BetterRetirementHousing.com has found that McCarthy and Stone is selling retirement freeholds to Adriatic Land, whose beneficial owners remain hidden.
Adriatic Land freehold owning companies, which are managed by Will Astor’s Long Harbour fund, have nominee directors from the Sanne Group, based in Jersey.
Pensioners in retirement sites – and any other leaseholder for that matter – should have a right to know who they are paying ground rent to.
The freeholder can also forfeit the lease in any unpaid money dispute above £350. Surely, the freeholder should be identifiable and based in the UK? Apparently not, in the leasehold game.
Please follow and like us:… but leaseholders are concerned it is selling freeholds to anonymous buyers … McCarthy and Stone complains about ‘right to reply’ to LKP / Better Retirement Housing articles McCarthy and Stone told The Times yesterday that there would be fewer of its form of retirement flats if the government reduces ground …
McCarthy and Stone told The Times yesterday that ground rents are essential to its business model.
How about changing the model?
Only 2 per cent of over-65s live in designated retirement property in this country, compared with 17 per cent in US and 12 per cent in Australasia.
The basic set-up of McCarthy and Stone is no different to how it was when John McCarthy was knocking out what he called “granny flats” in the Seventies.
True, McCarthy and Stone has created head leases which means it manages its sites itself (even when it sells the freeholds). But it was doing this in the Eighties when McCarthy and Stone owned Peverel.
It sold it after a disastrous libel action against the Daily Telegraph. More here
Under CEO Clive Fenton, who came from Barratt, the leases are longer (999 years); the management from McCarthy and Stone seems better; it has reformed some of the egregious fees on subletting. (It had dropped exit fees which the company had pioneered in 2008, once the Office of Fair Trading began its investigation into this try-on-too-far.)
If it is really the case that McCarthy and Stone needs leasehold in order to survive, that is not good news.
Ground rents are for no service whatsoever. We would have a healthier housing market without them.
McCarthy and Stone has complained that we do not give it a fair hearing. It is welcome to provide a piece arguing the case for ground rents.