Pensioners at two Stonewater housing association retirement sites are said to be seeking right to manage using Freemont Property Managers – the company founded by ex-Peverel politburo members.
Some held senior positions in the company when Peverel’s subsidiary Cirrus was systematically cheating pensioners in a price fixing racket that was busted by the Office of Fair Trading. Full archive here
The elderly and vulnerable were robbed of £1.4 million at 65 retirement sites between 2005 and 2009, according to the OFT.
Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation has been told that leasehold residents at Grace Darling House, a 28 flat site at Vallis Close, Green Lane, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1XZ, and Avonlea Court (52 flats) at Cloverdale Drive, Longwell Green, Bristol, BS30 9XZ, are employing Freemont Property Managers to achieve RTM.
Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation contacted former Peverel CEO Nigel Bannister and former managing director of Peverel Retirement Keith Edgar, both of whom are founders of Freemont, for comment.
Neither Mr Bannister nor Mr Edgar were renowned for supporting leaseholders’ RTM when they held senior positions at Peverel.
Freemont Property Managers (“Honest, flexible, professional”) states on its website: “Need help and advice with right to manage? We are here to guide you through the process.”
Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation’s correspondence was copied to the local MPs Robert Syms, Poole, and Chris Skidmore, Kingswood, Bristol, and Sir Peter Bottomley, MP patron of Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation.
Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation asked:
“Given that you are offering this service to ordinary leaseholders, including those in advanced old age, rather than informed leasehold sector professionals, is it not appropriate for you to address publicly the most egregious scandal in retirement housing in the last 30 years?”
There was no reply.
Just before the OFT began its inquiry, Mr Bannister informed the Times newspaper in an interview in November 2009:
“People are reading a conspiracy into a problem that isn’t there. We use Cirrus because it is an excellent service.”
A fortnight later, Peverel / Cirrus was co-operating with the OFT investigation into just such a conspiracy.