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Further Leasehold Exploitation
Has the Conservative Government’s approach to cladding Issues after the Grenfell crisis been to ignore facts and duck the blame, says engineer Dr Jonathan Evans who was shown the door by officials?

Dr Jonathan Evans has stated the government’s whole approach to the cladding crisis has been to duck the blame which has led to a series of technical errors in resolving where we go with this crisis in our housing.

We welcome Apsana Begum, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse at her debut meeting in the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) which has 177 MP Members and MP Friends on leasehold reform.

Aspana Begum has very big shoes to fill as she replaced LKP excellent former patron Jim Fitzpatrick in the seat.

The APPG holds 4 meetings year on Leasehold Issues such as:
* Fleasehold Housing
* Doubling Ground Rents
* Grenfell - other Combustible Cladding
* Private Housing Estates Management

APPG Patrons are:-
* Sir Peter Bottomley
* Sir Andy Davey
* Aspana Begum

The latest APPG meeting on January 9, 2020, heard a depressing account of Technical Errors in the Government’s post-Grenfell cladding studies which had a rippling effect leading to Zero Valuations on properties as a result.

Zero Valuations appeared when residents try to sell their flats in high rise buildings with Grenfell Type Cladding and the Valuation Surveyors for mortgages gave the flats a Zero Valuation because of the potential Fire Risks.
Posted by chas willis on 15 January 2020
Grenfell Fire Disaster was a disaster waiting to happen as the Establishment between them, had for years and years ignored Scientific Evidence of the types of cheaper Cladding used on High Rise Flats.

Dr Johnathan Evans has a PhD in Electrical & Electronic Engineering and is Chairman & CEO of Ash & Lacy had been on a Technical Committee and in the summer of 2017 and was appointed as the Independent Technical expert during the MHCLG’s enquiry into the Grenfell Fire.

It had previously been concluded by many others who now how the Establishment works:

That the whole approach of the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has been seen as an attempt to remove itself from either criminal or financial liability in this crisis?

Dr Jonathan Evans who is a well known Consultant and a producer of Cladding Materials said “Errors did not begin in Advice Note 14 they were there in Advice Note 1,”

In a technical presentation, Dr Evans said that his aim was to “get over some information to leaseholders that might be useful if they had a warranty claim in their building.

It might give Residents an idea of how to go about mitigating the situation they were in, (of course the government didn't want this to get out) Dr Evans was unsure whether this work technically helps, or morally compels the government to face the fact, the situation would comes back into their ownership especially the lame MHCLG?
Posted by chas on 16 January 2020
Dr Evans Continued

“In late July he had said they have got to do two things:
* test other materials other than ACM (aluminium composite material, which was used on Grenfell)
* including other similar Laminates

Dr Evans claims he urged the issuing of Clear Prescriptive Guidance” on the cladding that should be used, officials told him they rejected this as:

* they do not want to give prescriptive specific guidance
* they did not want to give and Rockwool (an insulation manufacturer) a monopoly of the market

On a different matter, the fires in Europe, North America and now Australia,

* those in charge have not accepted the problems of Climate Change but those of them that are aware, blame:-

*government Negligent Policies
*failure planning of the escalation of the fire
*failing to remove contiguous fuels

Those in charge now see the solutions being
* greater resource and equipment to fight the fire
* aeroplanes helicopters
more reservists

Those in charge have said Give us the means to fight the fires, where they should be saying how do we prevent them from spreading.

Doesn't this sound dangerously familiar to the Britsh Establishment View on the Grenfell Fire Tragedy?
Posted by chas willis on 16 January 2020
Fleechold & Poor Quality Persimmon Homes
Persimmon the second-largest housebuilder, caught up in the Fleecehold Scandal sees sales slump after Quality Issues of Poor Workmanship' on new builds.

Published on 21 Mar 2019
A controversial house-building company that boasted £1bn profit off the back of the Governments Help-to-Buy scheme has notified 1,000 residents - warning their properties may be a fire hazard.

Persimmon Homes have been accused of putting lives at risk by skimping on Fire Safety measures after contacting residents living in new builds.

