Well, here’s a thing: today we were listening to the urbane Damian Greenish, veteran landlord and tenant solicitor, chair the conference of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners.
A very good job he did too, politely introducing the Law Commissioner Professor Nick Hopkins, barrister Mark Loveday and other luminaries of the landlord and tenant world.
We joshed him a bit, as is fair do’s (and is reciprocated).
While second to none in his enthusiasm for leasehold reform, needless to say, this is the third time he has had to gird his loins and do what he can to nobble any effort to make it serious – even though he retired from the Sloane Square practice he founded last year.
Like an old retainer from a Dickensian novel, Mr Greenish has come forth from his rest in the shires to do a final service for the Cadogan Estate, the aristocratic lord of the manor of Chelsea and Kensington that he has served so assiduously for his entire professional life.
A final tug on the forelock, before life’s lease finally runs down.
But what’s this?
In the Evening Standard on the way home from ALEP, one reads of a manager at Pemberton Greenish getting excessively refreshed in a pub and apparently calling “a fellow pub customer a c***”.
Nothing remarkable about that, even in Chelsea, of course, … except the customer turned out to be a not inconsequential employee of the aristocratic Cadogan Estate, which happens to be the firm’s principal client!
Apparently a fight had broken out in the pub, unforgivable words were uttered and the Pemberton Greenish solicitor has been sacked.
Which seems a bit harsh, all things considered. Compared with some leasehold miseries, that is.
“This bloke came up to me……”
With the greatest respect your reporting of this incident is misleading
It implies that Damien Greenish uttered the offensive word.- after all the first piece of information you see is the picture of the senior partner Damien
It is only when you read the article in full that it becomes apparent that it is an employee of that firm and not him
For Developments where site staff are used
FAQs on payment of VAT for site-based staff at developments
What are the changes and when will they apply?
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has recently introduced new guidance regarding the payment of VAT for site-based staff at developments.
The guidance requires that Property Managers must add VAT onto the cost of site staff collected through the development service charge from 1 November 2018.
This means that any site staff costs after this date will have a 20% VAT charge attached. This will not affect the other parts of your service charge, which already include VAT.
You can read the new guidance on the Government’s website here.
Why are you making these changes now?
HMRC has been very explicit in their guidance that VAT must be added to the cost of site staff from 1 November 2018. We have sought expert tax advice to understand this in greater detail and the findings have made it very clear that all managing agents, including FirstPort, must adhere to the guidance. FirstPort does not benefit financially from this tax charge.
Which staff are affected?
Site staff refers to a member of staff directly employed by us connected with the day-to-day running of an estate, dwelling or block of flats. At FirstPort this includes, but is not limited to:
• Development Managers/Assistant Development Managers
• Maintenance Operatives
What will the cost be for me personally?
This only affects developments where you pay a service charge and there are dedicated site staff employed by FirstPort. You may live on a development where this change does not affect you directly.
If you are affected by this, your share of the VAT will depend on the lease at your development. As with all charges, your share will be as specified in your lease. The exact amount will be highlighted in your next budget or service charge accounts as follows:
• All service charge budgets issued from 1 October 2018 onwards will show the VAT on site-based staff from 1 November 2018.
• All service charge accounts issued for developments with financial year ends from 30 November 2018 onwards will have VAT included on site-based staff from 1 November 2018. The additional VAT charge will show as a variance from the previously notified service charge budget, as these were issued before the HMRC announcement. Any overall surplus or deficit will be added to your next invoice.
When will I have to pay?
The VAT will be applied from 1 November 2018 and will be added to your next service charge invoice, and clearly marked. It will be part of the total service charge amount, payable in the normal way.
What does the payment I currently incur for site staff cover?
Individuals and teams working at your site ensure the smooth day-to-day running of your development. For example, Development Managers keep on top of any maintenance and local issues, concierge staff welcome visitors to your development and look after deliveries, and cleaners make sure that communal areas are looking the best they can be. The number of staff required on-site is based on the size and complexity of the development.
Will you make any profit out of this additional charge?
This is not an additional charge made by FirstPort. It is a tax charge applied by HMRC that FirstPort collects and pays directly to HMRC. FirstPort does not benefit from this charge.