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MPs told of the murky world of leasehold service charge accounts … by an accountant

The murky world of leasehold service charge accounts was laid bare to MPs and leading figures in leasehold at a Commons round-table organised by LKP earlier this month.Accountant Nick Hunwick, of Simpson Wreford & Partners which acts for 500 legal entities involved in leasehold service charge accounts in the South East, gave his overview of state of leasehold accounting.“Originally I was going to say that at the small end we do not encounter many problems,” he told the meeting, … [Read More...]


Law Commissioner Stephen Lewis says Carlex is right to expose ‘cowboys’

Carlex has been right to expose “expose the outrageous behaviour of cowboys” in the retirement housing sector, the Law Commissioner Stephen Lewis told MPs and key leasehold figures at Westminster.The Law Commissioner, who is presiding over an inquiry into leasehold “event fees” (triggered by events such as sale or subletting), said that the law is being broken, consumers are being misled and that leaseholders are facing “extortionate” subletting fees.Mr Lewis was addressing an LKP … [Read More...]

Leasehold snagging issues

Reader's inquiry about leasehold snagging issuesI recently purchased a Lease hold flat (Sep 14) in a purpose built property, the freeholder of the building is a private individual but the management is done by a Crown management company. The building is a new build having been built in 2007, my understanding is that new builds are covered by a 10 year warranty/guarantee.I have been in contact with the management company regarding a number of outstanding issues with the freehold … [Read More...]


Solicitor replies to LKP reader’s query over freehold purchase in block of two flats

UPDATE July 25: Mark Chick, a solicitor at Bishop and Sewell, has responded to this reader’s letter and can be read below. The issue concerns a leaseholder feeling powerless in a two-flat block, where the other flat owner has the freehold. Especially … when the leaseholder has let her lease run down to 69 years All comments gratefully received.I am a leaseholder of one of two flats within a house conversion in North London. The leaseholder of the other flat is also the freeholder of the … [Read More...]


LKP is now a registered charity

The Charity Commission this week approved the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership / Carlex as a registered charity.Its registered details and charitable objectives can be read on the commission's website here“We are satisfied that LEASEHOLD KNOWLEDGE PARTNERSHIP is a charity and it has been entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1162584.” Says the Commission.The decision concludes 18 months of effort to achieve this outcome.The directors of the … [Read More...]


Housing minister Brandon Lewis meets LKP / Carlex

Brandon Lewis, the housing minister, this week met the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership / Carlex, accompanied by its patron MPs Sir Peter Bottomley and Jim Fitzpatrick.The meeting covered the following:Lease forfeiture: LKP / Carlex says this nuclear weapon of freeholders should be ended as it can give rise to unjustifiable cash windfalls.No one in leasehold attempts to justify the latter.The case of the forfeiture of Dennis Jackson’s £800,000 Battersea flat at Plantation Wharf … [Read More...]


Dudley Joiner: Not relevant that I was disqualified from being a company director for 7 years

Dudley Joiner, the businessman offering services to leaseholders, has told LKP / Carlex that being disqualified as a company director for seven years has “no relevance to my current activity”.The ban was imposed between 1993 and 2000 in the Chancery Division of the High Court following an action by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.In the ruling (in full below), Judge Edward Evans-Lombe described Mr Joiner as “markedly cavalier” with other people’s money.The judge said … [Read More...]


FirstPort backs down over demanding £10,808 from leaseholder … and she is not staying silent either

A leaseholder at Phoenix House in Leicester has fought off demands for £10,808.60 from Peverel / FirstPort, represented by the debt-collecting solicitors JB Leitch.Jacqueline Henderson has been in dispute over service charges since 2010, which she claims are erroneous.After attempting to obtain the money for some time, FirstPort then threw in the towel and suggested that Ms Henderson sign a Tomlin agreement and confidentiality clause.The precise background to the dispute is unknown, … [Read More...]

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Will ARMA-Q bring change?


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 […]


Peverel Retirement up before the ARMA regulator before it can join ARMA-Q

A complaint about Peverel Retirement is being considered by ARMA regulator Keith Hill even before the trade body rules on whether it meets the criteria of ARMA-Q. The complaint comes from Alex Ellison, whose mother lives in Mere Court, in Knutsford, Cheshire. It concerns Peverel’s ownership and disposal of house managers’ flats.


