June 24, 2017

Peverel cheated pensioners in £1.4 million tenders at 65 sites, says OFT

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… now ALL sites should exercise right to manage and be rid of them

… ‘the system is rotten’ to have allowed Peverel / Cirrus to get off, says Bottomley

 

UPDATE: Guardian reports OFT / Peverel / Cirrus scandal

GuardianCirrusUPDATE: BBC reports Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal

BBCreportsPeverel

OFTcirrus

The Peverel / Cirrus price-fixing scandal was finally confirmed by the Office of Fair Trading today, which found that retirement leaseholders had been cheated in tenders worth £1.4 million.

A “minimum” of 65 tenders were examined.

Because the OFT accepted the fiction that these scams were “first brought to the OFT’s attention in December 2009” by Peverel, both it and Cirrus benefit from “immunity from financial penalties”.

Carlex had, in fact, reported the issue to the OFT and the Serious Fraud Office and held a meeting in the House of Commons where these scams were discussed.

No one at the OFT seems to have read The Times on December 4 2009, where the Cirrus scam was outlined at some length.

Ed Davey MP, the Energy Secretary, and Sir Peter Bottomley have expressed their disgust that the OFT were suckered into a  leniency deal by Peverel.

“This is a complete scandal,” said Sir Peter Bottomley. “Other investigators passed the problem to the OFT and Cirrus knew they were in trouble.

“It is odd that by far the greatest offender gets off. The systems are rotten if they allow this.”

Peverel’s then chief executive Nigel Bannister was quoted in The Times in November 2009: “People are reading a conspiracy into a problem that isn’t there. We use Cirrus because it is an excellent service.”

So, it can at least be conceded that Peverel’s decision “to help with inquiries” was somewhat tardy.

The OFT statement today says it has imposed £53,410 fines on the other firms involved in the fiddle Owen Installations, based in Dorchester, Peter O’Rourke Electrical, based in York, and Glyn Jackson Communications, based in Leeds.

But … it hasn’t, really.

In one of those displays of confidence-sapping cleverness – that are so undermining of trust in our public institutions – the OFT fails to point out that Peter O’Rourke Electrical based in York went into liquidation in June 2012, and Glyn Jackson Communications based in Leeds went into liquidation in September 2012.

As for Owen Installations, “Owens has admitted its involvement in the collusive tendering with Cirrus and entered into a settlement agreement with the OFT in February 2013, thereby benefiting from a settlement discount.”

What did that involve?

So the OFT fines are pretty meaningless.

Sebastian O’Kelly, of Carlex, said: “The first task is to get the money returned to the retirement sites that were cheated by Peverel / Cirrus.

“The Office of Fair Trading – and government – needs to understand how appalled retirement residents, and others, are at this feeble and collusive so-called investigation.

“The leniency deal with Peverel is based on fiction and is an utter disgrace.

“The time taken to commence inquiries would not have impressed Sherlock Holmes: Peverel supposedly turned itself in in December 2009, but the investigation began in April 2011. Why?

“I have no doubt that this investigation would have been even more pathetic had not Ed Davey and Sir Peter Bottomley – with the prime minister’s intervention – backed Carlex’s demand to meet the OFT chief executive last September.

“That has resulted in the full investigation into leasehold property management announced earlier this week.

 “Although this investigation was not edifying for those who desperately want our public institutions to function properly, the fact remains that the biggest leasehold property manager – and the one with a near monopoly in retirement housing – systematically cheated elderly and vulnerable residents in its care.

 “All retirement sites should exercise their right to manage and appoint a property management company of their choosing.”

Oh, and here is a reminder of the directors involved in helping Peverel / Cirrus cheat pensioners :

Peter O’Rourke Electrical based in York went into liquidation in June 2012 Directors Mr Peter Alan O’ Rourke and Ms Tracey Sandra O’Rourke.

