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DOOR ENTRY SYSTEM
Seems a coincidence that when you are about to achieve RTM the door entry system goes haywire and is not working and they need a complete new one? Oh! dear where have I heard this before , when we moved to our block in 2007 the then Peverel AM said at a meeting the call system is past its sell by date and we need a new system because the parts are no longer available, a quick look on the web and low and behold we found loads of spare parts for our system and continue to use the call system in place with the help of a few spare parts secondhand , so don't be fobbed off with your present call system maintenance company do some research yourself .
Posted by the holy mole on 18 August 2019
It has been seen as a coincidence, when as a company is about to achieve RTM.
FP has been known to:
1. need to re-decorate
2. update the WCS
3. update the Fire Systems
4. find ways of using money
We were informed in 2007 that our WCS was OBSOLETE and past it sell by date because parts were no longer available. This was part of the now infamous Peverel/Firstport Price Fixing Scandal that the OFT took 4 years to inform us that Peverel Firstports Directors had owned up to Tender Rigging within the company and had made £1.4 million Pounds they were allowed to keep. None of the Directors were jailed or were fined?
I believe it was a stitch up by big business and official in high places.
So if Firstport say OBSOLETE or can't get the parts they are really saying we want to make money by UPDATING the system but choose not to say this.
So challenge them and ask to see the Report that says these are in need of replacing.
Posted by chas on 18 August 2019
It has also been known that after RTM the handover accounts produced by Firstport are incorrect and developments have been cheated out of several thousands of pounds. A full audit of the handover accounts will pay dividends?
Posted by Michael Epstein on 19 August 2019
Chas,
You were informed that your WCS "Was obsolete and past it's sell by date because parts were no longer available"
That being the case after being damaged by a lightening strike, how was it that Firstport were able to reclaim the full cost of repairs from the insurers based on the value of a properly functioning system?
Surely,no insurance company would pay full value for a system that was obsolete and beyond repair?
Posted by Michael Epstein on 19 August 2019
Oh my gosh! what next with Firstport?
Can we copy this and post it on the notice board of our flats as we have horrendous problems with Firstport . Do we need to fear legal or other retaliation by FP?
Thank you, this information is so important to all of us
From The Editor, It's your notice board and you have About Firstport's permission to use any item on this site. Possibly Firstport will try to retaliate (that is the way of all bullies) but they can take no legal action.
Posted by Shopa on 19 August 2019
I have spoken to developments where they were successful and can confer that some handover accounts after RTM by Firstport were incorrect and developments had been cheated out of several thousands of pounds. Therefore a full audit of the handover accounts will be necessary as FP tend to handover in dribs & dabs.
I was informed that our Warden Control System (WCS) was obsolete in a letter sent by our Area Manager, Roger Cooper in 2007.
We were informed that parts were no longer available.
We were being primed for Price Fixing from 2005/06 when all developments that were nearly 20 years old were Highlighted to be updated. The AM lied and informed us it was due to being OBSOLETE.
In June 2007 our WCS was struck by lightening and was supposed to be wiped out.
It was classed as an emergency in June 2007 and the AM decided there was no requirement for a S21 as the costs had been already provided for us, supplied by Cirrus.
Two quotes were provided:-
1. Straight Replacement £15k
2. Updated version £21k.
We were supposed to have a meeting to discuss but it never happened.
Remember it was June 2007 when it was damaged and replaced in April 2008 some 9 moths later, by the company that was the losing sub contractor to Cirrus.
The sub contractors carried out the work for less than the tender quoted and FP was able to charge 2.5% for being the Main Contractor. The sub contractor was given tabards with Cirrus Logo on the back.
Later we learned in 2009 that a claim had been made for the full costs of £21k from Norwich Union and they paid in full less the Excess.

The AM had lied to the insurance company and claimed for the update as well.When a claim is made and the cost can be shown as at ABC the Insurance Company was not aware the WCS had been updated, so paid out.

The fact we were informed that the system was OBSOLETE was not investigated.

The system was possibly repairable but FP wanted the most expensive replacement as they then made more money.
Posted by chas on 19 August 2019
Tackling Fraud
It seems that posters have touched a nerve recently with an investigation into the failure of the police to tackle Leasehold Fraud.
