In June Leasehold Knowledge Partnership reported how former wartime squadron leader Eric Matthews, now aged 95, had won back £11,500 off Peverel in a brilliant Leasehold Valuation Tribunal victory over insurance and other commissions at Strand Court, in Rye, East Sussex.
And last month Matthews was interviewed in the Channel Four Dispatches documentary on retirement leasehold, which gave considerable prominence to the issues at Strand Court. The case has also featured in The Oldie magazine and been the subject of considerable comment on websites, including this one and Channel Four.
But, sadly, the last year has not seen Matthews and his neighbours enjoy “the broad, sunlight uplands” that their victory over Peverel had promised.
Instead, the 50-unit retirement development has become enmired in a second dispute with Peverel’s successor: Burkinshaw Block Management.
Daniel Burkinshaw, a small managing agent based in Tunbridge Wells and a rising young star in ARMA – he was a speaker at the annual conference earlier this month – was appointed managing agent on a one-year contract in November last year.
But after only eight months, on June 25 this year, he was given his marching orders with a letter terminating his contract. Strand Court is in the process of being handed on to Housemartins Property Management.
Insurance commissions again featured in the fallout, with Burkinshaw disclosing to the residents after questioning in April that he had negotiated a 20 per cent commission for himself on the Zurich building insurance. There is no suggestion that he withheld this information, as the LVT ruled was the case with Peverel.
Residents are divided between those strongly critical of Burkinshaw, while others are more sympathetic and feel that he was wrong-footed from the start by the hand-over of the building from Peverel.
Burkinshaw was contacted for a statement, which we remain happy to include.
If Burkinshaws had declared from the offset that they will receive a 20% commission then it seems some what unfair if this is the reason they were being dismissed alas there is not much they can do about it.
I would comment further that any managing agent if they are going to make additional charges make it as clear as possible even to the extent it is page one of any management agreement this way there can be no confusion.
I would also add that perhaps the LKP were wrong to even publish an article with out knowing all the facts sometimes an agent and resident director can simply rub up the wrong way or see things differently.