Bob Bessell, the chairman of the developer Retirement Security, has issued a statement to Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation explaining why his company was expelled from the ARHM.
The ARHM announced the decision to expel the Stratford Upon Avon company, but gave not details for the dispute.
Bessell gives his explanation below, and adds his view that alternatives to the current state of retirement leasehold need to be considered:
“In particular, [Bessell] believes that the model of the management company being wholly owned by the leaseholders, which is the model in all of the Retirement Security developments, avoids many of the difficulties which have caused so much strife between freeholders and leaseholders.”
This is the first time a senior retirement house builder has urged an alternative to the long established retirement leasehold model, with all the controversial monetising opportunities that are involved.
Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation is eager to ensure that ministers, their shadows and ALL stakeholders become aware of Mr Bessell’s views on the sector.
Statement from Retirement Security:
Retirement Security Ltd was expelled from the ARHM because its Chairman, Bob Bessell, who was a member of the Executive Committee, believed that one of the ARHM long-standing employees was being badly treated and he informed her of what was going on.
In the event, the member of staff was made redundant and a subsequent independent enquiry came to the conclusion that the executive committee were in the right.
Bob Bessell does not agree with the conclusion of the enquiry, but as it was set up at his request, he believes that there is nothing more to be said on the subject.
It remains to be decided whether Retirement Security Ltd will re-join the ARHM, or if renewed membership is acceptable to the Executive Committee.
However, he believes that whatever decision is made, a great deal of work is necessary either to ensure that leasehold retirement housing meets the needs of a significant number of older people, or that alternative models of tenure need to be devised.
In particular, he believes that the model of the management company being wholly owned by the leaseholders, which is the model in all of the Retirement Security developments, avoids many of the difficulties which have caused so much strife between freeholders and leaseholders.
There are many other issues on which an informed debate is urgent if the needs of older people are to have the priority which they need and it is his hope that this will be the focus of the ARHM in the future.