June 28, 2017

99% of FirstPort’s 3,800 service charge accounts are up to date

Please follow and like us:
The FirstPort accounts department in action. The company is the largest property manager in the UK

The FirstPort accounts department in action. The company is the largest property manager in the UK

LKP / Carlex has not been backward in criticising Peverel / FirstPort over the years.

However, it is reasonable and fair that the company’s achievement in getting on top of the service charge accounts is recognised.

Here FirstPort CEO Nigel Howell (below right) explains that more than 99% of its service charge accounts are completed on time


nigelhowellThe Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 provides a statutory framework that governs how Landlords must deal with and account for Leaseholders’ money.

As part of this, residential property managers are required to submit a budget of the coming year’s costs to every development within one month of the year-end date, and accounts for the year within six months of the development year-end date.

As the largest UK residential property manager, FirstPort has 3,800 service charge budgets and accounts to complete each year, with scheme year-ends occurring at different months throughout the year.

FirstPort is happy to confirm that their budgets and accounts are up-to-date with over 99% complete on time per the Act, with the few remaining documents almost wholly complete awaiting Resident Management Company director sign-off.

As well as being timely, it is important that both financial documents are accurate, easy to read, and clear to ensure residents have the clarity on spend in their development and a transparent audit trail.

Therefore, whilst auditing the accounts is not a statutory obligation, FirstPort adopts best practice to provide an independent true and fair view of the finances of the developments.

Where FirstPort appoints the auditor all the accounts are fully audited by one of the UK’s largest professional audit practices, BDO.

The company delivers its development finances through a skilled team of experienced staff along with IT investments in an on-line purchasing and approval system and good accounts software to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of the budgets and accounts.

With its size the company can achieve scale purchasing power for development operating spend and passes all of the price and quality benefits onto customers, taking no commissions on the spend.

It also maintains completely separate real bank accounts for every development, held under statutory Trust arrangements with Barclays Bank, and all of the bank accounts are reconciled every single day.

Comments

  1. If 99% is correct, then 1%, 48 developments did not have their Service Charge Accounts completed on time. We at Ashbrook Court have only once in the past ten years received refunds within the six months, end of year date. This was after Peverel Retirement sacked the Residential House Manager for cheating us out of over £4,000 Service Charges. Senior Management claiming part of the refund was a Good Will Gesture only.

  2. Michael Hollands says:

    Well done to First Port for getting all these Service Charge accounts out on time.
    I am assuming this article is a First Port one and not Carlex.
    How many of the 99% were happy with the accounts they received, I assume that the residents of Warburton Court would be some who were not.

    • Précis of Carlex Posting:

      The CEO Nigel Howell stated Firstport Retirement delivers its development finances through a skilled team of experienced staff along with IT investments. With its size the company can achieve scale purchasing power for development operating spend and passes all of the price and quality benefits onto customers, taking no commissions on the spend.

      chas asks:
      Why would the CEO say “no commissions on the spend” these are carefully chosen words, and are not the whole picture, as Commissions & Rebates are allowed within: Management Agreements.

      “The Management Agreement”

      As in the Agreement with McCarthy & Stone and Peverel Management Services Ltd 03/06/1998

      As set out in Schedules 1 to V1 of a Sheltered Housing Scheme in Manchester.

      SCHEDULE 11 (schedule two)

      BASIC TERMS SECTION

      8. COMMISSIONS AND REBATES

      8.1 Insurance Commissions (ALLOWED)

      8.2 Commissions or Rebates that comply to 13.2 of SCHEDULE 111- (schedule three) (ALLOWED)

      It also maintains completely separate real bank accounts for every development, held under statutory Trust arrangements with Barclays Bank, and all of the bank accounts are reconciled every single day.

      Chas asks are the Bank Accounts, reconciled every day?

      Fact
      Firstport Insurance is paid 14% on Commission for using AJ Gallagher as the Broker, who then brings in Larger Companies, who actually insure the development. The Firstport Insurance and AJ Gallagher receive 3 Commissions between them. Circa (14% – 5% – 6%) only AJG claim Commission on the Development Insurance and the Terrorism Cover. Commissions as high as 40% have been paid, circa 2009/10 – 2010/11 which was over £1,000 each year.

    • Michael,
      I have checked the Expenses File (EF) Audited in 2016, it contains duplications of Invoices found in different codes.

      The EF shows Training Costs and Travel for Relief Managers hidden in codes 1200 Remuneration and 1210 Relief Manager.

      One invoices allowed for items such as
      1.
      Material of £540 for repairing mortar to Roof Valley Tiles, comprising one bag of cement and two buckets of sand, they used our water. Then washed the buckets used to mix the mortar, down drains we had just paid for to be cleaned out.

      2.
      Clean out two drains in carpark area, removing silt, the silt was removed from site costing us over £50 which we believe was spread over a garden area.

      Who checked these invoices before signing payment?

  3. Michael Epstein says:

    An odd post indeed from the Firstport Ministry of Propaganda!
    Their contract to manage allows Firstport to keep any savings resulting from bulk purchasing. Doubtless, Firstport will pass on a few percent of the savings in order to comply with their claims, but that is it.
    Even if 99% of accounts are completed on time (and audited) accuracy is the key.
    How come so many instances of “administrative errors” are found (always in Firstport’s favour) are discovered when subjected to a closer inspection?
    The audit is only an aspect audit which is close to useless. How many errors has it ever identified?
    About Peverel has recently featured the Fernwood, Newark development. It is one of the most shocking stories of Firstport’s incompetence and deceit among a vast catalogue of Firstport’s widely publicised failures.
    Perhaps Robert Howell would like to suggest a percentage figure for how many companies, such as Firstport Retirement apply for ARMA-Q accreditation and after nearly two years have not even been admitted as an associate company?

  4. Michael Epstein says:

    That the go-ahead for the third runway at Heathrow Airport has been given, will be of great comfort to Firstport when they make any statement.
    Finally, there will be increased capacity that will allow those pigs to take to the skies!