It turns out a lot of Freeholders and Leaseholders on large Estates built since 2000 where Estate Managers or Managing Agents in conclusion with others have been responsible for fraudulently and improperly charging of Management Fees, for items that:
1. they do not own
2. no such works undertaken
3. items charged for do not exist
Where estates that include Freeholders and Leaseholders are responsible for the Environment that is part of the estate infrastructure:
*Grassed Areas
*Borders
*Roads
*Paths
*Lighting
*Fences
*Hedges
*Trees
*Play Areas
*Bollards
Both Freeholders and leaseholders pay for Estate Management because of the
LA refusal to adopt after the estates are built. Instead, in some cases, they use Managing Agents such as Firstport to manage on their behalf providing them with Head Leases for the term of the lease.

We are aware how FP fails to properly maintain some developments, charging and using the Service Charges as an Income Stream.
Those being prosecuted are close to zero, investigative reporters are now using these platforms for information, so if you are affected please post under this thread.
Posted by chas on 17 August 2019
Under the fraud act 2006, a person may commit Fraud by:
1.False Representation
2.Failing to Disclose Information and
3.Abuse of Position.
A person must have acted dishonestly and had to act with the intent of making a gain for themselves or anyone else, or inflicting a loss(or risk of loss) to another.
Posted by chas on 18 August 2019
Ten-Minute Rule Bill – the Freehold Properties (Management Charges and Shared Facilities) Bill.
On the 14/11/2018 Labour MP Helen Goodman, Labour Bishop Auckland, launched her Private Members, Bill, to ban “Fleecehold” charges on private estates.
These are estates built circa 2000 where the roads, lighting and communal spaces are not adopted by the local council. Instead, they generate income for the Local Authority who sell of the Lease to Private Landlords. These areas have to be maintained at the residents’ expense.
Inevitably in the property world, these have become another income-generating asset which is now widely traded.
This Bill will look to address the issue of ‘fleecehold’ estate fees – “new build tax”– which primarily affect both Freeholders and Leaseholders on housing developments built by companies such as Barretts Housing.
Communal spaces on an estate, such as grass verges, playgrounds, and areas planted with trees and shrubberies, are retained by developers instead of being handed over to the local authority. Property companies then either charge residents directly for maintenance or sell on the contract to a property management company who collect fees.
Although estate fees are often included as covenants in the transfer deeds on many freehold properties, many Freeholders don’t know they exist until a bill arrives in the post.
This practice is currently unregulated and is the latest cash cow for property companies.
There is no cap on fees and management companies are under no obligation to account to homeowners for work carried out or costs incurred.
Often, residents find themselves trapped on poorly maintained estates, paying hundreds of pounds a year, with no way to hold the company to account.
leaseholders, have access to the FTT and a dedicated Ombudsman Service, Freeholders facing estate maintenance fees have no legal recourse in the event of a dispute instead can take the company to the courts as many are now doing.
Posted by Brent Butt on 18 August 2019
Hi Chas and other posters.
It’s not just the large estates built since 2000 affected by Firstport improper charges. The process of Major Works projects allows these companies to at very least condone malpractice and in some instances be party to the suspected breaches of contract which would constitute fraud.
Nicola Frith and or Michael Epstein please contact me via The Editor.
Posted by FACT on 19 August 2019
On my development the winning tender for decorations did not even have the name and address of the winning tenderer on the tender document.
After pointing this out to the property manager, I received an apology for the "administrative error" and a new copy of the tender document with a name scrawled on in biro.
Unfortunately, the name given did not correspond to any company in existence?
The decorating project was postponed and the property manager exited stage left without any notice!
Posted by Michael Epstein on 19 August 2019
FACT great to see you posting again.
You post that it’s not just the large estates built since 2000 affected by Firstport improper charges. This process you mention for Major Works projects allows companies to at very least condone malpractice, can you expand on this?
Can you clarify how in some instances they were party to the suspected breaches of contract and constitute fraud.
Posted by chas on 19 August 2019
Michael on your development the winning tender for decorations did not even have the name and address of the winning tenderer on the tender document. How was this allowed was it the Property Manager
had chosen friends and was making money on the side?
After you received an apology for the "administrative error" who was this and was it in writing.
This seems to be a conspiracy between a PM and a so called Contractor who didn't exist, did you report it to Mr Chris Owens who championed these failures at FP.
How much difference was the first non tender to the second none tender and what did Chris Owens do, claim it was another Administrable Error?
Was the decorating later undertaken and if so what was the difference in tender prices.
You say the PM left without any notice, was he charged with anything and were the Police involved.
Posted by chas on 19 August 2019
RTM
In response to Janes posting 10 th August.
