LKP Management

Sebastian O’Kelly

SEBASTIAN-OKELLY--144x150Sebastian O’Kelly was the Mail on Sunday’s property editor for 10 years.  In 2011 he  wrote about the plight of retirement flat residents facing inflated fees and unacceptable, peremptory management practices.  Since then he has been writing about leasehold issues concerning high-end London riverside developments, such as the £1 million settlement to leaseholders at St George’s Wharf, Vauxhall, in September 2011, which was obfuscated by a confidentiality agreement; the £500,000 re-payments at Charter Quay, Kingston, and the right to manage victory at Chelsea Bridge Wharf, in Battersea. He jointly set up LKP with Melissa Briggs  in January 2012.

Melissa Briggs

Melissa is a sales and marketing professional, IT consultant, political activist and veteran campaigner.  She is a co-founder of the Campaign Against Retirement Leasehold Exploitation (Carlex) and stood as an independent candidate at the last general election.

Martin Boyd

Martin Boyd had a career in IT and subsequently became a property investor. As a leaseholder at Charter Quay in Kingston, Surrey, Martin orchestrated four Leasehold Valuation Tribunal victories against his landlord, winning back more than £500,000 in over-paid service charges. The cases amount to devastating criticism of current leasehold practices and are reported on this site. Search ‘charter quay’

Bob Smytherman
Board member. Chairman of the Federation of Private Residents Associations

Bob agreed to become involved with LKP from the start when his expertise was called on in the design phase of the accreditation documents.  He is one of the most knowledgeable people in the UK in the Leasehold sector, and has extensive knowledge of the regulations that managing agents are supposed to comply with.  He is about to become Deputy Mayor in Worthing and, most importantly, he is the Chairman of the FPRA, the Federation of Private Residents Associations (see He has also been a panellist at several leasehold events, spoken personally to hundreds of leaseholders on a wide range range of related leasehold issues and has attended many meetings with Carlex and LKP.





  1. Adrian John Smith says

    Thank you for all your hard work in setting up this service. Janet & I managed to extract a refund of both a transfer and contingency fee from Peverel,because we had sublet twice within 12 months. One set of fees was returned after protracted correspondence. Although we were pleased to receive the £2250, we were aggrieved that we were still down by the same amount. The injustice rankles even more!I t’s nice to feel a sense of union with others that feel similarly affronted. THANK YOU ALL.

    • says

      What kind of Lease have you signed, 1% would mean that your property is worth £225,000.00.
      I can state that if this is correct then surly the MP from your constituency would be interested.
      The sense of union is reciprocated and Sebastian can provide my details.

  2. Sue Stuckey says

    LKP’s high quality impartial reporting will encourage more and more leaseholders to come forward and share their experiences and this can only be to the greater good.

    I may not agree wholeheartedly with your call for grassroots reform of the legislation. All lessees have a lease which sets out the details of their contractual relationship with their landlord. On the purpose-built estates, these leases will have been drafted by specialist lawyers who understand far better than the politicians the issues most likely to give vulnerable lessees the best protection of their property and assets whilst ensuring a fair and workable balance between landlord and tenant. In the case of one-off conversion developments, it is true that those minority of leases – probably drafted by your average high-street conveyancing solicitor – may not give lessees adequate protection.

    In addition to the lease, we have the more general laws so well encapsulated by the RICS in their ‘Service Charge Residential Management Code’. If you read this document together with the more detailed requirements set out in any lease, you may agree with me that lessees are already well protected without the need for more laws.

    It would have been neater and tidier if Grant Shapps had implemented all of the clauses in the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002. In particular, without section 152 ‘annual statements’, managing agents could take this apparent loophole in the law as meaning there is no need to provide lessees with good quality financial reports. Yet, if they were to read the lease and the RICS Code, they would find there is already a very specific requirement to do so. Again, the lack of section 156 requirement for separate bank accounts could give the wrong impression. Paragraph 4 of the RICS Code requires managers to set up a separate client bank account (or accounts); in paragraph 4.21, the Code says the manager ‘should never lend one client’s funds to another’. Without the implementation of separate bank accounts as set out in section 156 of CLRA 2002, this question of ‘loans’ between client account is impossible avoid in practice even if the paper accounts are kept separate. How do you account for the interest earned on such melting-pot bank accounts?

    I sumbit for the LKP team’s consideration that lessees are already well protected by their lease, the legislation and RICS Code. What is missing is enforcement and the abject lack of will on the part of ARMA and its members to do anything meaningful about it beyond a window-dressing exercise.

    Thank you all for your dedication to a worthy cause.

  3. james syson says

    I am currently a Chairman of a Residents Association of a residential block of 76 flats. We have around 86% of the qualifying flats as members of this association. We won an LVT case in 2011 to get rid of the incumbent management company and also won our case for unreasonable service charges. The association continues to work hard to build consensus and offer a democratic process to get leaseholders views and concerns raised with our new block management agent. We also want to carry out RTM and to this end we appointed a solicitor in 2011 and formed an RTM company. We secured more than 70% of the total number of qualifying flats as members of our RTM and was ready to serve notice on the freeholder. However a block management company, (unbeknown to us) had set up a rival RTM with the directors of this company as directors of the RTM company (they don’t own any property within the block) and secured support via various unsolicited marketing methods of around 15% of the total number of qualifying flats. We understand from various legal sources that the residents association backed RTM, which represents the majority of leaseholders can now not move forward. The management company in question refuses to move aside, even though they only have 15% of the total qualifying flats and has stated they will wait as long as it takes to secure RTM in their name and also become the new management company…… this not an abuse of the RTM process by a block management company? It is clear to me that in this case, despite our hard efforts over the past three years we, the leaseholders seemingly have no rights to control our own destiny. The management company in question also claims to be a member/patron of LKP?

  4. says

    James how was the issue resolved and was the company in question a member/patron of LKP.
    Sebastian please provide more info as it does not look good just to say the issue is resolved????

  5. John Spooner says

    I am the present Chair of The Leaseholders’ Liaison Board (LLB) with Birmingham City Council and have been so for some 12 years.
    The LLB is very limited and, at present, circumscibed, with regard to communication with the 4,500 or so BCC leaseholders in Birmingham. I feel that I should resign my Chair in protest to the way in which BCC treat leaseholders.

    I have an on-going issue (18-24 months in process) and I believe BCC are acting illegaly.

    Please contact if you are able to engage, offer advice or assist in any way.
    John Spooner

  6. Dan Sawyer says

    Hi I read the below (link on footer) with interest as freehold managers are claiming that the £40 ruling does not apply to them as it’s “notice of letting” which is needed and not consent.

    The wording in the lease is..

    “…to be given to the lessor notice in writing of such disposition…. And produce documents evidencing…. And to pay such reasonable fee appropriate at the time of registration in respect of any such notice.

    The latest letter says BREACH OF LEASE AND A FINAL CALL TO CONTACT them before doing section 168 etc etc against us.

    Grateful for any advice or pointers