North London freehold investor Israel Moskovitz, who is punctilious in resisting right to manage applications in the courts, sits as a director of a residents’ management company in Sunderland when he is not even a leaseholder.
The leaseholders have held an EGM to boot him off the board of Biscop House Management Company Limited, but he won’t go until outstanding debts have been settled up.
It is ironical to see Mr Moskovitz, who has deployed barrister Justin Bates to resist right to manage applications on the most arcane grounds, sit as a director of an RMC.
Indeed, the only other board member is his own company Avon Ground Rents Limited, which owns the freehold, appointed in June 2014 with Mr Moskovitz joining the board in January the following year.
The site of 22 flats is managed by Y and Y Management, which is run by his business associate, Joseph Gurvits.
All the flats are owned by buy-to-let investors, and the RMC was so neglected that it was nearly struck off in 2014.
At this point, Avon stepped in. A more correct procedure might have been for Mr Moskovitz, as the freeholder, to take over management of the site once the RMC had been dissolved. [But see Stephen’s correct point below; the owner of a freehold is a unit holder.]
Mr Moskovitz, who describes himself on his website as “a prolific philanthropist”, told LKP:
“At the time we purchased the building, we were advised that we are eligible to be members of the management company and therefore directors. Nonetheless, I have offered, in writing, to step-down as the director of the management company as soon as outstanding rent service charge and costs incurred are settled.
“This had been agreed to by the leaseholders’ representative. Only a later objection by a single leaseholder, who owns a number of flats in the block and has accrued a large outstanding debt, has caused a delay. We had also agreed that Y & Y Management will facilitate a smooth handover of the building at such time, despite having a considerable period remaining on their current contract.
“We will continue to work with the residents and step aside as soon as appropriate, once the necessary obligations are met.”
Israel Moskovitz, founder of Avon Estates, came to the UK 34 years ago in 1985, having grown up in Canada and attended high school in the United States. In 1986, Israel Moskovitz established Avon Group, with a primary focus in investing and trading in commercial property.
The Biscop House Management Company Limited memorandum of association 3.1 is clear that “no person should be admitted as a member of the company other than a unit holder”.
Further, 5.2 says “Save for the persons who are deemed to have been appointed as the first directors of the company on incorporation [ie not Mr Moskovitz or Avon] … no person who is not a member of the company shall in any circumstances be eligible to office as a director”.
The leaseholders held an EGM last month and appointed three new directors, and voted to remove Mr Moskovitz and Avon Ground Rents Limited.