A large London block ( 200 flats) recently won a ‘“hard fought battle” to achieve RTM. The Freeholder of the block tried very hard to prevent the tenants from achieving their goal. He failed😁
The Management company that helped them achieve this was ‘ HAUS BLOCK MANAGEMENT based in London.
Posted by Anon on 13 August 2019
Thank you very much. I’ll take a look at them.
Posted by Jane on 13 August 2019
Good luck. There are very very few trustworthy Agents out there. I have no personal knowledge of ‘ HAUS BLOCK MANAGEMENT ‘ suffice to say, I am aware there that they fought a notorious Freeholder to attain RTM fir their client who is very happy with their service this far. fFortune favours the brave. GO FOR IT.
Posted by on 13 August 2019
Not every managing agent is like Firstport?
My advice in seeking out a good managing agent is not to go for a national managing agent and speak to residents of other blocks to see if they are happy with their agent? Real life experience beats smooth sales patter every time!
Posted by Michael Epstein on 13 August 2019
To follow on from Michael Epstein.. And avoid Rendall & Rittner at all costs.
Posted by Peter Thomas on 13 August 2019
Many agents are associated with a handful of Freeholders. It is like a multi headed hydra. They operate under various names. The many not the few are nefarious.It is best to speak to residents to hear of their experiences.
Posted by on 13 August 2019
I am reminded of a successful RTM carried out by Peverel on behalf of residents unhappy with the management of Solitaire?
Unknown to the residents and not mentioned by Peverel was that Solitaire and Peverel were essentially the same company?
Posted by Michael Epstein on 14 August 2019
Check out the TRUST PILOT Reviews for the company mentioned by Anon 656.
* Excellent 72% = 472
* Great 21% = 138
* Average 2% = 13
* Poor 1% = 7
* Bad 4% = 26
From the reviews 610 Excellent to Great 93%.
From same reviews 46 Average-Poor-Bad 7%.

Hope this info helps.
Posted by chas on 14 August 2019
Compare and Contrast?
TRUST PILOT Reviews Firstport:
Excellent 1
Great 1
Average 1
Bad 562
Posted by Michael Epstein on 14 August 2019
I wonder if the 2 that posted Excellent and Great were named as Nigel and Chris?
Posted by chas on 15 August 2019
It’s not unusual for a particular type of Freeholder to have several managing agent companies ripping off leaseholders. The address for all is the same and is usually a serviced offices. Always check companies house for the directors names and to see how many directorships they hold. Rogue Freeholders use puppet directors to shield their own identity.
If you choose RTM, then never take advice from the Freeholder or managing agent. Similarly, the FTT regularly foist Managing Agents who have a less than distinguished record upon leaseholders. Do not accept this!
Posted by Anon on 18 August 2019
Anon you posted,
It’s not unusual for a particular type of Freeholder to have several MA ripping off leaseholders.
This seems to institutionalised within Leasehold as the residents especially the elderly on Retirement Developments.
In the past the LVT and now the FTT had shown favouritism to Freeholders/Landlords rather than Leaseholders which is about to change when Government decides to intervene.
So as Anon posted don't allow the FTT to provide you with a so called acceptable MA.
Always check Companies House and the directors names and to see how many directorships they hold.
Posted by chas on 19 August 2019
Service Charge Accounts at year end
Letter from M.A to Leaseholder...
".....the (service charge year end) accounts confirm there was an overall deficit of (£xxxx) for the previous financial year.
The full deficit amount will be taken from reserve fund monies held and there will be no associated bills issued to any leaseholders".
Is this procedure (i.e, returning monies back to service charge account from reserve/contingency fund ) legal ?
Posted by Peter Thomas on 12 August 2019
Technically No, but in practice it is quite standard procedure. be it from the service charge or reserve fund the money still comes from the leaseholder.
Posted by Michael Epstein on 12 August 2019
Check your lease as most of the McStone ones say this has to be debited/credited against the next invoice . We were always told you could not take it from the CF unless a ballot had been held with leaseholders prior to the accounts going to the auditors.It only becomes a deficit/credit once it has been to the auditors and then cannot be changed .
Posted by Ex employee on 12 August 2019
If there was a Deficit then the Sinking Fund or Reserve Fund is for future maintenance not for Deficits.
Why will there be no associated bills issued to any leaseholders?
Michael posted:-
Technically No, but in practice it is quite a standard procedure by FP as it saves them sending letters to the residents and waiting for payments.
Posted by chas on 12 August 2019
Recently seen in the NEWS Section.
Directors of Firstport Insurance Services are going to be very angry as someone has openly stated that FP had received Commission for placing insurance for a development.
