The Hanover housing association has no set procedure for selling off house manager flats at its 104 retirement sites.
It has already sold 21 flats – more here.
As leases vary, each site is assessed individually and advice is obtained, Hanover has told Carlex in a statement:
“There is some variation in Hanover’s leases, because we have taken on responsibility for properties from other organisations. Hanover has obtained advice on a case-by-case basis in relation to the leases concerned.
“Furthermore, the sale of Estate Manager flats was carried out only where this met with residents’ wishes, following consultation with them which itself was governed by a legal process.”
Carlex deplores the practice of mining value out of retirement properties. It is particularly regrettable to see this happening in a housing association (and former charity) that declares itself
“an organisation known for its sincere, compassionate and respectful attitude to older people”
Elderly residents decide to agree to ending a resident house manager service – which is usually stated in the lease and was a planning consent condition when a site was built – in exchange for £15,000 paid into the reserve fund. A visiting house manager is a cheaper service.
In addition, service charges reduce because an additional flat is now contributing.
At sites where Peverel or Tchenguiz owns the house manager’s flat residents receive only £10,000.
In addition, Peverel’s refinancing in 2012 rested on a £25 million loan from Royal Bank of Scotland (who else?) secured against its portfolio of house managers’ flats. The leases for these flats were issued predominantly in 2009.
A senior Peverel executive is on record declaring that the property manager’s ownership of these flats could be challenged in court.
Hanover’s “sincere, compassionate and respectful attitude to older people” comes at a price, it would appear.
Here are a couple of rather well remunerated jobs on offer: