Portfolio managed by the Tchenguiz interests
The John Lewis Partnership Pensions Trust has told a leaseholder that it will ‘disinvest’ in doubling ground rents, which were brought to its attention by ‘a lobbying group’ – LKP.
Sean Greenwood, whose wife bought a Taylor Wimpey flat in Dudley, West Midlands, with doubling ground rent raised the issue that the John Lewis Partnership Pensions Trust now owned the freehold through JLPPT Holdco 5 Limited.
LKP met directors of John Lewis Partnership Pensions Trust with Sir Peter Bottomley last month.
The Trust invests in ground rents that are managed by the controversial Tchenguiz organisation, which is ultimately controlled by the Tchenguiz Family trust based in the British Virgin Islands.
Mr Greenwood writes: “The sheer fact that somebody can buy the ground out from under the home that you have paid for in full is disgusting and should not be allowed.
“John Lewis outwardly appears to be a company with fine values and ethics. I note that you are a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative, sadly it appears that your interest in sound, responsible ethics do not extend to your pension investments.
“Holding ground rents within your investment portfolio condones leasehold as a form of house ‘ownership’ (we don’t own the property, we simply rent it) in which tens of thousands of hard working people are trapped. I’m sure if you investigated, there would be members of staff within your own company who are in exactly the same situation as us.”
Martin Mannion, head of Trustee Services, replied to Mr Greenwood:
“May I first explain that John Lewis Partnership Pensions Trust (JLPPT) is a company that is the Trustee of the John Lewis Pension Scheme. JLPPT is legally separate from the Partnership and pension law does requires that the Trustee makes its own investment decisions. That said, the Trustee is very mindful of the ethical views of the Partnership when investing.
“The companies referred to in your email are associated with JLPPT/the Pension Scheme. Ground rents were purchased by an investment manager on our behalf some years ago. The Trustee operates through advisers and consultants and was not aware at the time that a small proportion of those properties were subject to the 10 year doubling clauses.
“The issue came to our attention through a lobbying group, with whom we have had contact. To your point about reconsidering our ownership, the Trustee has taken the strategic decision to no longer hold such investments and is looking to disinvest, as you suggest.”
“The sheer fact that somebody can buy the ground out from under the home that you have paid for in full is disgusting and should not be allowed.”
So true but being ‘disgusting’ has no legal status. one can be disgusting and still win Tribunal cases and pile on the cash.
For flat leaseholders, our homes are being sold to unknown entities all the time. and the fate of the buildings we live in decided by fraudulent managing agents and dodgy lawyers. I can’t wait for a government with balls to do something meaningful.
yes – far too many of us (understandably) have no knowledge of leasehold law – a relic of bygone ages. But those who want to exploit (developers/leasehold lawyers) are in a win-win situation legally. Lawyers with integrity (?) need to sort out the mess that their negligence has made.
anyone who thinks that lawyers are there to uphold the law are a little naive. The property lawyers I came across, are into the property racket themselves as landlords and freeholders and usually directors of associated companies. (or they have a spouse or they mum, or a nominee doing it for them, to circumvent money laundering regulation.) SRA likes to keep their eyes shut tight, and so do the tribunal judges.
You know when they said ‘justice is blind’? that must have been a reference to property lawyers.
fleecehold reform I hear your anger.
This is a true story;
1. Block of flats ( 6 max I think) In very smart area of London.
2.The premises were mismanaged and a request was made to LVT to appoint a manager.
3.Two of the flats are / were limited companies. The others were private leaseholders.
4.The private leaseholders ( 1st Applicants) made their application to LVT on 30th May 2012.
The 2nd Applicants ( limited companies) followed in July
To cut a story short- The 2nd Applicants candidate won because they were ‘ cheaper’.
However, the chosen applicant failed to disclose their professional relationship with the Freeholder of the premises…..
The 3yr management term has now expired and the ‘chosen candidate’ is now the sole director ( puppet) of a company which I firmly believe holds the Freehold to the aforementioned premises.
I believe that the leaseholders must be told of what is clearly a sleight of hand. What does everybody else think?
In addition to the above post- I believe that the ‘ Chosen Agent’ is still working as the agent as well as being the sole director of what I believe is the Freehold company.
Why am I not surprised? Leasehold law is SO complicated & opaque leaseholders can never hope to outmanoeuvre the cockroaches infesting their homes. Lawyers do that for a living – leaseholders are just trying to earn a living to pay for everyone else.
Thank god for the internet though, because these things are coming to light. Leaseholders need transparency, audited & published accounts and the right to enfranchise – basic things long overdue.
… and when we say accounts, we mean actual independently, audited accounts, rather than works of fiction and accrual accounting.
John Lewis Partnership Pensions Trust should divest from ground rent investment completely, if they read the Guardian Newspaper issue 29 July 2017 . and understand what has happened to the feudal system in Scotland and Northern Ireland
We should also look at other ways for leaseholders to buy their freeholds at a sensible cost. Ten times ground rent appears reasonable – already in place in Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, in Scotland I love the fact legislation rejecting leasehold doesn’t mince its words – it’s called the Abolition of Feudal Tenure (Scotland) Act 2000. Can we have the same in England and Wales, please?
Don’t count on it. Piece in the Telegraph today suggests more “regulation and housing court” from Mr Javid. Getting a strong feeling this is going to be a white wash.