The Daily Mail has “revealed” that Will Astor, Samantha Cameron’s half-brother, is a major investor in the leasehold game.
It claims that that the 38-year-old’s Long Harbour fund has the freeholds of 160,000 homes “on behalf of institutional investors”.
LKP very much doubts these investors are institutional, and draws attention to former Long Harbour billionaire Frank Sixt.
A Canadian, with a huge rural pile in Co Carlow, Mr Sixt is the most senior westerner in Hutchison Wampoa, in Hong Kong, which owns the port of Felixstowe and the Three mobile phone group, among numerous other UK assets.
Mr Astor is described in the Mail as a director of HomeGround Management, which looks after 70,000 freehold contracts for Long Harbour, collecting cash from leaseholders.
Latest accounts show HomeGround brought in £2.9million in 2015 and made a profit of £334,339.
The Adriatic Land web of companies, which hide their ultimate beneficial ownership behind nominee directors, are managed and perhaps part owned by the Astor family.
The Abacus Land chain of companies also appear linked.
The Daily Mail article is welcome in throwing the spotlight on the murky and anonymous investors who have decided to hitch a ride on the property purchases of a generation of buyers who were gulled into buying leasehold.
Will Astor’s dad attended the All Party Parliamentary Group on leasehold reform on December 14, having not previously displayed much interest in the plight of first-time buyers unable to sell their leasehold houses in the North West.
Tchenguiz group of companies are highly controversial freeholders
Peverel/ Firstport are highly controversial managing agents
Longharbour group of companies are highly controversial freeholders
Homeground group are highly controversial managing agents.
Tchenguiz property portfolios are being sold to Longharbour.
Peverel/Firstport are losing market share, showing a net worth of -7m pounds and are facing a large fine over their admitted failures in the Gibson Court fire., that resulted in the tragic death of Irene Cockerton.
Could a merger between Homeground and Peverel/Firstport be on the radar?
Or even a marriage between Tchenguiz-free freehold interests and the bulk of the controversial managing agents in the nick of time, leaving the potentially legally exposed rump to go bankrupt?