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Up-date: Persimmon under pressure to cancel all leasehold deals as climbdown by builder gives homeowners hope
By JAMIE NIMMO FOR THE FINANCIAL MAIL ON SUNDAY first PUBLISHED: 24/08/2019 and UPDATED: 24 August 2019 and again seen today on Face Book, and precis and added to by chas.

In 2019 Persimmon were under pressure to cancel all leasehold deals.

Persimmon was accused of 'mis-selling dozens of homes on one estate' in Cardiff, but what about the other sales in other areas where where buyers were given the same information when trained by Persimmon Staff?

Residents claimed they were not told homes were leasehold and now Persimmon has admitted its sales team had not been clear enough (poor excuse).

It also seems the builders used were not able to produce the quality they claimed.

Housebuilder Persimmon is under pressure to scrap all of its leasehold contracts after it reached an out-of-court settlement over alleged mis-selling.

Persimmons is trying to restore its very poor reputation after a bonus scandal and complaints about workmanship – was accused of breaching trading standards after allegedly mis-selling dozens of homes on an estate in Cardiff after they admitted it sales teams had not been clear enough that homes sold in 2016/2017 were not freehold but leasehold.

A number of buyers at the St Edeyrn’s Village development complained they were not told the homes were leasehold meant they would have to pay ground rent and would be more likely to experience difficulties selling them compared to freehold properties.

In a letter to the Cardiff buyers sent earlier this month, Martin Smith, managing director of Persimmon’s East Wales division, admitted ‘we could have communicated better or more clearly when you first moved in’.

Any feedback from Persimmon as the quality of their built homes is also in question as is the use of Sub-Contract only building companies who have not yet been named
Posted by chas on 15 January 2021
Letter No: 235 to William Kenneth Procter
Does any one know Charles Soyinka, area manager? It seems Nigel Howell CEO does not nor does William Kenneth Procter, MD, know him well or at all.

Is this the same Mr Soyinka, area manager, who has been signing his signature with Msc qualification.

Mr Soyinka was asked from which university and in which year he got his Msc. Unfortunately Charles Soyinka could not remember the name of the university where he got his Msc.
Mr Soyinka could not remember in which year he allegedly qualified.
Thereafter Mr Soyinka dropped using Msc for his signatures.

Does any know Mr Soyinka Msc?
Nigel Howel and Mr Procter do not seem to have checked properly or at all Mr Soyinka's qualifications and Msc.
Posted by JJ on 14 January 2021
It seems Mr Soyinka was an alumni of ‘ The University of Hertfordshire ‘.
He is working with ‘a Vulnerable’ section of the public.Transparency is vital.

I suggest you google him and contact the university for clarity....
Posted by Kim on 15 January 2021
Mr Charles Soyinka has a Masters Degree (MSc) from Hertford University and also is a Qualified Project Manager (MAPM) and Certified Member of Workplace Facilities Manager (CIWFM) and is now Area Manager at Badgers Court 41 flats and Badgers Lodge 11 flats for FirstPort Retirement in Epsom in Surrey for the past 18 months since June 2019 and has been with Firstport for over 4 years, no information of the regarding whether he had been a Development Manager?

It would seem he is over qualified for the position as some Regional Managers (RM) were from failed Phone Companies such as his RM Mr Gareth Cayford who is seen to condone the lack of management shown.

A Personal Statement
Mr Solinka is a:-
*skilled People Manager with experience in managing residential developments
*sound knowledge of managing and motivating teams to achieve Organisation’s objectives.
*Possess people management and leadership skills with experience in leading teams to deliver excellent customer service.
Posted by chas on 15 January 2021
Michael E, I did make it clear in my comment that anyone can “ take what they require” from my template to assist them should they require assistance.

The template contained some pretty strong bullet points that should hit home! Nothing ventured nothing gained!!
Posted by Kim on 14 January 2021
Getting tired, Thank you. Let’s hope leaseholders in their thousands email Jenrick and regulation of agents is introduced without delay.

Posted by Kim on 14 January 2021

Hi Everyone. If we want regulation of MA’s then it is imperative that every leaseholder in the land emails jenrick demanding that it is Implemented NOW! I have composed a template to assist should you require. Please take what you want from the template. Email robert.jenrick@communities .gov.uk

I advise that you share amongst your friends , families and other retirement homes. PEOPLE POWER!!

