By Les Thumwood
After eight months, Healey Court, a retirement development of 67 apartments in Warwick, has extricated itself from the grips of FirstPort and opted for right to manage.
With the backing of the vast majority of the residents, it has achieved right to manage with the help of Walton and Allan, of Nottingham, which is an accredited managing agent with Leasehold Knowledge Partnership.
A tipping point was reached when residents at Healey Court, which was built in 1989, felt concern over a quotation from FirstPort Retirement to replace the lighting with LED units.
At that point, Healey Court dis not even have a residents’ association, but a small group examined right to manage as an alternative form of managing the site.
The findings were presented to the residents, who were overwhelmingly in favour of the move.
The residents gave the group instructions to find a new managing agent and it shortlisted Walton and Allan and another managing agent. Both were then interviewed, and they presented to the residents.
Within four weeks of being chosen to manage Healey Court, Mark Batty, of Walton and Allan, presented the first right to manage claim to the Tchenguiz group’s E&M. It was rejected.
A decision was made to withdraw our claim and start again. Mark Batty formulated a second claim with further information obtained from residents to cover the rejected items and this was accepted by E&M on September 7.
A statement from the group reads:
“Getting released from the clutches of FirstPort Retirement has already breathed fresh air into the development.
“The past few months has shown us that working together with Mark Batty, of Walton and Allan, Sebastian O’Kelly, of Carlex / LKP, and the support of residents at Healey Court has given us the confidence that we have made the right decision.
“We look forward to working closely with Walton and Allan to ensure an efficient and well run site which in turn will increase the value of our properties and make give us the security that our money is being spend wisely.
“We would thoroughly recommend that Carlex / LKP is an excellent place to start for any development thinking about RTM.”
Right to manage means that the residents of Healey Court no longer have a management company imposed on them by the freeholder, but have one which is accountable to themselves.
Mark Batty, of Walton and Allen, said: “Making a successful right to manage claim to a landlord who is resistant to RTM is not easy. It will not simply roll over.
“At Healey Court, I was more than assisted by a small group of dogged leaseholders whose passion and ability to gather various important nuggets of information made the difference.”
Mark added “that without this help, we would still not have been successful.”
Carlex adds: Les and Bridget Thumwood, owners at Healey Court, were instrumental in gaining the right to manage, working closely with Mark Batty. They should be congratulated and thanked by all residents at Healey Court.
They are both more than happy to share their experiences with other assisted living / retirement sites, via email on firstname.lastname@example.org