Nine-year ban means he can’t be a company director again until he is aged 86
Joiner benefited personally from leaseholders’ funds
Breached Team’s management agreement with leaseholders
Judge criticises Joiner’s ‘lack of probity’
But … Team collapsed owing £636,000, so where has the rest of the money gone?
(Court case delayed by Mr Joiner’s unevidenced medical conditions, until patience exhausted)
Controversial leasehold figure Dudley Joiner, founder of the so-called Right To Manage Federation, has been banned from being a company director, for the second time. The ban applies for nine years from the ruling of 2 May 2023, by which time Mr Joiner may be 86 years old.
The ban follows a long standing dispute with leaseholders at Quadrangle House in east London which was taken to RTM by Mr Joiner’s Right To Manage Federation and then managed by his Team property management company.
Over the years there has been considerable ill-feeling at the site, where Mr Joiner ended up as the sole RTM director employing his own company, Team. It has been the subject of several articles on LKP:
LKP has been strongly critical of Mr Joiner’s business practices. Here is retirement site Chichester Court wanting its £27,000 reserve fund returned:
And Team going bust with £636,000 of debts:
And here is Mr Joiner banned for seven years from being a company director for the first time because he was “markedly cavalier” with other people’s money:
The high court ruling of 2 May followed a four-day hearing, and it is worth reading in full (below) as it demonstrates a rather more robust approach than that habitually encountered in the property tribunal. It states:
“The essence of the case … is the failure over an extended period of time to ring-fence and protect certain funds belonging to a major client, Quadrangle.
“Mr Joiner mixed those funds with funds belonging to other clients, and drew on them to make a series of payments to a range of beneficiaries including beneficiaries which had nothing to do with Quadrangle.”
Among those “unexplained payments” was £67,711 to Mr Joiner personally, which he said were for “non-budgeted services, and was frequently called upon to work unsociable hours”.
Another £279,562 was transferred to Team’s connected companies, which Mr Joiner said “are readily explicable by reference to work done”.
And £89,596 to Steve Joiner, Mr Joiner’s son, who is “a web designer and digital marketing expert”.
However, the court was not persuaded by Team’s accounting methodology.
In reference to section 42 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, whereby Team was supposed to keep leaseholders funds in trust, the court was extremely critical:
“Mr Joiner was personally fully responsible for the breaches of these important requirements, and for the failure to protect the money belonging to Quadrangle that was paid into the 7345 savings account over a period of years (amounting to £82,286). The improper business practices of Team exposed Quadrangle to serious financial harm.”
The judge, Jon Turner KC, took the following into account:
i) Mr Joiner remains a director of a number of companies, including RTMF Services Limited, the Right to Manage Federation Limited (which Mr. Joiner said is not currently actively trading), Harbour House (Wadebridge) Limited; and Harbour House RTM Company Limited.
ii) He holds himself out as an expert in “Right To Manage” matters, including speaking on the radio and liaising with Government. As the Secretary of State [for business] submits, he is relatively “high-profile” and the public needs to be protected from his conduct;
iii) In the course of the trial, Mr. Joiner has consistently demonstrated a marked casual attitude to the compliance with rules and requirements of which he was for the most part, it seems, fully aware;
iv) In various ways, Mr Joiner also repeatedly sought to cast on other persons the blame for many of the problems that are discussed above, when the likelihood in each instance was that the fault lay with himself.
This included, among other matters (a) blaming the legal representatives of Quadrangle for having by false representations obtained a court order including an order for costs against Team, which with hindsight he considered had precipitated Team’s insolvency; (b) suggesting that the Official Receiver’s representative had mislaid files of accountancy records supplied to him, or may have lost them in the process of reorganising them; (c) suggesting that his former bookkeeper, who had developed a grudge, had not sent electronic information to the Official Receiver when she had assured Mr Joiner that she had done so;
v) It is a matter of particular concern that Mr Joiner himself and connected persons have benefitted personally from Team’s payments, and that there are no adequate invoices or receipts to support those transactions;
vi) It is similarly of concern that Mr Joiner was responsible for numerous breaches of the management agreement between Team and the major client Quadrangle, ranging from the failure to ensure an audit of Quadrangle’s accounts, to the making of payments from Quadrangle’s funds for his own benefit and for the benefit of connected persons seemingly without having obtained the informed consent of the client (see paragraph 36.ii) above).
vii) Mr Joiner’s prolonged failure over the best part of a year to attend to the Official Receiver’s repeated requests for the electronic Sage company records, or the computer on which those records were kept, was also of particular concern. It led ultimately to the production of the computer with no meaningful information whatsoever on the hard drive, and I cannot accept Mr Joiner’s argument that at all times he was making reasonable efforts to co-operate with the Official Receiver.
“In summary, Mr Joiner has failed to appreciate and observe the duties attendant on the privilege of conducting business with limited liability, and he has demonstrated a serious lack of commercial probity and a lack of insight as to the unacceptability of his business practices.
“In conclusion, I agree with the Secretary of State’s assessment of the appropriate disqualification period, and I decide that a 9-year period of disqualification should be made.”
The full ruling can be read here:
It’s time ground rent was done away with. Landlords have already made money selling the properties and that as far as they are concerned is the finish for them. Just to wait for the money to roll in for doing absolutely nothing. Parliament were supposed to be making peppercorn payments only for properties provided for over 55,s. Let’s get it moving towards that target (almost everyone living in my premises is over working age).
With the vast sums involved that are not transparent and cannot be accounted for, this should be a fraud investigation and potential prosecution.