Glyn Jackson Communications based in Leeds went into liquidation in September 2012 Directors Glyn Jackson and Jayne Michelle Jackson

Owen Installations based in Weymouth is still operating and shown in Duedil as having an estimated turnover for the year ending Feb 2013 of £129.643. Directors Jeremy David Owens and Joanne Owens

 

Comments

  1. The controlling Peverel company was Peverel Group Ltd # 03073418.

    The Directors of Peverel Group Ltd at 4 nov 2009 were :

    William Procter ( resigned 14 Jan 2010 )
    Michael Gaston ( resigned 14 Jan 2010 )
    David Edwards ( resigned 11 July 2011 )
    Nigel Bannister ( resigned 31 Mar 2011)

    OFT should follow up by request to Companies House to seek permanent disqualification of these persons being directors of any UK company.

    • Ollie
      There are only 2 Directors still at Peverel that are shown on their website:-

      Mr Andy Davey who was appointed in:-
      2002 as Operations Director for Cirrus
      2007 Head of Cirrus
      2009 November, MD Peverel Building Technology Division

      Mr Davy could of been the person who handed Peverel over, on 04/12/09?
      Who was the previous MD of Peverel Building Technology Division?

      Maggie Searle Joined Group personnel as:-
      2001 Training Manager
      2004 Group Head of HR
      2012 Head of HR

      Human Recourse’s have a link to all departments?

      Michael Procter and Michael Gaston both resigned on 14/01/10 just a month after the OFT was involved?

      Nigel Banister resigned 2 weeks after Peverel Group was placed in to administration 14/03/11?
      David Edwards resigned 11/07/11 3 months after administration.

      What can be read into these positions?

      • I remember that Fleeced told us about “brokers commissions” overcharged at 43% on buildings insurance placed by by Kingsborough Insurance Services Co. 03479579. The Directors at 24 Nov 2009 were :

        William Michael Procter ( resigned at 14 Jun 2010 )
        David Edwards ( resigned at 14 July 2011)
        Michael Gaston ( resigned 14 Jun 2010)
        Nigel Bannister ( resigned 31 Mar 2011)

        OFT should follow up by request to Companies House to seek permanent disqualification of these persons being directors of any UK company.

  2. OFT name change (OFFICE OF FAIRY TAILS?)

    As expected the results are shallow and has not reflected the damage caused to leaseholders?

    Two of the companies involved are no longer trading, how are the fines to be collected?

    Of the minimum 65 tenders examined, how many more tenders were examined?.

    I believe the OFT now should be renamed OFFICE OF FAIRY TAILS?

    We at ABC had our Warden Control System (WCS) replaced in 2008/09 when we were informed that a lightening strike had damaged our system?

    Those who tendered for the WCS were Cirrus and Glyn Jackson and the tenders were £20,000 and £25,000 guess which one was the tender from Glyn Jackson?

    As the Price Fixing had been seen to have been going on since 2005 the system was already in place so by keeping the information away from the OFT we will never know unless the OFT is it self investigated?

    THE OFFICE OF FAIRY TAILS could not confirm that they had not been more Price Fixing as they were unable to find any proof?

    It seems in the report that they had their suspicions.

    I thought that to be immune of prosecution Peverel and Cirrus had to co-operate.

    Having spent time in the past unravelling contracts and refunding monies for works not undertaken or finding that the quality was not as specified.

    THE OFFICE OF FAIRY TAILS had aver 4 years to check yet only commenced in 2011 what a farce.

    I am still waiting for the documentation regarding our WCS replacement 2 years after it was asked for?

  3. Ellen Booth says:

    I hope as many leaseholders support the residents of the 65 sites by complaining to their MP’s, the PM and OFT for justice and compensation for the residents. Big business who prey on pensioners should not be given immunity from their crimes.

  4. Here is what Peverel is saying

    “We accept the findings and are very sorry for the failings identified by the OFT. These practices were totally unacceptable. They stopped in 2009 when Peverel Group brought the matter to the attention of the OFT and this is not how we do business today. We have cooperated fully throughout the investigation.

    “Peverel Group is under new management; our Code of Business Conduct outlines how we operate and supports the promises that we make in our Customer Charter. Peverel Group also supports the residential leasehold property management market study announced by the OFT this week.

    “Peverel Group has decided to make a goodwill payment to the developments affected of 10% of the price of any work resulting from the tenders.”