This provision of the information regarding Commissions is including in the RICS Code of Practice and is a requirement that all Commissions are shown in the end of year Budget Reports.
Firstport have in the past with Peverel had commissions in the Thousands paid for doing nothing but placing the Development Insurance with Brokers.
The Commissions are paid by the residents in their Service Charges and it has increased Insurance Premiums by up to 42% in the past, nowadays it is 14% plus 6% and a 5%.
If the insurance is £5,000 then the Commission will be £700 plus £300 plus £250, so actual cost of the Insurance would have been £3,750, but residents will be charged an extra £1,250?
Posted by chas on 12 August 2019
And of course extra commissions can be "earned" by overvaluing the risk or by denying legitimate claims?
Posted by Michael Epstein on 12 August 2019
Ex Employee you post Check the Leases/
In the past a deficit was a requirement for the resident to provide the money but if it was a Surplus (Credit) FP would send a check.
This has now stopped and they do anything to hold on to your money.
FP inform resident they now will receive a refund of the Surplus the following year from the Service Charges, it provides FP with Working Capital.
It does becomes a Deficit/Credit once it has been to the auditors and then cannot be changed, but as it takes 6 months after the end of the financial year so most residents are informed in November/December there is a Deficit/Credit.
Posted by chas on 12 August 2019
Our Insurance Premiums rose by circa 50% since AJ Gallagher purchased Broker Oval.
Posted by chas on 12 August 2019
Another way used by FP is the Re-valuations which used to be every 5 years.
Now with A.J. Gallagher every 3 years or when they can, as Retirement Developments are easy prey and are FPs Cash Cows.
Posted by chas on 13 August 2019
Michael E,
It would be good to know how legitimate claims can be ‘denied’?
Surely the leaseholders have a legal right to see the evidence, especially the Insurers Loss adjusters report otherwise the audited year end accounts cannot be scrutinised.
Posted by FACT on 13 August 2019
Easily!
You simply tell a resident "it's not covered, it's down to them, it's down to the service charges, it's below the excess"or you classify the claim under a different heading with a higher excess, or split the claim up so each part is under the excess. Or if you follow Samantha Gibson's advice you wait for the claimant to die or get dementia?
Posted by Michael Epstein on 13 August 2019
RTM Advice Sought
I'm in the market for advice on the RTM process, particularly in the following areas. (I've already received advice from LKP, but they weren't able to answer all of my questions.)
Has anyone had any really good experiences of companies that support the RTM process?
There are aspects of my development which might be grounds for FirstPort to contest a RTM attempt, at least for one of the buildings on the development. We'll need to get a surveyor in to do an assessment. Has anyone found a really good surveyor in the London area?
Whilst there is a lot of support in my development for RTM, people are nervous about investing money upfront with an unknown chance of success. Does anyone know if management companies are willing to help fund the RTM process as a loss leader if they will get the contract if successful?
Has anyone found a really good management company that they would recommend? A few people I know have managed to change management companies only to find that their new one, after a couple of years, no longer meets their expectations, so it would be helpful to hear from people who have had a consistently good service over a number of years.
I welcome any advice. Many thanks for your time.
Posted by Jane on 10 August 2019
Hi Jane, try Arrow Leasehold Management, we have 3 blocks in our area that have this company in place , Ramsgate that have gone RTM but not sure if they cover london as they are in Essex,
Posted by on 11 August 2019
walk away
Posted on 05 August 2019
RTM- forum
Posted on 04 August 2019
Censorship of Leasehold Exploitation
Posted on 04 August 2019
RESIDENTS RIGHTS
Posted on 01 August 2019
Veterans
Posted on 30 July 2019
No Title
Posted on 29 July 2019
TUPE
Posted on 29 July 2019
Appello/Careline
Posted on 27 July 2019
Second raters .
Posted on 26 July 2019
Leasehold reform .
Posted on 25 July 2019
Leasehold reform ?
Posted on 24 July 2019
First Port Sale
Posted on 21 July 2019
A Voice from the Past
Posted on 19 July 2019
CONTRACTS
Posted on 18 July 2019
Fire assessment
Posted on 15 July 2019
RTM - the costs
Posted on 14 July 2019
No Title
Posted on 13 July 2019
Firstport How Long Before the End
Posted on 12 July 2019
JB Leitch bullying
Posted on 10 July 2019
Training for DM
Posted on 10 July 2019
Phoney Solicitor Revisited
Posted on 08 July 2019
RTM
Posted on 08 July 2019
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