News archive

Housing associations lose £750,000 in SmartSource Water scandal

InsideHousing2

Following up the Carlex story of Hanover losing £500,000 over the SmartSource Water scandal, it now emerges that Housing 21 lost £250,000. Inside Housing, the newspaper for social housing providers, says SmartSource Water was like a “pyramid scheme” which has left several housing associations among creditors facing millions of pounds of combined losses.

Ripped-off pensioners, betrayed Carlex whistleblowers, four-year tokenistic OFT inquiry, craven trade bodies, Cirrus unpunished, stooges go into ‘liquidation’ … one minnow fined £1,777

– 2005 to 2009 Peverel cheats pensioners at 65 site by installing Cirrus equipment through bogus tendering – Carlex alerts police, SFO and OFT, and The Times publishes article on December 4 2009 – But Office of Fair Trading gives Peverel “leniency” for turning itself in at some point in December 2009 – OFT starts […]

OFT price-fixing cheat Glyn Jackson is back at Peverel sites

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Eight months after the Office of Fair Trading revealed the Cirrus collusive tendering scandal, scamming contractor Glyn Jackson is again working on retirement sites managed by Peverel. Glyn Jackson, whose company did not pay an OFT fine of £35,700 after going into liquidation,, is this week installing similar electronic systems with a new company at the Adelphi retirement site […]

Red Rock saves 156 leaseholders from £187,200 repair bill

Residents faced bills of £1,250 each to make good a leaking roof, now paid for by the original developer

Owners of 156 leasehold flats at the Hawkins Road site in Colchester were spared £1,250 each thanks to Red Rock, an LKP-accredited managing agent. Weston Homes built the high specification 12-block Hawkins Road site between five and seven years ago, but soon after the first leaseholders began to move in, reports of problems started.

Florries Law won’t help me with £43,000 demand from Haringey council

Haringey

Almost immediately after Eric Pickles announces Florries Law – his £15,000 cap for local authority leaseholders over bills for major works – up when up pops another anomaly. The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership has been contacted by an 88-year-old lady regarding a £37,000 demand from Haringey council. The fee comes on top of a £6,000 bill […]

DCLG leasehold team issues raft of improvements

DCLG

Retirement exit fees may get the chop, at last! The new DCLG leasehold team, with whom Carlex / LKP has been working closely, yesterday announced a range of measures in addition to “Florrie’s Law” (see LKP) and acceptance that the leasehold sector is far larger than was previously thought. They include referring exit fees in […]

Florrie’s Law means new £15,000 cap on repair bills for council leasehold owners

Expresspic

The so-called Florrie’s Law introduces a new £15,000 cap on repair bills for local authority leaseholders and will come into force this week. Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles vowed to introduce the cap after a 93-year-old constituent was landed with a £50,000 bill by her local authority for roof repairs.

Competition and Markets Authority issues update on leasehold study

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… But it wants further feedback, so let them have it! … Oh, and oldies are happier than those in non-retirement flats The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today issued an update on its market study (see below) into the provision of residential property management services in England and Wales. LKP / Carlex applauds […]

ARHM’s pathetic response to the Peverel / Cirrus scandal

RichardWheeldonsmall

… while “under review”, Cirrus sponsors the ARHM summer conference and is doled out generous contracts In the club: Richard Wheeldon, ARHM vice chair, part of the Cirrus review team and an executive of Housing and Care 21 housing association. It handed out a bumper contract to Cirrus in February, two months after the OFT found […]

Nine months in the making: ARHM rules on Peverel / Cirrus scandal

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ARHM STATEMENT INTO PEVEREL PRICE FIXING / COLLUSION FOLLOWING INVESTIGATION BY FORMER OFT. Starts The ARHM Audit and Regulation Committee has been working with Peverel to review the outcome of the OFT investigation into collusive tendering in relation to the supply and installation of certain access and alarm systems to retirement properties. This collusive practice […]