    Very generous! But what about those sites where the work was not actually necessary or where they “over specified” the job to achieve maximum profit. 10% is pathetic.

    • Michael Epstein says:

      Insider,
      That Peverel in their statement say they are under new management is only partially true.
      How can they account for Andrew Davey being part of the management team.? Indeed it appears that he was actually promoted after the price fixing scandal was exposed.
      It is true that the “Old Guard” have left (after Tchenguiz failed to buy Peverel back), However, and not wishing to see a conspiracy in everything, was it not the case that one of the “Old Guard” came from the De -Vere Group? The same Group that i believe was also financed by HBOS in a similar fashion to Peverel and for which Lloyds have today announced a sell off incurring massive right downs.

    • Susan writes

      I have already made the point to the OFT about over-specification.
      They replied that: ” …. alleged ‘over-specification’ is not the subject of this investigation.”
      Further: “My initial view is that alleged ‘over-specification’ would not be likely to be a breach of competition law. To the extent that there might be issues under consumer law, I have passed this matter to my colleague Richard Taylor who will consider it.”

      I find it difficult to believe that this kind of behaviour is acceptable. So, may I suggest that anyone who has evidence of over-specification, get in touch with him:
      Richard.Taylor@oft.gsi.gov.uk

      Although the door-entry-scam findings are a huge disappointment, they serve to highlight the complete inadequacy of the existing legislation. We now need to make the most of the OFT’s Market Study.

  5. Sebastian 2 comments have been lost since 15.00hrs
    Are there problems?

    • One of those was mine- wondering why on earth your lightning damage was not covered by your buildings insurance. It is storm damage.

      • AM,
        It was covered by Insurance but we were informed that the system was obsolete that is why we paid £22,000.00 to replace the Warden Call System and we had been loured into believing it was in need of being replaced prior to the replacement.

        If the Insurance Company paid out 95% of the costs £20,000 we received and the tender cost was £21,000.

        It must be a first when an Insurance Company pay out 95% of a claim when we were informed 2 years earlier that it was now obsolete and the parts no longer available.

        We did not know at the timer that Cirrus Communications were replacing similar Warden Call Systems and keeping the parts for repairs. They informed us that parts were not available yet they were being stored for use when the Resident Associations refused to update?

        • Michael Epstein says:

          Hang on a minute Chas,
          If Cirrus were replacing systems, the spare parts from the old systems don’t belong to them , they belong to the development. Unless an agreement was made allowing Cirrus to keep the parts, they have been stolen.

  6. Never mind what Peverel are saying now, just complain to OFT ,SFO and Companies House and get those 2009 Directors of Peverel Group Ltd DISQUALIFIED.

  7. New name for OFT
    OFFICE OF FANTASY TENDERING

    Both Cirrus and Glyn Jackson were the tenderers on our development at ABC and the difference in the two tenders was £4,055.14 this is a difference of some 18%?

  8. Chas- I think you mean “Fairy Tales”.

  9. Simon Williams says:

    And so it goes on ………….
    I have just looked at the list of sites which Peverel say they admit to swindling out of thousands of pounds. Presumably they state that this is a full list? Well – it is far from a full list. From my work at Peverel I was involved in many other sites that are not on that list with the tendering and installation for Door Entry and Warden Call systems. I can assure you there were far more than 65 sites in total covered during that period.
    The OFT state that Peverel sometimes allowed a third tender to be put forward in addition to Cirrus and one other chosen by them. (As if to say that Peverel weren’t always thieves) This was ONLY where residents insisted upon it, and Peverel were forced to do so. These third tenders were never comparable as they could not use Cirrus specified equipment. In addition, Cirrus equipment was technically far more advanced than was necessary for the job it was doing in this instance, and for other suppliers to meet all the requirements of the tender was extremely difficult. If residents were really insistent that they didn’t want all the bells and whistles that Cirrus equipment provided and voted to use alternative equipment then Peverel would very reluctantly relent, but then put the onus on the residents if anything went wrong.
    As for paying back 10% of the contract price to 65 sites I think they have done very well. Given the opportunity, residents could have achieved the aim of new Warden Call systems or new Door Entry systems at around half the price using different, well known and tested, equipment, as do care homes and all other Retirement Developers.
    Crime does pay then …….

