… in a speech that ALL leaseholders have been waiting to hear
Sir Peter Bottomley made the speech all leaseholder victims of the system were waiting for when he condemned the current practices in the flawed sector.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the Federation of Private Residents’ Associations – which LKP urges all RAs to join – Sir Peter Bottomley said:
Commonhold should be adopted
Forfeiture of leases should end (to find out why read the astonishing case of Dennis Jackson who came within a hair’s breadth of losing his £800,000 flat in a closed court from which the public were thrown out).
Lawyers and other leasehold professionals who play the system – bludgeoning leaseholders into line with terrifying legal costs – should be named and shamed.
End to lawyers delaying right to manage on frivolous grounds, such as not having the letters “RTM” in their title.
End to barristers’ favoured wheeze with lay applicants of dumping a massive submission on the day of the hearing.
Bring on criminal proceedings against those using leasehold to carry on outright fraud.
Publicly expose price-fixing cartels that have cheated pensioners of thousands of pounds, rather than allow the authorities to make cosy confidential deals which means the wrong-doing is not exposed in court and punished.
He demanded that the Judicial Conduct Investigation Office publish the report into Benjamin Mire, the chartered surveyor who resigned his judicial appointment following complaints of a conflict of interest.
An excellent and consise speech. Sir Peter has to be congratulated on his endeavours to put leasehold issues on the political menu.
But … Forfeiture is a clause traditionally vital in all leases short or long term. I am not a Lawyer but I have always been led to believe that in a short term lease (not necessarily an AST) must have a forfeiture clause in order to be able to take back possession.
Forfeiture in a long term lease can have unfair consequences but not always. A friend of mine had a flat in a small block in Nottingham of fairly old flats had a long term problem with one of the Leaseholders (they owned their own freehold). He was a drug addict who made their lives a misery, inviting all the vagrants he could find to the flat, it was left empty for a years and he never paid any service charges. Eventually the other Leaseholders took him to court and obtained the flat through forfeiture otherwise the flat would still be vacant and in disrepair.
I agree with Susan. This is an excellent piece and I can only applaud Sir Peter for standing up for leaseholders rights.
For too long now Freeholders and their appointed Managing Agents have been allowed to get away with what I can olny class as criminal activities (confirmed by Sir Peter)
If this was any other industry it would be jumped on and stamped out a long time ago, but far too many of these companies have connections with the policy makers in the UK in ALL parties….
The unscrupulous elements of landlords and managing agents do not buy freeholds or manage buildings soley for the money they can earn doing that particulat task , they do it for the litigation fees that they always manage to tangle un suspecting leaseholders into……
My advice to anybody who is in a dspute with their current managing agents/freeholders is pay your service charge and argue later as they will love the fact you have started a fight and be thinking kerching, kerching…. Don’t give them the opportunity or satisfaction.
Arrange your own appointed managing agent by doing a Right To Manage where it can be done.
Any good/reputable managing agents worth their fee’s will help you do this.
I fully agree with Susan and Karen. Additionally,leaseholders should take full advantage of the help and experience offered by sites such as LKP/ Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation. The FPRA, which hosted the event for a nominal membership fee (around £2 -£3 per leaseholder is a source of great information and practical advice.
Essentially what they and other sites are doing is putting leaseholders at the top of the learning curve so they avoid the traps freeholders are just waiting for inexperienced leaseholders to fall in.
Having mentioned LKP/Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation and the FPRA i should in fairness mention Peverel Action, who have played an important part in the fight for justice. I understand that “technical issues” afflicted the site.
However, thanks to the work of some very dedicated people a new site” About Peverel” has been launched with the aim of carrying on the work of Peverel Action
I have watched the speech with Sir Peter Bottomley and feel that at last we have a champion who has knowledge of the likes of Peverel Retirement Division.
I have a meeting on the 21/11/13 where we will be discussing the Future Peverel Management where Mr Whalley, Peverel Regional Manager and Mr Cooper, Area Manager have been asked for an agenda. The Area manager when asked for the agenda, at a meeting last week, stated that Mr Whalley had decided that there was not a requirement for an agenda, as Mr Whalley was going to explain about the Right To Manage? Peverel will not allow any development to be taken down that road.
I have asked for a balanced view to be allowed and Sebastian Okelly (SO) had agreed to attend but we had a letter from Mr Whalley, that only residents can attend our meetings.
I had a meeting today with our MP, Mr Philip Dunne his secretary, along with our Ward Councillor Mr Lee Chapman and my very good neighbour Kevin. We explained how Peverel Retirement Division had continually provided poor management at excessive costs and ignored the questions asked of the Regional Manager who had decided not to reimburse us residents with the refunds that we are owed.
The Head of Peverel Development, Carol Crowe has refused to confirm questions asked have been answered truthfully, openly and transparent.
This is typical of Peverel and I will send a copy of my emails to supporters who Sebastian agree are our friends.
Well done Sir, but, what about those of us on Mixed Developments which have been taken over without consent from the Home Owners, who are in the main, Freehold Owners.
Agreed- it is a ridiculous notion to have a scheme with a handful of houses and several blocks with shared areas (lawns drives gate entry systems, even staff), come under two management regimes, or are excluded from RTM or even participation in enfranchisement. Moreover, freehold houses pay, pro rata, for the same services but are outside the protections of S19- “fair and reasonable” and have to resort to limited redress under the Supply of Good and Services legislation.
Ask Sebastian for my contact details and I will check out what seems to be a further serious problem with the outdated leasehold/freehold situation we have now.
I have spoken today with our MP, Mr Peter Dunne, who has shown a concern with the leasehold and commonhold aspects of us elderly residents and the problems of Managing Agents such as Peverel Retirement Division who is run by Carol Crowe, Head of Peverel Retirement Division where Peverel Retirement is only a BRAND NAME, SINCE, Peverel Retirement Ltd no longer trades?
I have included Carol Crowe in many emails, yet only after 6 months, has she now responded saying that the emails were Cc as her PA, and STAFF HAVE INFORMED HER and were not directed to her PERSONALLY, this frightens me.
Carol Crowe has finally responded in a totally negative way, through her PA. This shows how Peverel Retirement Division consider, how they are required to respond to us Dribbling Geriatric.
I am aware on another site that where the owners are being offered commonhold by the freeholder( bizarrely) rather than enfranchisement, the mortgagees are not exactly open to it . That will have to be addressed as it is not only going to require conversion of all the individual leasehold titles to commonhold units, but a fee generator for lenders valuers and solicitors etc in doing so. Landlords retaining units or areas on site ( house manager flats and offices) will want their costs covered………
The offer is perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek. Try to take it up and you will find the freeholder needs one hundred per cent of leaseholders to be in favour. Just one single dissenting vote will kill the purchase. Bear in mind that only a limited number of properties are owner-occupied. Some will be rented out by private landlords and some by corporate landlords. It is known that there can be informal ties between certain corporate landlords and certain management companies.
One thousand thank-you’s to Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation, LKP, Sir Peter, and others who work tirelessly to improve this discraceful leasehold situation. I fully support Sir Peter’s recommendations.
This was one of the best leasehold meetings which I attended. I have been attending several leasehold meetings over the years and wanted answer to my very serious needs. On Tuesday night 12/11/2013, I walked with hope from the meeting, full of hopes and joy. I also send one thousand thanks to LKP, Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation and Sir Peter.
Bravo, Sir Peter, MP for Worthing West – a man with the courage to call a spade a spade and the intellect to condemn all the fraudsters who unashamedly flout leasehold regulations for personal gain. These people routinely ride roughshod over the contractual terms of leases and the laws of the land except where it suits their own business interests to comply with selected clauses.
But shouldn’t we be asking what ARMA and RICS, the two bodies most responsible for day-to-day regulation of the long leasehold sector, are doing to support and regulate firms based on the RICS Service Charge Management Residential Code?
Then we might also ask what the accountants’ bodies ACCA and ICAEW are doing to ensure their members are properly accountable and comply with international accounting standards relating to service charge, notably ISA 800 ‘special frameworks’ as described in Technical Factsheet 172 and Tech 03/11?
Or what doe we suppose the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority makes of its members who, with breathtaking audacity, publish articles on their websites encouraging landlord clients to circumvent the law by persuading leaseholders to amend their management companies’ articles of association? Sir Peter has called for such firms to be named and shamed but why doesn’t the SRA take a more proactive lead?
As with the examples of the banking sector and the press, Sir Peter writes that an all-party parliamentary committee into the working practices of the long leasehold sector “could hope to make progress”.
I agree. Isn’t it time to get started?
Both regulate their members and the RICS code, under revision, is an approved code of practice, not binding, as it cannot cover all permutations, Any person will have to show why they varied from the code. It could be much clearer that this binds everyone, the ground floor landlord, Rigsby, to the Yacht borne jet set types, or the 2 little old ladies, and their dog, to the largest RMC RTE or RTM groups.
Many of us lobby for statutory regulation and in my case licensing but blue red or yellow, parties don’t want to know.
As to accounting as leases vary considerably even these technical guidance notes are defective and even companies house have trouble. The recent OM case of when costs are incurred, for example, conflicts with the practice of including accruals.