SFO scroungers: Phillippa Williamson, Christian Bailes and Richard Alderman

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Three SFO incompetents who also cleaned up over Tchenguiz – with bumper pay-offs! The Serious Fraud office has just paid Vincent Tchenguiz and his companies £3 million, plus another £3m in legal costs, but what of the other payments made by the SFO? Bumper pay-offs to its incompetent staff who messed this case up, that […]

Guy Fetherstonhaugh, QC, considers commonhold after LKP Westminster meeting

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By Martin Boyd Following on from LKP’s Westminster meeting on commonhold last month, Guy Fetherstonhaugh, QC, has written an interesting article published in Estates Gazette. Reproduced with its permission, the article highlights the relative merits of the commmonhold versus leasehold systems.

Serious Farce Office messes up again, with £6m so far to Vincent

BrianRix

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

Why does Peverel own these flats?

WhalleyQuote

Alex Ellison deserves to be congratulated for feeling something was amiss when Peverel began offering the prospect of selling the house manager’s flat at Mere Court. She did well to uncover the fact that the flat did, in fact, belong to Peverel, and not the freeholder, Tchenguiz. This was contrary to what the regional and area managers […]

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

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

… a flat that, it emerged, Peverel itself owned The daughter of a resident at Mere Court retirement flats 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 […]

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

McCarthy&Stonefloat

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.

Judge Siobhan McGrath apologises over Mire debacle

Siobhan McGrath, for 13 years senior president of the Residential Property Tribunal Service and now president of the new Property Tribunal

Judge Siobhan McGrath has apologised to the leaseholder 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 […]

[Eight] Ten days after talking tough, LEASE seems to have dropped ‘Mire for hire’

Benjamin Mire

UPDATE July 18: LEASE finally appears to have dropped the enterprises of controversial property manager Benjamin Mire from its professional directory – which are paid-for adverts.   Eight days after LEASE ruled that all advertising associated with controversial property manager Benjamin Mire be removed from the quango’s website, it is still there. On July 8 […]

Freeholder Sean Powell has major works demand slashed by £600,000

The Old Bakery in Kettering has witnessed one of the most blatant try-ons seen over monetising major works

But … the bill to Kettering homeowners was more than £1 million, including Sean Powell’s fees of 10% to manage the project – from London – plus the VAT … demands of £42,500 per flat were more than their re-sale value … tribunal throws out vast bills supposedly ‘to comply with building regulations’ … tribunal […]

LEASE dumps Benjamin Mire … after eight months of dithering!

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The Leasehold Advisory Service has finally decided to bar controversial managing agent Benjamin Mire from advertising on the LEASE website. The decision was announced today and applies to Benjamin Mire’s companies Trust Property Management and Benjamin Mire Chartered Surveyors. Mire, a property manager based in Colindale, north London, resigned from his judicial appointment to the […]

Israeli magazine reports London leasehold

IsraeliJimPeter

Two MPs closely involved with LKP / Carlex, Jim Fitzpatrick (Labour, Limehouse and Poplar) and Sir Peter Bottomley (Worthing West, Conservative) feature in an article on London leasehold issues published by Israeli magazine “ALondon”. Unfortunately, LKP’s Hebrew scholarship is not up to the task of reading the article. But with untranslated and untransliterated words such […]

Will insurers leave flooded leaseholders in the soup?

Floodwarn

Last week (Monday June 23) LKP met DEFRA Minister Dan Rogerson for a round table meeting with other leasehold groups about the flood insurance proposals in the Water Bill. All are concerned flooded leaseholders will be left out of the government’s Flood Re scheme. The only organisations seemingly unconcerned is the Association of British Insurers. In […]

LKP holds Westminster meeting on commonhold

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)

“Millions have an interest in leasehold living. Most would gain when commonhold or strata title becomes the norm.  “This meeting is an important step forward. “In the near future, abuse and misuse and the shortcomings of leasehold can be tackled. “For the future, there should be a timetable to end new residential leaseholds and to […]