Some houses may have been built without essential Fire Cavity Barriers to slow the spread of fires putting many lives possible at risk. The issue was first highlighted after a fire broke out and was able to spread from house to house on an estate in Exeter, Devon in April 2018.

Persimmon Homes has come under fire over poor building standards in recent years. Persimmon apologised after an investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme last year revealed buyers’ wide-ranging complaints about snagging. One expert commissioned by filmmakers found 295 problems on a single new-build home, including leaking sinks and a fire door that failed to close.

Persimmon ordered the independent review of its operations, which was published last month The review said many of Persimmon’s customers and stakeholders, were concerned at the stigma of a poor corporate culture which results in poor workmanship and a potentially unsafe product It found Persimmon had a “systemic nationwide problem” of missing or improperly fitted cavity barriers and a Manifestation of a Poor Culture.

Persimmon’s traditional role as a land assembler and house-seller, rather than a builder meant it focused too narrowly on inspections immediately before and after the sale.
Posted by chas on 15 January 2020
The Daily Telegraph waded into Fleecehold 3 years ago where it named
* Taylor Wimpey
* Bellway Homes and
* Persimmons

These were three of the biggest Building Companies in Britain.

These 3 along with another at least 7 Building Companies were selling on the Freeholds and dumping customers into the mercy of Shady Freeholders many of whom are ultimately owned offshore.

One of these ultimately owned offshore developers was named as Adriatic Land which hides its ultimate beneficial ownership behind nominee directors. It is and possibly owned, by Will Astor’s £700 million Pound:
Long Harbour, the Homeground Ground Rent Fund.

In 2017: Sam Brodbeck wrote
“A generation of home buyers is set to live under the shadow of complex, onerous leasehold terms, paying rapidly-escalating ground rents, high freehold buyout prices, or both,”

The article reported the government is likely to “crackdown” on leasehold houses in its housing white paper expected next month.
Can anyone inform us readers was this Crackdown on Leasehold housing ever carried out and if not who was the Housing Minister.

Sam Brodbeck interviewed Nurse Katie Kendrick a Bellway customer who lives in Ellesmere Port constituency of Labour MP Justin Madders, who made a powerful speech against Leasehold Housing in the Commons on December 2017.
Posted by Pensioner Villa on 15 January 2020
Katie Kendrick's also featured in 2017, on BBC Radio Five Live interview with Sebastian O’Kelly, of LKP.

Katie stepped in after a lawyer’s letter, was sent to another Leaseholder on behalf of conveyancing solicitors engaged in a Taylor Wimpey transaction.

The Leaseholder was intimidated and Katie took part instead.

Katie Kendrick had been informed and understood that Bellway would have charged her £4,500 to buy her Freehold, after a 2 year period. This charge was for roughly 30 times the annual £150 Ground Rents.

But within the 2 year period when Leaseholders are forbidden to purchase the Freehold, the Landowner sold the Freehold to Adriatic Land before Katie had a chance to purchase.

This selling off the Freehold within the 2 year period to a another company within the same Organisation removes the S5 Leaseholders Legal Right to purchase the Freehold.

The new company can now increase the cost of purchase as they did and they get away with it. There is a Section 5 that is known as The Right of First Refusal within the Landlord & Tenant Act.

This new Freeholder has now set the cost of purchasing the Freehold at 89 times the Ground Rent now no longer £4,500.00 but £13,350.00.

In days gone by the Freehold Value had been calculated at 10 times the Ground Rent, but as Landowners and Builders got more and more greedy this has escalated in some cases to over 100 times the Ground Rent.

Katie said:- If I pay the £13,350 that’s a hell of a profit for the New Freehold Company that had only owned the Freehold for less than 12 months.

I feel I have to do something now, it’s only going to go up it’s just extortionate.

A spokesman for Homeground is quoted telling the Telegraph: “The investors in the Freeholds managed by Homeground hold these assets as part of their long term investment strategy, where they ascribe a value to each property and would only wish to sell to make the most profit.

There is a First Tier Tribunal process where a Leaseholder can turn to if a mutually agreeable price cannot be reached.

In fact, the same spokesman told LKP that these homeowners do not seem to understand that they must negotiate for the freehold?