    • An absolute condition of leniency is that Peverel had to make a full disclosure of all the sites impacted. If anyone knows of any other site where bid rigging occurred they should let us and the OFT know immediately.

      The question asked by both Sir Peter and Ed Davey asked the OFT is why is this a Chapter 1 investigation in the first place it should have been a Chapter II inquiry from the outset as Peverel was clearly the dominant party in the market.

      Still lets not be to hard on the OFT they may have got things wrong on two occasions but they know that’s not an option for the new market survey. Too many eyes are watching.

  10. michael holands says:

    Who is going to inform the residents of the 65 complexes that they have won a payback.
    I am sure that there will be many ,probably the majority, who know nothing of the OFT Inquiry.
    Who is going to advise them that the 10% compensation offered could be far less than their entitlement.
    As I see it the compensation being offered is 10% of £1.4million, which is £140000 divided by 65 complexes.
    The gives an average of £215 to each complex, and probably only around £5 to each resident.
    Seems a paltry sum or am I missing something.

    • Michael Epstein says:

      michael holands,
      It is not compensation that is being offered, Peverel has decided to ” make a goodwill payment ” which as you correctly point out amounts to £5 per leaseholder.
      Possibly this is the reason Peverel’s accounts are accompanied by the statement that Peverel will defend vigorously all claims against them, but has made provision of £8,000,000 to settle resident disputes.
      Any notion Peverel may have had that the report marked an end to the price fixing issues will have been immediately and comprehensively dispelled.

      • Peverel have made a number of large settlements subject to non-disclosure agreements and not much of that £8m is left. Unfortunately, they are going to need that much again in legal costs, never mind additional settlements. Yes, more torpedos are being prepared.

  11. Hi Michael,
    Your last comment “am I missing something”, could it be a zero. I think you have done the opposite to PEVEREL they seem to add zero’s.If the OFT did the right thing and recovered their cost of £500,000 PEVEREL would still be in pocket to the sum of £760,000. What a deterrent !!!!

  12. Simon Williams Thank you for your input and what you have stated.

    I live in Shropshire and we have a 28 flat development that had our Warden Call System (WCS) in 2008/09, 20 years after they were built?.

    We paid out over £22,000,.00 for 29 phones and pull cords, which cost each leaseholder £750.00 each?

    Sebastian has my details and he can give out my email and mobile phone, please contact if you feel that you can help.

    Thanking you in anticipation.
    Chas

    • Simon Williams says:

      Hi Chas
      This is exactly how it worked. Peverel Retirement (not Cirrus) printed off a list of sites 20 years old or over. All these sites were then automatically deemed to have equipment which can no longer be repaired due to a shortage of redundant parts. The truth was far from that – Cirrus had a storeroom full
      parts saved from installations which had been replaced in the past.
      The budget cost we quoted when residents asked was £600 per apartment plus £5000 for work involved with the House Managers office phone.
      If there was a way to get a comparable cost from Tynetec (who McCarthy and Stone use on their new sites) for their equivalent system then they would have an idea how much they were overcharged!
      And in return you will get a goodwill payment of 10% of the contract price ……..
      By the way I love the sub heading in the Guardian ‘Cirrus Communications Systems escapes penalty for rigging tendering process as its owner, property firm Peverel, reported it’ Sounds like ‘Peverel’ are wonderful for reporting it! The truth is Peverel (Group) instigated it and Cirrus are the scapegoats. Its the cheapest way out I suppose. Taking things at face value I hope that residents now demand that Peverel stop using this corrupt company called Cirrus Communication Systems.

  13. All -FYI, messers Proctor,Gaston and Bannister have all been and continue to be, Directors of Tchenguiz owned or controlled companies. For instance Gaston is the MD and Proctor a Director of Estates and Management.

  14. It occurs to me that between Carlex and LKP members, that a coordinated complaint by as many as can be identified, be made to the local Police to target those directors of the contractors, Cirrus and Peveral, and the client company eg the freeholder, to start a criminal investigation. To heck with financial penalties and a S27 claim, surely with contact with two MPs, the Home Secretary can be asked to have a word with the AG. it matters little of the companies no longer exist, a criminal act (in this case) were carried out by individuals.