Dear Mr Jenrick,

In April 2018 your Government promised leaseholders stronger protection from unfair rogue managing agents.

Leaseholders in their hundreds of thousands suffer at the hands of rogue agents every day from unexpected costs, deliberately vague bills and poor quality repairs.

Leaseholders were promised that a new mandatory code of practice was being proposed to stop managing agents flouting the law.

Leaseholders were promised that Managing Agents would be required to obtain a nationally recognised qualification to practice, with at least 1 person in every organisation to have a higher qualification.

Leaseholders were promised that a new independent regulator responsible for working practices of managing agents will be given strong powers of enforcement for those who break the rules-and managing agents who fail to comply will not be permitted to trade. We were promised that criminal sanctions would be brought in for those who severely breach the code.

Leaseholders were promised that the final proposal for this “ Crackdown “ on Managing agents would be drawn up in early 2019.

Mr jenrick.We are still waiting.
A large minority of Managing Agents are no more than merchants of menace, Making from misery of the lives of with utter impunity.

The promised regulation must be implemented without further delay.
Posted by Kim on 13 January 2021
This is what is needed Kim - Thank you!

While the kettle was boiling for a nice cup of tea I have written my email and sent it. I suggest we all do the same - that is how quick it is.

We all have plenty of time on our hands at the moment. If you have a valid reason for not spending 5 minutes compiling and sending this email, then don't do it. But I, like most people I guess, would like to know what your reason is.

Please do it the next time you boil a kettle and then sit down and enjoy your well earned drink.

One from each of us will make a difference. One from each of us plus one from other people we can encourage to do the same will make a big difference.

Please .....
Posted by Getting tired on 13 January 2021
No one could object to anyone doing anything to right the wrongs of Leasehold?
And fine by me if you want to write to anyone in Government. But template letters never work, you should do your own version. Meanwhile you could do serious damage if everyone stopped using the Firstport auto pay systems and sent old fashioned cheques to them? Their already hard pressed administration would simply collapse under the weight of letters landing on their doormat? We know despite the best endeavours of this site Firsport are out to cheat us? Why make it easy for them?
And not that I would wish to cause any trouble, but I received a leaflet from our good friends at McCarthy & Stone advertising a very nice looking development at Knebworth in Hertfordshire. If you wish to book a viewing there is a Freephone number 0800 153 3214.
Of course if you are not busy and simply want to ask whether they are still going to charge a ground rent for no service whatsoever you can use the same number. don't forget it's FREE! I am sure McCarthy & Stone would love to hear from you all?
Posted by Michael Epstein on 13 January 2021
ALL POSTERS please note:-
If you are to go with the template/letter idea it would be more effective to send to your own MP and cc Mr Robert Jenrick.
It has been speculated Mr Jenrick will be moving on from his current Secretary of State role which would not surprise us because there have been 10 in 10 years.
Whatever....please carry on our fight for Justice for Leaseholders...the victims of Feudal Leasehold.
Posted by FACT on 14 January 2021
So we now have a choice – email Robert Jenrick and your own MP or cause havoc at Firstport and/or McCarthy & Stone.

If we choose to email Jenrick, what will we achieve? The likely response will be a cut and paste generic document and you may feel nothing has been achieved. But its like any complaint procedure – your correspondence is repeatedly knocked back until a point is reached where it cannot be ignored. So numbers are important, even though they won’t ‘let on’. To email Jenrick is to follow the advice on the news page of this website - “so for all the supporters "Don't give up! - Keep Posting" “. (Replace Posting with Emailing)

If we choose to follow the disruptive route, what will we achieve? FirstPorts already hard pressed administration would simply collapse under the weight of letters. So any other concerns you may have will be delayed longer than they already are. Or, in an effort to avoid that and to get hold of our money more quickly, FirstPort may employ more staff to clear the backlog, and increase our service charge to cover the costs.

If we choose to cause havoc at McCarthy and Stone, what will that achieve? The result of this, if sufficient people contact, may be that the on site sales personnel will be given a statement to read out when asked that question again. Other than just being a nuisance, I cannot think what would be achieved, but hopefully others can.