To which an answer was:-

These home buyers had not the slightest idea that Bellway was creating an Investment Asset Class at their expense, owned by shady, sophisticated investors, who incidentally, are so courageous and proud of their wealth-creating business acumen they have chosen to remain anonymous.
Posted by chas willis on 15 January 2020
Persimmons Archived:
When we were looking to move in 2001 Persimmon had a very good reputation for the quality of their new homes.

Seems that as with all companies nowadays quality has been sacrificed for profit, being a short term view.

Persimmon shared c.£56million between 140 Senior Staff in 2018. Not hard to see that quality and customer service are far from top on this companies priority list.

Build them cheap and sell them high has been the property developers creed, using the small print that limits their future liabilities as they exit the scene of their crimes

The Report goes on to say:
Quality Control should always be recognised starting with genuine Customer Care. This should begin at the start of the build by using proper Building Controls.

The controls within the construction process needs tightening up and more visits by Building Control and as was used in the past, a Clerk of Works from the Company on site to organise the visits so as to enhance the quality.

The quality of the build, should therefore begin much earlier in the construction process, was also stated in the report, saying Persimmon’s procedures may have led to a culture of non-observance or a mere box-ticking exercise instead of proper Quality Checks.
Posted by Pensioner Villa on 17 January 2020
A New Asset Class has been created consisting of Private Estates in England, which is another Scam and Revenue Stream for Developers/Builders/Estate Managers such as Barrett Homes, David Wilson Homes and Firstport Property Services Ltd.

It is believed the growth of Leasehold Tenure on these Private Estates has been implemented to protect this new Revenue Stream, where Shareholders returns are the main reason and where exploitation of homeowners and taxpayers (through Help to Buy) is possible.

Feudal land laws together with weak negotiation and enforcement by planners have contributed to new homes that are of poor build quality and have onerous charges placed upon them.

Freeholders & Leaseholders may not be fully informed when signing deeds where there can be no cap on Service Charges. It has been said the proportion spent on delivering actual maintenance work is usually less than half the total cost?

There is no quality control on the development or maintenance of any estate. Local Councils are unable to monitor and enforce standards agreed under section 106. Once the houses are all sold, the charges usually rise and the standard of maintenance falls.

Unadopted Estate Land is either retained by the developers or sold on to land-owning Management Companies.
Posted by chas willis on 14 January 2020
Management Companies Exploitation Continues?

In the current position, the balance of power between the Estate Companies such as Firstport Property Services Ltd and the Individual Freeholders is not fair nor is it appropriate.

Management Companies Firstport can, by law, use enforcement agents such as JB Leitch to collect the Management Fee Charges but individual Freeholders are unable to easily obtain details of where the money they have been charged has been spent or to see the Budget Figures along with the Trial Balance/Audit Trail or the Invoices to show the:

* name of the Contractor
* what the costs were for
* who checked and passed off
the work
* who signed the Invoice

Residents who own their own homes as Freeholders are left feeling helpless as they try to find out how much money is left in the Contingency Fund or Sinking Fund.

They can be rightly aggrieved, despite their payment for the Management Fees, specially when Firstport first inform them they are not entitled to see the paperwork they pay for.

It made some Freeholders feel powerless but a new breed of Freeholder and Leaseholder who have taken on these Opaque Managers and found they are entitled to the information.
Posted by Pancho Villa on 14 January 2020
Fernwood MP now Housing Minister
Fernwood MP Mr Robert Jenrich now Housing Minister and has first-hand real experience of Firstport Property Services Ltd.

A Firstport Shocker In Newark.

Even by lamentable standards, we have come to expect from Peverel/Firstport, the story of Fernwood, Newark, Nottingham truly beggars belief.

Fernwood is a village community with mixed leasehold flats and freehold houses that was built by David Wilson Homes, I believe an off-shoot from Barrett Homes.

The surrounding land leasehold was purchased by Peverel/Firstport or associated companies and was not disclosed to the residents.

Fernwood, of course, wound up with a long term management contract, which for legal reasons the Fernwood Residents have to wait a further 5 years before they can sack Firstport (which they are certain to do)

Due to "commercial sensitivity" neither Firstport or David Wilson Homes would reveal the terms of the management contract. Feeling very angry with the conduct of Peverel/Firstport the formed a committee to address their issues, and even helped form a Fernwood Parish Council, with the eventual aim of taking over the land management.