    • This is far from the only fraud.

      Offering a bribe to scuttle an RTM claim is corruption under the bribery act. A criminal act, plain and simple. The same act ought to cover some of the kickbacks, incentives, discounts, rebates etc. which should amount to breaches of trust.

  15. Patrick Collinson in the Guardian Saturday 7th December reports issue under heading “No fine for firm that cheated elderly tenants” Page 43

  16. Michael Epstein says:

    Another aspect that arises from the OFT report must be the extent to which service charge trust accounts are protected?. Service charge trust funds were used in connection to finance Peverel’s unlawful price fixing.
    As such if service charge trust accounts are as Peverel would like to assure us, protected, instead of a “goodwill payment of 10%” every penny of service charge trust fund accounts should automatically be credited back to the accounts.
    That said, if that does not happen, would it not mean that the only protection that service charge trusts have is purely against the bank using the service charge account to pay set off Peverel’s debts.
    The reality would be that apart from the bank situation, residents have no protection against poor administration, or even fraudulent activity, and that should either occur, funds in the service charge trust account. missing funds would never be repaid.

    • In mentioning the criminal aspect, as service charges must be held in trust, it is arguable that those in control of the funds have to act as trustees in a limited form. if it can be argued that the defence of “cirrus provide a good service” and the implication that that is where the fault lies, can be destroyed, then surely this comes into play as well? Its an issue, along with the criminal aspect, that counsel can advise on.

  17. Hi All

    What has happened has happened.

    We have all been systematically ripped off since about the year 2000.

    Service charge accounts were then used to purchase leases. Barclays put a stop to that and Peverel’s then owner Holiday Retirement Inc of USA also suffered.

    Then we have had the Tchenguiz fiasco.

    What is now needed is to ensure by REGULATION that none of theses things happen again.

    It is not good enough for a burglar to be let off on the grounds that he has been thieving for fifteen years and that as he had not been caught before it must be ok …. because thats what it is.

    The concepts of Tribunal Justice and Fair Trading have been shown simply not to work.in the arena of Property Management.

    It is time that a the government uses the legal system to sue and punish the guilty. I always thought that theft and fraud were criminal offences. Apparently not.

    Happy Days

    • I disagree, while imperfect and with a few failures, the Tribunal does work, it is the aspect of expense that seems to be the big issue. Given the OFT report, my other comments and alleged cynicism now have some weight… Of the 5M leases relatively few allow recovery of the landlords legal costs in service charge most of them coming from this group. Commnhold won’t fix that.

      • AM although a number of lease do not give specific permission for the landlord to pass on legal costs that does not stop them doing so. A tenant has to catch them which can be quite difficult as somehow invoices are sometimes “accidentally” allocated under the wrong heading.

        In the case of Charter Quay even though we obtained a s20c order limiting somehow the landlords barristers bill still “accidentally” found its way into the service charges. We had to ask them to take it out again as part of the s27 cases.

        • I understand that and it is sharp practice, but given the circumstances in my view goes to the issue of their role as trustees. Thats why it is important for residents associations to use the powers under section 21 and section 22. Those working with good agents and landlords, such as your agent/manager, are often given access to periodic reports on a cash basis, though it will be cold day in heck with these boys and girls. As for most its live on a computer, its no more than a quick report and pdf and email! As one of their arms used to pay ” bucket” their way of hiving off money to earn interest for 14 days, most can check the supplier or catagory under section 22 above.

    • A Reviewer

      I agree entirely. What’s been going on since 2000 is theft and fraud – the criminal law.

      In 2003 when I reported suspected fraud – mis-selling and misrepresentation of property – to Trading Standards and then to the police I was fobbed off by both bodies claiming it was “a civil matter”. When will these publicly funded authorities wake up to serious financial exploitation of leaseholders?

      I still have the letter from Trading Standards…

      • fleeced
        Are you saying that you have letters from Trading standards regarding suspected frauds.
        Were TS the old OFT.
        You do not mention the name of the suspected fraudsters?

