Property firm's bill for overcharging Southend residents to top £100K

Southend Standard: Kerry Staab, who has been repaid £15,000 she paid for permission to extend her home Kerry Staab, who has been repaid £15,000 she paid for permission to extend her home

A PROPERTY firm’s final bill for overcharging householders for allowing improvements to their homes is expected to top £100,000.

The Echo can reveal Thorpe Estated Ltd has already repaid more than £71,000 charged to people living on the Burges Estate, which spans Thorpe Bay and parts of Shoebury.

Ron Woodley, chairman of the Burges Estate Residents’ Association (BERA), said: “It’s going to be well in excess of £100,000.

“When you consider the situation over the last 12 years, £71,000 is a nice sum – but it’s not all of it yet.

“As people realise these charges were inappropriate, more people will come forward; and we hope we address those as well.”

Mr Woodley and fellow independent Thorpe Ward councillor Mike Stafford met with a representative from Thorpe Estates last Tuesday to present more cases where residents have been overcharged for permission for adjustments like extensions, disabled access ramps or changes to windows.

The campaigners are still in talks with Nicky Gould, joint owner of the Regis Group, an international property giant that owns a 51 per cent stake of Thorpe Estates, over lifting a restrictive covenant that allows it to levy a “reasonable administration charge” from residents who want to change their homes.

He had expected to call a meeting of the association to announce a deal by now, but Mr Gould is rarely available in the UK to meet.

BERA also wants to keep an absolute covenant that prevents people from building a second home on their plot, install caravans or run certain businesses from their homes.

Mr Woodley said: “The integrity of the estate is important to all residents. That’s without question.

“People want to love here because it’s well kept and well maintained.

“There are covenants that we need to protect that.”

BBC show Inside Out picked up on the Echo’s coverage of the residents’ plight over the past few months and ran a report last week.

Mr Woodley said: “With the Echo picking up on the cases in the last few months, it enabled other channels of media to get involved and highlight this issue.”

Comments (6)

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1:57pm Tue 11 Dec 12

geriatric says...

Thank you Ron Woodley and your team. A brilliant effort. Keep up the good work.
Thank you Ron Woodley and your team. A brilliant effort. Keep up the good work. geriatric

2:01pm Tue 11 Dec 12

andy:) says...

Inside Out prog was good, although a bit difficult to track down. iPlayer is mostly full of BBC London stuff and not BBC East.

Whats puzzled me is why individuals didnt take action at Court/LVT ?. I beat my freeholder and his silly demands quite easily, I know thyere was mention of the residents building up a legal fighting fund, but anyone with a reasonable brain can challange their freeholder/managing agent.

Andy
Inside Out prog was good, although a bit difficult to track down. iPlayer is mostly full of BBC London stuff and not BBC East. Whats puzzled me is why individuals didnt take action at Court/LVT ?. I beat my freeholder and his silly demands quite easily, I know thyere was mention of the residents building up a legal fighting fund, but anyone with a reasonable brain can challange their freeholder/managing agent. Andy andy:)

3:23pm Tue 11 Dec 12

halojump says...

andy:) wrote:
Inside Out prog was good, although a bit difficult to track down. iPlayer is mostly full of BBC London stuff and not BBC East. Whats puzzled me is why individuals didnt take action at Court/LVT ?. I beat my freeholder and his silly demands quite easily, I know thyere was mention of the residents building up a legal fighting fund, but anyone with a reasonable brain can challange their freeholder/managing agent. Andy
The danger of going to court to challenge the small print of this agreement or in any freehold case is that if you loose, then you are in for a future of hell. You cannot sell easily if you challange in court and loose as you have to declare and conflict or actions of intrest to future purchasers, which if its been to court will not only be documented but be the ultimate turn off to buyer and cause a big reduction in value.
This was a big issue Andy for home owners who included several lawyers.If anyone had lost a case in court to regis then it would have stopped future claims in their tracks for anyone else with the same contract.
[quote][p][bold]andy:)[/bold] wrote: Inside Out prog was good, although a bit difficult to track down. iPlayer is mostly full of BBC London stuff and not BBC East. Whats puzzled me is why individuals didnt take action at Court/LVT ?. I beat my freeholder and his silly demands quite easily, I know thyere was mention of the residents building up a legal fighting fund, but anyone with a reasonable brain can challange their freeholder/managing agent. Andy[/p][/quote]The danger of going to court to challenge the small print of this agreement or in any freehold case is that if you loose, then you are in for a future of hell. You cannot sell easily if you challange in court and loose as you have to declare and conflict or actions of intrest to future purchasers, which if its been to court will not only be documented but be the ultimate turn off to buyer and cause a big reduction in value. This was a big issue Andy for home owners who included several lawyers.If anyone had lost a case in court to regis then it would have stopped future claims in their tracks for anyone else with the same contract. halojump

3:37pm Tue 11 Dec 12

echoforum says...

Get laptop type in 'INSIDE EAST' then choose the monday (3rd) and enjoy!!!

Congradulations to Ron.

These bandits are hard-core and it took a real campaigner to break them down.
Now lets get rid of this crappy, vague covenant that resides on our deeds that serves no purpose other than to fill the pockets of these blackmailers.
Get laptop type in 'INSIDE EAST' then choose the monday (3rd) and enjoy!!! Congradulations to Ron. These bandits are hard-core and it took a real campaigner to break them down. Now lets get rid of this crappy, vague covenant that resides on our deeds that serves no purpose other than to fill the pockets of these blackmailers. echoforum

3:48pm Tue 11 Dec 12

echoforum says...

echoforum wrote:
Get laptop type in 'INSIDE EAST' then choose the monday (3rd) and enjoy!!!

Congradulations to Ron.

These bandits are hard-core and it took a real campaigner to break them down.
Now lets get rid of this crappy, vague covenant that resides on our deeds that serves no purpose other than to fill the pockets of these blackmailers.
Sorry!
Mistake,I was clearly over excited with the gradual demise of Thorpe/Pier/Regis etc....
The programme is:
INSIDE OUT EAST...worth watching to see the bill that these thieves are charging one resident (£500,000)
[quote][p][bold]echoforum[/bold] wrote: Get laptop type in 'INSIDE EAST' then choose the monday (3rd) and enjoy!!! Congradulations to Ron. These bandits are hard-core and it took a real campaigner to break them down. Now lets get rid of this crappy, vague covenant that resides on our deeds that serves no purpose other than to fill the pockets of these blackmailers.[/p][/quote]Sorry! Mistake,I was clearly over excited with the gradual demise of Thorpe/Pier/Regis etc.... The programme is: INSIDE OUT EAST...worth watching to see the bill that these thieves are charging one resident (£500,000) echoforum

2:31pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Ivanna Goodhump says...

Chalkwell Residents be aware.

The company that holds similar covenants in Chalkwell (Chalkwell Estates Ltd - I believe) has recently begun trying to levy increased charges in a similar fashion.

Apparently this change of stance has co-incided with control of the company moving to the Chidren of the original Directors.

If true they obviously have a lower moral threshold.
Chalkwell Residents be aware. The company that holds similar covenants in Chalkwell (Chalkwell Estates Ltd - I believe) has recently begun trying to levy increased charges in a similar fashion. Apparently this change of stance has co-incided with control of the company moving to the Chidren of the original Directors. If true they obviously have a lower moral threshold. Ivanna Goodhump

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