This is just a small sample of what they have discovered:-
* £12,500 wrongly allocated expenses?
* £9,500 covering 3 invoices for a site office and facilities which was the responsibility of David Wilson Homes to pay?
* £15,000 in Accounting Errors, which according to residents should have been c.£30,000?
* wrongly apportioned Service Charges between flats and freehold houses?
* discovered that Freeholders were charged via the Management Fees for Careline Services?
* some Freeholders have been charged Ground rent of a £1.0 a year when not payable?
*uncovered a cheque fraud which involved payments to OM Property Management cheques were being intercepted and being paid into a newly created OM Property Management account and were withdrawn?
* charged totally unjustified payments for changing mortgages, sellers packs, putting in solar panels and other alterations?

These charges were for Freehold Housing, not Leasehold Flats?

After intervention from Robert Jenrick MP, Firstport conceded that "due to managerial savings" they no longer need to charge for consents for alterations, and they agreed that a sellers pack is not required.

About Firstport were in no doubt that the very talented and dedicated residents at Fernwood will win every penny they are entitled too.

!f that was not enough problems for Firstport, the residents had put a lovely bombshell into the mix.

It appears that before a developer hands an estate over to a Managing Agent/Estate Manager, the council must have sight of the contract to ensure planning laws are complied with.

Newark council had failed to locate the contract or any evidence it had been presented to them.

Has this Transfer ever being undertaken and have the Local Authority ever seen this contract 4 years later, and was there a reply from the Ombudsman?
Posted by chas willis on 12 January 2020
Mr Robert Jenrick:
Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government:

Mr Jenrick is the Conservative MP for Newark who raised the issue of charges in parliament in 2016 where he said Fernwood residents should have their council tax reduced, did this ever happen?

Is Mr Jenrick aware of the controversy surrounding this and does he realises the situation was the making of NSDC and DWH and the law that councils did not have to adopt land.

Fernwood Phase 2 is not the only Housing Estate in this predicament, that have links to Barrett/David Lewis Homes. Firstport Property Services Ltd along with subsidiaries OM Property Management and others who have been reported exploit both Freeholders and Leaseholders.

Mr Jenrick, has been trying to address Fernwood's concerns in parliament but nothing has changed in the past 4 years, now he is a Minster will this change???
Posted by chas on 13 January 2020
Fernwood Continued:

Firstport Property Services Ltd manages common areas of land on Fernwood Central to include the village green and woodland areas. Firstport also looks after the common areas in the apartment blocks, maisonettes, flats over garages, balancing ponds and the 42 resident car parks.

Firstport appears on some deeds under their previous trading names of Peverel Management Services Ltd or OM Property Management Ltd.

On Phase 2 Freeholders on Fernwood, are required to pay a Management Fee to FirstPort Property Services Ltd on top of the Council Tax they pay to the Local Council.

Where on Phase 1 of Fernwood there is no Management Fee as the Local Council Adopted the Estate.
Posted by chas on 13 January 2020
Fernwood Estate Parish Council Meeting on 15/07/2019

Prior to this meeting Fernwood Parish Council had sent a briefing paper to their MP Mr Robert Jenrick outlining the Parish Council’s concerns about the lack of legislation to protect Freeholders.

They also reminded Mr Robert Jenrick MP that in 2017, he had petitioned the then Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government (a position he now holds) for a review of the practice of national housebuilders selling freehold properties with a management company attached.

This practice legally binds Freehold Residents to pay Unregulated, Extortionate Fees for managing the maintenance of the Fernwood Estate of their open spaces as well as wholly unnecessary and high legal fees for changing mortgages etc.

It was minuted The Parish Council is seeking:

• legislation to enable Freeholders to challenge management companies if their charges are unreasonable or the level of service is inadequate

• management fees to be capped

• greater transparency on charges for estate maintenance and agreements between landowners and management companies

• the handover of open spaces to local Town or Parish Councils if requested

• powers for town/parish councils to be responsible for ensuring management companies are performing their obligations satisfactorily and charging local residents fairly

Mr Robert Jenrick MP detailed that:
* section 5 of the Freehold Houses Estate Charges Paper had been removed because some councils enjoy the mechanism of being able to use private companies to manage open spaces?

