March 26, 2017

Pauline Jones brings right to manage to retirement sites in the North West

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warburtoncourtMacclesfield-based managing agent Pauline Jones today has taken another retirement site right to manage: Warburton Court, in Uppermill, in Oldham, Greater Manchester.

The RTM was won on the third attempt, and the entire application was handled in-house. Two earlier efforts, where solicitors were employed, hit problems and were declined by the freeholder, part of the Tchenguiz group.

Residents at Warburton Court, a site of 49 flats built by McCarthy and Stone in 2007, are delighted with the result. The new management takes over on February 1.

“We are thrilled to bits,” said David Hindle, one of the RTM directors. “We have had a lot of backing. When we thought we were going to have to go to tribunal if this last application failed, people were saying: go at it, don’t give up now.

“If they had to pay more money to fight on, then they would be happy to do so.”

Mr Hindle is happy to be contacted, via Carlex, by those considering right to manage as an alternative to having management imposed on leaseholders by their freeholder.

The victory means that Jones Associates, a mother and son team, has now taken four retirement sites right to manage over the past two years.

First was Metcalfe Court, in Romiley, near Stockport, in Cheshire, which gained RTM in November 2014 led by resident directors Maureen Young and Maureen Beech.

It was followed by Oakford Court, in Glossop, Derbyshire, which Jones Associates was already managing, but where the leaseholders wanted to take control themselves.

Then there was Guardian Mews, an Anchor Trust site in Sale, Greater Manchester, “which was a bit more difficult than FirstPort when it came to handing over the money”, says Pauline.

And now Warburton Court has at last come good.

The first two applications, which were made using the services of a solicitor, failed on the minor issues of meticulous paperwork that are so characteristic of right to manage set-backs.

In the first, the solicitors omitted to identify the hours in the day – not the days themselves – when the articles and memoranda of the RTM company could be examined.

The second rebuttal came about using a second solicitor because she advised referring to those leaseholders who were not members of the RTM company as simply “lessees”, rather than individually naming them.

“The solicitor wanted to appeal this in the tribunal, but she wanted nearly £5,000 to do so,” says Pauline. “We decided instead to make a third application from scratch and we will now do all RTM applications in-house.

“We do not want to pay solicitors again.

“Retirement RTMs are a bit different to ordinary flats because the picture changes all the time.

“You have people going into homes; people with power of attorney; people passing away. It does not stand still, and if there is a house manager all this information is getting back to the freeholder.”

In the North West there is now a network of right to manage retirement sites where the management is answerable to the residents.

Carlex warmly congratulates Warburton Court for obtaining RTM and thanks David Hindle for his kind offer to encourage others who are considering the same course.

We also thank him for encouraging local MP Debbie Abrahams to join the All Party Parliamentary Group on leasehold, which meets on November 16.

Maureen Young and Mo Beech at Metcalfe Court have been contacted by many leaseholders in retirement sites all around the country regarding RTM.

Carlex looks forward to the time when all retirement sites have management companies that treat the residents as the customers, rather than the freeholder.

One day it will be unusual to have a management structure any other way.

Pauline Jones can be contacted here

Postal address: 116 Chestergate, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 6DU
Office Tel: 01625 500774 Mobile: 07900 847234

Email: Contact Pauline Jones: office@jonesassociates.uk.com
Web: www.jonesassociates.uk.com

Comments

  1. WARBURTON COURT UPPERMILL SADDLEWORTH.
    We thank Jones Associate for all their work and encouragement during the past eighteen months of stress and disappointing results. They are a dedicated group and helped to keep us on track when we were’ down’ as we were at each spurious rejection from the landlord.
    We are still amazed by the devious methods they used to attempt to stop the progress of our application.
    What is more amazing to me is the fact that all their rejection methods are legal. Petty, but legal. The law needs a rewrite on this matter immediately and there should be a clear set of criteria for both sides to adhere to, tick boxes completed, and when clearly completed Right to Manage should be granted.
    Should mistakes be made in the application once rectified and returned it should be accepted and not made to repeat the whole time consuming and costly process.
    Delaying and vexatious tactics on the part of the landlord, each further attempt taking at least two months from it being presented to the landlord and hours and hours of repeated paper work and preparation by us all in between.
    Residents at Warburton Court were resolute and determined to gain the Right to Manage even as is said it turns out to be the FIGHT to Manage!!!!!!
    Well done everyone and let us enjoy our new, democratic future.

  2. Margaret J,

    Whilst most leasehold problems are very stressful as it has turned out, your news is a breadth of fresh air, all should be congratulated.

    If when you have time can you post these petty methods which are legal.

    My friends at Terry Mews recently fell foul and now will have to reapply

    So well done and please give further information when times allows.

    • Will be in touch a.s.a.p.
      Thank you for your kind remarks.
      M.

      • Hi Chas, Please see below the comment Ros Hindle has posted and highlighted two of the many sneeky petty moves E&M go to in order to thwart our democratic wishes.
        The post of Development Manager was advertised in house and with no notification to us. When we had the advertisement in the in house magazine pointed out to us it was for a ‘live in’ ,full time post which E and M must have hoped we would be unaware of.
        (To add to the deceit the post here was stated to be in Oldham, Cheshire. Inaccurate geography or deliberate mistake. )
        We had notified them we did not want a’ live in’ Manager as the cost is phenomenal as Ros describes.
        Dictatorship, devious and petty methods yet again!!!!!!
        Secondly, again as Ros states, they have dictated that we have a third ballot for the Development Manager position, organised by E&M, but not all residents have received a ballot sheet to date which again they dictate has to be returned within ten days. Yeh yeh.
        These are a couple of the methods they have used to wear us down ,hoping we will capitulate and just allow them to carry on using their sad and desperate tactics.
        Regards
        Margaret

        • Margaret,
          The role Development Manager (originally Warden Controlled) in our lease states:-
          “So far as practicable to employ the services of a resident warden (subject to holidays and sickness) for the performance unless prevented by circumstances beyond the Lessors control”.

