keith Edgar, head of Peverel Retirement, is leaving the controversial company, which has been criticised by Leasehold Valuation Tribunals for inter-company contracts and hidden commissions. In April it was named in a debate in the House of Lords. Edgar’s resignation is the first indication that chief executive Janet Entwistle, who arrived in March, will clear […]

Walton & Allen joins LKP and issues rallying cry to leaseholders

Nottingham-based Walton & Allen is a battle-scarred veteran of struggles where residents have wrested control from unwelcome landlords and their agents. Leasehold Knowledge is delighted to welcome the company into the fold as an LKP accredited managing agent. Walton & Allen was once a member of ARMA but has lost faith in that organisation. “We […]

Cameron wades into retirement row in his own backyard … but what about those who don’t live in his constituency?

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. […]

Free leaseholders’ conference in 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 Sebastian O’Kelly, director of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, who is also chairman of the Campaign Against Retirement Leasehold Exploitation (Carlex). Fenwick, 65, […]

New chairman for Carlex

Sebastian O’Kelly has been appointed chairman of Carlex to replace founder Melissa Briggs, who has decided to stand down owing to ill health. “Melissa was the driving force of Carlex in the four years of its existence, and the most effective campaigner I came across in journalism,” said O’Kelly. “She pushed retirement leasehold up the […]