* Mr Jenrick also noted that the new Chief Executive of NSDC has expressed an interest in the Council using an arm’s length arrangement for the maintenance of future phases of Fernwood and hoped that NSDC would use their soft powers to help Fernwood.

* Following his meeting with Councillors and the Parish Clerk in 2017, Mr Jenrick had tried to set up a meeting with the then Housing Minister but was unable to do this.

* Mr Jenrick agreed to take up this issue again when a new Housing Minister is in post.

* Fernwood Parish Council requested the government takes the necessary steps to get Freeholders Rights.

* Fernwood Parish Council representatives would like to meet with the Housing Minister to move this issue forward.

* Fernwood Parish Council has asked Barratt/David Wilson Homes to hand over the open spaces in Fernwood to the Council.

* Mr Kenrick agreed to write to Barratt David Wilson Homes about this and the clerk had been asked to send evidence that this has been requested?
Posted by chas on 13 January 2020
Fernwood Village to be study in to ban management fees …

This heading was found on the web but the rest that may have been written had been removed, why. legacy.newarkadvertiser.co.uk/articles/news/Village-to-be-case-study-in-bid-to-ban-management fees?

Fernwood Village will be used as a case study in a bid to ban the national practice of housebuilders allowing third-party maintenance firms to manage new estates.
12:00 pm Thursday, Feb 16, 2017. Tweet Robert Jenrick brought up the issue in the House of Commons with Sajid Javid.

Following the handover from David Wilson Homes to Peverel/Firstport at the Fernwood, Newark development, there had been numerous complaints about:
i.poor service,
ii.high charges,
iii.lack of receipts and
vi.charges for work that was never done.

It is also understood that because the local authority doesn't want the responsibility of maintaining the Fernwood development,
Peverel/ Firstport have been offered the chance to become the landlord.
Anyone who knows Peverel/Firstport will realise the implications of having Peverel/Firstport as both landlord and managing agent?

Firstport was reported to have been awarded a 5-year contract to manage. So bad has Peverel/Firstport management been that one property owner said He "Would rather burn his house down than have Firstport as the landlord" It was also reported in a further demonstration of how badly residents have been let down, senior Peverel/Firstport managers have been called up to the Houses of Parliament to attend a meeting with the local Newark & Bingham MP, Robert Jenrick.
Mr Jenrick is believed to have readPeverel/Firstport the riot act, telling them they must do better in future. For their part, Peverel/Firstport meekly replied "We could/should have done things better in the past"
Posted by Pancho Villa on 13 January 2020
Leasehold Campaigners are, Very Unhappy at The Law Commissions Report on Leasehold Extensions once only 80 years of a 99 Lease is left.

The costs involved in pricing extensions for leasehold homes has been branded ABSURD by campaigners.

Once a flat has only 80 years of a 99-year lease or a 125 lease the industry looks for increasing the costs by addition of what has become known as a MARIAGE VALUE.

It has now become common knowledge that it is beneficial to the Freeholder not to inform the Leasehold Tenants that the lease extension costs can be doubled simply by adding in the MARIAGE VALUE (MV).

After 15 years every flat has an intrinsic further value to the Freeholder if they keep the Mariage value quiet and do not inform Leaseholders.

This MV allows the Freeholder to double the costs, so a nominal original cost of 10 times the Ground Rent eg £250 per year times 10 is £2,500.

The Law Commission this week outlined a variety of potential reforms but stopped short of suggesting leaseholds be scrapped.

Marriage value is "absurd", said Dean Buckner, a former Bank of England regulator and trustee of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership (LKP), which campaigns for reform.
Posted by chas on 11 January 2020
Paying Mariage Value is like paying additional cost to a Mortgage Company 19 years after taking the mortgage out because the value of the flat has increased.

Its has been likened to:-(
Paying money to someone else for something you as a leaseholder already paid for.