          In 2012/13, Peverel Retirement our Managing Agent along with the Landlord and Lessor, Meridian Retirement Housing Services Ltd, decided to sell the Warden Controlled Flat, (House Managers Flat). To do this they required the position of Residential House Manager (RHM) to change to Visiting Development Manager (VDM). 28 residents were balloted using an Independent Company to oversee.

          The result was as I remember (to be confirmed) we were not shown the results, but the AM stated 16 residents voted to replace the RHM, 6 residents wanting the RHM to remain, leaving 6 residents who didn’t vote. This was 58% not the 85% you have mentioned?

          If the 85% rule was a minimum, we required 24 to have voted in favour of the replacement. Some four years later the RHM Flat has not been put on to the market. Questions have been asked, as we have been charged for:- Council Tax, Private Phone Calls, Heating and Lighting, Decoration, Removal of Rubbish, and Risk Assessments.

          Recent Area Manager offered us £10k to be paid into the Contingency Fund when the flat was sold, he was then removed, placed on Garden Leave and we never heard from him again?

  3. Les Thumwood says:

    Well done Pauline. Glad you eventually got it through.

    Your RTM and ours at Healey Court prove this can be done without massive legal costs. Just needs a bit of patience!

  4. The worth of Pauline Jones and her son Justin is finally being realized. Some time ago they advised me how to get a hyper inflated insurance premium reduced (Proxima/Zurich) , despite knowing that there was no prospect of the managing agent Firstport being replaced. The premium was reduced from nearly £7,000 to just over £2,700 and the residents also got a back dated refund. Long may Jones Associates continue to prosper. The industry needs more people like them.

  5. Rosalyn Hindle says:

    As a resident of Warburton Court Uppermill, I and the vast majority of residents are incensed that after a long and exhausting fight to get Right to Manage which comes into effect Feb 2017, we now have another fiasco with Estates and Management who act for the landlord Fairhold Homes (no 17). Our residential D.M left in Aug and as we feel disillusioned with the level of service that a residential D.M gives for the very high cost of the D.M.,s apartment plus all of the maintenance we got together and opted for a visiting D.M. E and M stated that we needed 75% of apartment votes to allow this. The R.T.M. Directors carried out a secret ballot with sealed votes which were opened and counted by First Port’s Relief Manager. This vote confirmed that 89.6% of votes were in favour of a visiting D.M. We sent these votes to E and M who then informed us that they would carry out another poll and sent out ballot papers by post informing residents that replies would have to be sent back within 10 days. Strangely enough, six days on some residents have not even received ballot papers and one resident ,who bought and moved in at the end of Oct has been told that he cannot vote as E and M’s paperwork is not up to date and will not be for 10-15 more days. We have now been graced with an extension of one week to return ballot papers. As we do not trust that all votes will be received we have yet to decide how we can get these to London in one package,as we know that one package of information about R.T.M. was sent by recorded delivery, refused the required signature and is still waiting to be picked up from a Post Office sorting office by E and M. Also we feel the need to have someone in London to witness the count, which is difficult for us living so far away. However Pauline and Justin (Jones Associates) who will be our new Managing Agents have once again come to our rescue and said they will do this for us. They have been our absolute saviours in all this, and the R.T.M. process,and we cannot thank them enough. We are now trying to contact residents who are away ,as well as owners of empty apartments and relatives of residents who are now too ill to vote, who have all previously expressed their wishes in a ballot box. DISGRACEFUL that First Port and E and M to whom we pay a lot of money seem to go out of their way to block our wishes in an arrogant way. As for the transparency which they bleat on about, they actually advertised and arranged an interview for a residential D.M. knowing that in an initial survey of residents the majority expressed a wish for a temporary visiting one, before any ballot was carried out, and without our knowledge that the post had been advertised. We are now in the process of highlighting the problems that we and many other Retirement Developements face in this country, through Carlex who do a wonderful job and press coverage.

  6. Rosalyn Hindle says:

    November 10, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    As a resident of Warburton Court Uppermill, I and the vast majority of residents are incensed that after a long and exhausting fight to get Right to Manage which comes into effect Feb 2017, we now have another fiasco with Estates and Management who act for the landlord Fairhold Homes (no 17)

    Chas asks are Fairhold Homes (no 170) both landlord and Freeholder?
    Do Estates & Management, with 3 employees represent Fairhold Homes (no 17)

    Carlex do a wonderful job highlighting leasehold issues, and we thank them.

    • Rosalyn Hindle says:

      Chas- Yes Fairhold Homes (no17) is both landlord and Freeholder. However, on the Land Registry, we believe that it now shows up as Litenace (still the Tchenguiz Family Trust). Estate and Management do represent Fairhold Homes (no17) but we do not know their staffing level.Yes we agree fully that Carlex do a wonderful job.

  7. Michael Epstein says:

    According to E&M a 75% majority is required to change from a residential to visiting house manager.
    According to Firstport only a simple majority is required.
    Who is right? The freeholder/landlord or the managing agent?

    • Michael,

      Sorry posters 75% is correct.

      85% was is a figure given, I was checking, and I had mixed them up.

      We at Ashbrook Court would have needed 21 residents to make 75%, when we only had 58%, which may be incorrect and why the flat has never been placed on the market?

      Maybe the ballot result was illegal under L&TA 1985.