In another blow to controversial property manager Richard Davidoff, of ABC Estates, the Institute of Residential Property Managers (IRPM) has decided to expel him.
The decision was taken on 17 December and follows expulsion of Mr Davidoff from the Association of Residential Managing Agents last November.
In addition, the IRPM is investigating the conduct of Mark Reed, head of block management at ABC Estates.
Both expulsions follow a property tribunal ruling last August where Mr Davidoff was found to have ‘breached his fiduciary duties’ after a disastrous performance as a section 24, court-appointed manager at a site in South London.
Projected major works estimated at his appointment at £10,000 were revised upwards to nearly £100,000.
The highly critical ruling found that Richard Davidoff was not a “satisfactory witness”, was arrogant and dismissive of the leaseholders and had proposed to entrust the major works to a company whose sole director was the wife of Mark Reed, the head of block management at ABC Estates.
The tribunal added:
“Any criticism of the conduct of the manager will be examined with care, because they are made against the manager in his capacity as an officer of the tribunal.”
Mark Reed had informed leaseholders that the company entrusted with the major works was Valens Contractors Limited, the tribunal heard.
“Can you confirm whether any staff members of ABC Estates have any connection to any of the companies that were asked to tender for the work?” a leaseholder asked, according to the tribunal ruling.
Mr Reed replied: “Not that I am aware of.”
This was surprising as the sole director of Valens Contractors Limited was then Lisa Velenski, Mr Reed’s wife, the tribunal noted.
Mr Davidoff’s expulsion from the IRPM on 17 December coincides with the decision of the deputy master of the rolls in the high court to refuse a strike out application by two ex-employees of ABC Estates facing libel proceedings from the Davidoff family and companies.
The two had used made-up names to post critical reviews of Mr Davidoff’s business practices.
ABC Estates and the Davidoff family – Richard, Hanni, Tamara and Debby – claim that the critical reviews’ meaning is that they are
“fraudsters and dishonest because they run a fraudulent and dishonest enterprise (or enterprises) which inflate prices artificially, charge for services not rendered and pursuant to falsified invoices and publish or cause to be published fake reviews of their services in order to deceive prospective clients into obtaining their services, and in so doing have committed criminal offences”.
The two ex-employees are facing the prospect of paying £36,000 in the Davidoffs’ legal expenses to date.
On the basis of the findings in the Blackheath Road FTT decision report, I cannot say that I am surprised that the IRPM has expelled Richard Davidoff and is currently investigating Mark Reed.
The IRPM wrote as follows:
I am writing to inform you of the outcome of the IRPM’s investigation into the professional conduct of Mr. Richard Davidoff.
The IRPM’s Compliance Sub-Committee has now concluded its investigation. It has determined that Mr. Davidoff should be expelled from the IRPM forthwith. That expulsion took effect on 17 December 2021.
An email containing the Sub-Committee’s decision, including his expulsion, was sent to Mr. Davidoff on 17 December 2021.
On behalf of the IRPM.