Feeble talk from CMA at ARMA conference

– CMA soothes leasehold managers by repeating its skimpy MORI poll findings – 25% of ARMA membership still not signed up to ARMA-Q – ARMA does NOT manage 60% of sector – How relevant are the happy leaseholders of Liverpool in disputes elsewhere? With just over two months to go before the self-regulatory code ARMA-Q comes […]


ARMA-Q: a qualified welcome, but it is not a new dawn

COMMENT The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership broadly welcomes the draft ARMA-Q initiative, which may help resolve the less poisonous disputes in blocks managed by ARMA members. It has also made suggestions to improve it: first, to make the disciplinary procedures public, like ours; secondly, to strengthen the requirement to declare ‘conflicts of interest’ to leaseholders. It […]


Stuff the leaseholders and win an iPad – from one of the sponsors of ARMA-Q

Energy Renewals, which is sponsoring next month’s ARMA conference, is offering managing agents the chance to win a free iPad if they sign up for an appointment. That’s on top of incentive payments of between £3,000 and £50,000 a year if they offer up their blocks for new gas and electricity supplies. Large, corporate clients – […]


News archive


BBC told Charity Commission should stop dawdling over recognition of LKP

In a wide ranging BBC 5 Live Investigates programme on leasehold scandals – which can be heard here – Sir Peter Bottomley said the Charity Commission should recognise LKP’s application without further delays. He told interviewer Adrian Goldberg on May 24 (for which LKP reproduces the transcript below): “The Charity Commission need to register Leasehold […]


RICS exonerates Benjamin Mire in shock ruling

… but Bottomley names him yet again in the Commons hours earlier UPDATE June 4: Statement of RICS on the case Controversial property manager Benjamin Mire was today cleared of all disciplinary charges by his professional body, RICS. The result will be a crushing disappointment to leaseholders who have repeatedly complained about Mr Mire, the […]


Outrageous: Persimmon builds leasehold houses – for the never ending income stream

The Daily Mail today brings to light a scandal of current housebuilding: the building of free-standing leasehold houses. This is in preference to freehold, which is the form of tenure that these houses would normally be. The newspaper highlights London Road in Peterborough where Persimmon is building three bedroom houses and selling them as leasehold […]


RICS sets aside two-day disciplinary hearing for Benjamin Mire

Benjamin Mire, who frequently represented his client Lakeside Developments at the property tribunal while also holding a judicial appointment, faces a two-day disciplinary hearing of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors on June 1-2. Mr Mire, whose own firm Trust Property Management is based in Colindale, north London, is to be heard on four formal charges (listed […]


George Osborne’s childhood nanny facing £115,000 bill to council

Farieda Chandoo, 61, George Osborne’s childhood nanny, is a passionate believer in the right-to-buy – which the Tories want to extend to housing associations – but her experience of owning a flat in a council block has been disastrous. Now her case, reported on LKP in February 2014 here has been reported in the Sunday Times. […]


Bottomley tells BBC he will fight on for leaseholders

Sir Peter Bottomley, newly re-elected for Worthing West, told the BBC this morning that he will fight as hard as he can for leaseholders who have been ripped off. The interview on Brighton-based BBC Sussex also featured the retirement site Oakland Court where residents won a court case involving £137,000 paid in rent for the […]


DCLG to reform recognised residents association rules

Anyone needing a reminder why recognised residents associations are important needs to recall why this freeholder spent £75,000 for an afternoon in the property tribunal trying to thwart one. A recognised has the power to appoint a surveyor (in fact, au auditor) to go over the books. Now there is a discussion paper out from […]


LKP thanks its patron Ed Davey, who lost his seat in the election

Carlex / LKP is deeply saddened that one of its three MP patrons, LibDem Ed Davey, lost his Kingston and Surbiton seat at Thursday’s general election. With England voting for financial rectitude, and in alarm at the rising power of the SNP, only the Conservative party benefitted from the achievements of the Coalition. The result […]

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