Is this is a further example of one of the many Scams allowed by Government's inactivity in Leasehold Exploitation?
Posted by chas on 11 January 2020
Additional Information:-)

If a leaseholder agrees a cost for a Lease Extension:-
(10 times the Ground Rent Value) why then should the Freeholder be able to add Additional Costs (Marriage Value) to increase the Freeholders Profits further.

This kind of Scam doesn’t exist outside Leasehold Exploitation.

Will the Conservative Government`s Housing Ministers continue to allow this Scam allowing their cronies to continue to benefit from Leasehold Exploitation?

The BBC reported the case of Des Kinsella, a North London leaseholder facing a £42,000 bill to extend his lease.

Almost a third of this sum £14,000 is the Marriage Value.

Every year there are around 100,000 lease extensions and about 20,000 of them involve this Scam of calculations for Marriage Value.
Posted by chas willis on 11 January 2020
Mr Kinsella, stated part of the Cost Increase is the Marriage Value, and down to the fact the Freehold owner believes the flat purchased in Ilford East London in 2014 for £165,000.

The Freehold Owner believes the flat will be worth £100,000 more (£250,000) and they want to benefit from this addition?

Facts have shown with some McCarthy & Stone Developments they have plummeted in value after the initial purchase.

Values for some M&S flats have been in the region of 40% so how can this additional Marriage Cost be anywhere justified?
Posted by chas on 11 January 2020
When a Leaseholders purchasers a leasehold property, they will never own the ground it was built on unless purchasing the Freehold.

The Leaseholder pays rent and is actually a Longterm Tenant. Where the Freeholder has control and can extend the lease for an amount agreed and charge a Marriage Value on top.

The original Freeholder receives a one of payment, say £1500,000 when the Leaseholder purchases a 99-year lease.

The Freeholder then have 3 further grabs at Leaseholders Money as follows with 79 years left:
* Original Lease Purchase:
£150,000, with 79 years left
* Annual Ground Rent:
£250 (times 99 years and doubles every 33 years): £60,450
* Lease Extension:10 times Ground Rent £250 = £2,500
* Marriage Value assumes the value of the flat increase over the period to £250,000, so MV, £33,000?

Overall costs paid for 99 years for a leasehold flat once lease fall below 80 years?
£150,000 + £60,450 + £2,500 + £33,000

These figures added together total:- £246,000?

This does not include the Service Charges:- 99 years of £1500 = £148,000

Total for £150,000 Flat over 99 years is c. £396,000, worth thinking about?
Posted by chas willis on 11 January 2020
ERATUM This needs making clear

Facts have shown with some McCarthy & Stone Developments they have plummeted in value after the initial purchase.

Values for some M&S flats have plummeted in value in the region of 40%, so how can this additional Marriage Cost be anywhere justified?
Posted by chas on 11 January 2020
Posted by chas willis on 11 January 2020
And do not forget the entirely bogus ground rent charges which are purely profit making for the freeholder and are for no service whatsoever?
Posted by Michael Epstein on 12 January 2020
Leasehold Reform/Hopkins. I .Y .D
Posted on 11 January 2020
Contractors indemnity / insurance
Posted on 08 January 2020
A Freeholder fights back
Posted on 08 January 2020
Leasehold in England and Wales
Posted on 07 January 2020
Telephone scam
Posted on 06 January 2020
Scotland Feuhold (Leasehold)
Posted on 05 January 2020
Posted on 04 January 2020
Trustpilot Review
Posted on 31 December 2019
Further Leasehold Scams
Posted on 31 December 2019
Scan phone number
Posted on 21 December 2019
Leasehold protest
Posted on 21 December 2019
Trust Pilot Today
Posted on 17 December 2019
Managing Agents
Posted on 14 December 2019
Quiz answer?
Posted on 11 December 2019
Lift breakdowns
Posted on 08 December 2019
Water leak - emergency
Posted on 07 December 2019
FirstPort Watch
Posted on 05 December 2019
Posted on 04 December 2019
Posted on 04 December 2019
Upgrade to digital/cost
Posted on 03 December 2019
More on Notice Boards
Posted on 02 December 2019
Notice Board
Posted on 01 December 2019
Notice board
Posted on 01 December 2019
Lounge hire
Posted on 28 November 2019
Management fee
Posted on 27 November 2019
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