        • Chas – In 2003 I reported suspected fraud to my LA Trading Standards office involving Pegasus and Peverel. Soon after moving in I knew something was wrong that needed investigating; mis-sold services that didn’t exist. I received a letter back saying I should report the matter to the police but I was fobbed off and told it was “a civil matter”..? Similar to Channel 4 Dispatches/Undercover Retirement Home investigation.

          Trading Standards is part of local council services/consumer complaints and the OFT investigates fair trading of business markets and competition – eg price fixing!

          How is it the police arrest 6 people involved in criminal football fixing but price fixing by a company is something different..?

    • Michael Epstein says:

      A Reviewer,
      Before anything else happens all service charge accounts must be exclusive to the individual development. All pooling and sub-allocating of reserves must stop with immediate effect.
      All contracts must be negotiated on a completely separate basis, with no nationwide agreements.
      All payments into service charge funds to should go direct to the service charge account.
      Instead of making payment to Peverel to be allocated to Wonderful Fleeced Towers Service Charge Trust Account, payments should be made to Wonderful Fleeced Towers Service Charge Trust Account only.
      Payment for services and contractors should only come out of the Wonderful Fleeced Towers Service Charge Trust Account.
      The use of Super Accounts must be banned!
      For those that argue that we benefit from bulk discount, i would say we don’t Peverel do!
      We would make greater savings from the greater clarity that truly independent accounting would bring.
      Whether a managing agent has one development or a thousand developments to manage, each development should be unique and have no connection with any other development.

      • Lesley Newnham says:

        I agree Michael each development SHOULD be unique.

        ARMA best practice guidlines for service charges say in part:
        ” It is a breach of trust by a managing agent to use funds from one scheme to fund another overdrawn scheme where the funds of more than one scheme are kept in the same designated bank account . It is also a breach of trust to commit service charge expenditure if they are aware no funds are available”

        Both of these happened at our development!

        Unfortunately it seems the OFT investigation does NOT intend to include consideration of the regulation of service charges according to their scoping document!!

  18. Well “superaccounts” and national contracts can benefit a scheme, its when they are abused and rigged to exploit, not serve. If you consider firms with small blocks, the use of a central client account to pass monies in and out , with unused balances ( if any) in a dedicated account, can avoid huge costs as banks treat these as business accounts. Where self managed buildings have tried to use community banking, getting them to recognise funds as held on trust has been a nightmare. The pointis not the account but the scope for abuse. You might fix Charter Quay, but 4 flats in a conversion will then be hit with large costs, even if they are DIY.

  19. Judging by the comments I hope that Carlex and LKP can pick the brains of their lawyers about how to pursue a criminal matter, perhaps via the new National Crime Squad, on a coordinated basis.

  20. Michael Epstein says:

    Encouraged by statements issued by managing agents such as Peverel, the vast majority of leaseholders believe that their service charge funds have complete protection. This is wrong.
    For many years i have argued that the scope of protection is very strictly limited.
    Leaseholders should be aware that protection only extends to service charges held in a bank account to the extent that should the managing agent go bankrupt the bank will not be able to call on identified service charge funds to pay off any money owing to the bank.
    If company P, owed the bank £5m, but they had £3m in service charges deposited with the bank, the bank could not touch the £3m.
    Crucially, the bank are not responsible for how the account is administered. So, if company P owe the bank £5m and have £3m in service charges deposited with the bank but company P take the funds themselves leaseholders have no protection whatsoever.
    In the case of the price fixing scandal (which was fraud) service charge funds were used as part of the fraud. That Peverel only want to make a “goodwill payment” serves as a stark warning that our service charge funds are at severe risk.

    • The government could today commence all of section 42a allowing leaseholders the right to withold if it is not held on trust. Any person or company can withdraw money from an account, on penalty of fraud or theft if they should not have, or misapply the funds. That applies to the chair of the much touted commonhold board ,as residents already know in resident owned blocks ( dealing with one case right now) as any agent or freeholder. In short it is about as protected as it is going to be without a client money protection scheme which arma and rics companies/ firms do have . Making that compulsory for anyone – landlords or agent is what is needed.