So we all have a choice. One fact which has come out of this is that, if we do nothing, nothing will be achieved. Make your choice of action, maybe its all three options, and carry it out now!

Also, has anyone any other ideas how these rogues can be handled? As Michael says,"No one could object to anyone doing anything to right the wrongs of Leasehold" so lets have your ideas and all choose to do something or suggest something. Lets get things moving.
Posted by on 14 January 2021

I couldn’t agree more!!!! 😁
Rogue MA’s whom are the many not the few, see the older generation as low hanging fruit to be easily exploited.

In fact, I believe people living in retirement homes were deemed “ Dribbling Geriatrics” by some kindly individual in the managing agency trade.

The “ Grey Vote” is extremely powerful. Let’s not tolerate this exploitation and abuse by rogue MA’s and rogue freeholders any longer. They operate with less integrity than a crime organisation . They are bullies and cowards.

Doing nothing is not an option. As one poster commented “ CHOOSE YOUR METHOD AND ACT ON IT”.
I advise the email method be included. Why? Because the more that write the quicker I believe we will have regulation.
Posted by Kim on 15 January 2021
Agreed we need proper regulation for managing agents.
I have always believed in an ABTA type system where managing agents can be held liable for their failings and would have to be bonded.
Since many of our issues arise out of developer/freeholder appointments of managing agents, it would be of help if all developments had a statutory residents association empowered to contract a managing agent on a maximum of a three yearly basis? that would stop the excesses of companies such as Firstport
Posted by Michael Epstein on 15 January 2021
So what will disruption to Firstport and McCarthy & stone administrative systems achieve? In reply to the anonymous post quite a lot actually?
Let us be clear, by Firstport we are talking about Equistone who have lent Firstport £50m to carry on trading at an annual interest rate of 10%. £5m a year just to service a loan, that is quite a burden especially when it is only the leaseholder that they can get this money from? That is £5m not profit, but what they have to make out of leaseholders before they turn a penny profit? Don't think of McCarthy & stone either. Think of them as Lone Star a very aggressive American equity company?
The use of technology is under normal circumstances a good thing. But Firstport use technology to make it easier to cheat residents and they have made savings of around £2m per year.
That £2m saving has allowed them to stay in business.
It has always been my view that the only way to stop Firstport scams is to stop Firstport period!
For those that may say "They are a reformed company?" I say " they are not, they are still mired in scandal and corruption and they have yet to pay back the £1.4 m for their admitted price fixing fraud"
By sending all payments by cheque instead of pressing a button, envelopes arrive on the Firstport doormat. They have to be opened and processed. That takes time and staff resources.
So, they take on more staff? OK, that is a possibility, but if they do that it incurs more cost to them at a time they already have to find £5m to service interest payments to their "investor"
Even if they were to find more staff they have nowhere to put them as they have reduced their office space. Additionally whilst they were in the chaos we could lawfully cause, they would lack the resources to take on new developments or buyout other management companies. Look, we all know we are going to be cheated by Firstport, it is I suppose a question of mitigating the extent of cheating as much as possible? Why make it easy for them?
Posted by Michael Epstein on 15 January 2021
Indeed.There’s more than one way to skin a rat!!!

2021 must be the year that MA’s are brought to heel. I have heard accounts of such despair whereby leaseholders who question the MA’s conduct ( fraud etc) are ostracised by their fellow leaseholders due the the MA’s ‘ divide and conquer’ strategy.

This strategy is the MA’s nuclear weapon, alongside screeching “ forfeiture “ when their dodgy invoices are questioned. This strategy works particularly well on the vulnerable older population it seems. The MA’s know this. They are terrorising bullies .
We must stand strong and together to end this legalised extortion and intimidation. It is that serious.

Note: I was told by an MA’ to “ keep digging, nobody is listening’...... That’s how confident they are of getting away with their venality.

I and others are continuing to dig however I have felt it necessary to alert the police that I am concerned for my safety. Why?

I was physically assaulted by an individual associated with the MA.

We have to cut out this rot.

Posted by Kim. on 15 January 2021
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