  21. We should all make a contribution and get a good lawyer.
    Peverel now tells me that it was not Price-fixing “only anti competitive ”
    What is the difference?
    What about the District and Area managers who knew about this practice.
    Fly with the crows-get shot with the crows.

  22. ahh, so in being anti competative and procured via a ring, that would help a claim under s19, as neither fair nor reasonable….

  23. Michael Epstein says:

    As I understand it, unless the lease provides for the freeholder to profit by offering a service, service charges should only cover the costs of managing and maintaining a development and for those costs to be recoverable they must be reasonable. What is “reasonable” is by its nature open to wide interpretation.
    However, as AM rightly points out where a freeholder/managing agent has acted in an anti- competitive and procured by a ring (price fixing) those affected contracts can neither be fair nor reasonable.
    As such any appeal to the Upper Tribunal using Section 19 will be very likely to succeed, and any charges levied against the price fixing contracts will be refunded.
    Remember, an unlawful contract is unenforceable. I would take the view that engaging in price fixing does make the contract unlawful.
    Unless Peverel offer a full refund to every development, residents should resist Peverel’s goodwill gestures.

    • And I believe that a coordinated attempt will lead to the various tribunals having the hearings combined and perhaps heard by the President. If there was an appeal then it would go forward on that basis as well.

      Proceeding with the criminal aspect, if possible, and or the SC challenge aspect, would also send a message to not only residents ( the chairman’s new washing machine..) contractors landlords and agents that “if you break the law, you can see what happens to others”.

      • From Lesley Newnham

        To AM

        If as you say you work in an honest and professional manner then your comments are exactly what we want to hear, not just from you but also the residents you manage!

        You were certainly negative about my suggestion for a leaseholder conference but if it were to happen you could surely be one of the people to answer many of our questions?

        You also mention ‘ spectacular abuses affecting a tiny % of only 5% of leaseholders’. How can anyone know the TRUE extent of the abuse without a TRUE investigation!!

        It is not just Peverel as we have seen on this site and it will not end until ALL managing agents act in an honest and professional manner within the law!

  24. Trevor Bradley says:

    I totally agree with what Lesley says to AM
    Also it is NOT just Peverel. My own experiences are detailed somewhere on this site, and I am pretty well qualified to investigate these matters (25 years self taught, thats how long mother has been in over 55s retirement flat) Mothers landlord was Taylor Wimpey (they sold the FH last year) It was managed by a Housing Association and even they couldnt behave themselves. After months and months of probing I proved to the landlord the MA was scamming off approx £8,000.00 pa. The landlord refused to do anything other than change the MA to Trinity Estates. A man in a black suite visited me and said I must stop pursueing the return of any money from the original housing association or else it would take them years to get the reserve fund money of 30k from the housing association to then give to Trinity Est. He even said “it is not as bad as you think really, if you divide the total scam by the number of residents they have only lost around a grand apiece!!” (so that makes it alright then does it)
    By this time I was so exhausted with pressure/stress etc I had to give up and just let Taylor Wimpey change the agents
    So, as Lesley states – it is NOT just Peverel. I think the majority by far have been had one way or another and it MUST be stopped

  25. I have tried to respond but yet again the reply does not appear ( here or on my pda) but I get “duplicate posting” error message. If comments are subject to in advance moderation them please say so… 🙂

  26. Michael Epstein says:

    Peverel use the excuse that the price fixing (sorry anti- competitive tendering) occurred under the previous regime and that the company was under new management.
    That position does not hold water, it may well be new management, but it is the same company.
    As far as i am aware, nobody forced the “new management” to buy Peverel. It was their choice. They bought the company at a very deeply discounted price (no doubt in the expectation of a quick profit) That purchase has both an asset and a liability part. The new management cannot argue we will have the assets, but ignore the liabilities because “we are new management”.
    Whichever way they try to spin it, funds that rightfully belong to the residents service charge accounts are sitting in Peverel’s bank account. They must be returned in full!

  27. Unless the manager is named in the lease, and/or a party to it, then the financial liability for service
    charges lies with the freeholder or head lessor.