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Granby House: Passive Owners Miss Pay-Out

Jill Burdett on the apartment owners who'll have to fight their own battle with the Guinness Partnership

Written by . Published on January 5th 2015.


Granby House: Passive Owners Miss Pay-Out
 

IT'S a disappointing start to 2015 for the 27 owners in Granby House who did not join the building’s leasehold action against The Guinness Partnership earlier this year.

Catch up with the story here: Granby House - Let This Be A Lesson

 “It’s absolutely ridiculous of course considering we won based on factual evidence and GNC did not appeal to this."

While those that did are now enjoying a pay-out of £1,700 the remainder have been told they will have to get their own Leasehold Valuation Tribunal ruling before receiving refunds of over-inflated service charges dating back years.

Today a spokesperson for The Guinness Partnership (Guinness Northern Counties as it was previously) said: "Legislation is clear that Tribunal decisions apply only to the applicants themselves, and that they do not set a precedent. 

“In line with this, we have already refunded the tribunal applicants but will not be refunding other leaseholders in Granby House.

“That said however, we have refunded a substantial sum into the overall sinking fund which will benefit everyone at Granby House, and the management fee and window cleaning costs have also been reduced this year."

Granby HouseGranby House

Martijn de Roo, who led the Tribunal battle and generously drafted a letter for the other owners asking that the ruling be applied to them says he is disappointed but not surprised.

He said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous of course considering we won based on factual evidence and GNC did not appeal to this. 

“So some of the leaseholders will now start up this process once again in order for the decision of our case to also be applied to them. To me this sounds like a waste of time and money as I am convinced any tribunal will decide in Leaseholders' favour, but if that is what has to happen then so be it.
 
“In the meantime, GNC have wisely decided to apply some of the LVT decisions to the financial year 2014-2015, although an improvement in their service is yet to be seen.” 

He remains determined to pursue the Right to Manage process in the New Year so the owners can appoint their own Management Company to look after the Grade II listed building. 

Meanwhile other buildings continue the slow Leasehold Valuation Tribunal process. Owners at 15 Piccadilly – inspired and helped by Granby – are heading for their own hearing date against The Guinness Partnership (GNC) in 2015.

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17 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJanuary 5th 2015.

Granby House residents wish 15 Piccadilly as well as Lancaster House Residents (who will also start the LVT ball rolling this month) all the success in their endeavours for a fairer treatment of Leaseholders. Let's hope that management companies like the Guinness Partnership start taking things more seriously and actually stop ripping off their customers! Let's also hope that management companies get investigated more thoroughly by the Financial Ombudsman and brought to justice!

AnonymousJanuary 5th 2015.

I used to live at Lancaster house, I sold up last year as GNC could not manage the building. The house 'manager' was a fool he had no idea of his job and was often rude to their paying customers. The building was a disgrace never cleaned and very very poorly managed, once the crack appeared through the entire building which of course was not GNCs fault I sold up (at a loss due to the condition of the building) good riddance GNC!!!

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2015.

Another great example of the incompetency and lack of respect for the decision of the LVT by Guinness.

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2015.

YAY THE 'BURBS!

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2015.

Disappointingly enough Guinness have not applied a fair apportionment of refunds to some residents in cases where residents sold their apartments mid-year. Guinness claim the new Leaseholders would receive the refund (despite not living there at the actual time in question), although it turns out this is NOT the case. Surely is someone has lived in the property for 9 months of the year in question, they should be reimbursed 9/12th of the Service Charge they paid at the time. Guinness seems to think differently. A (not-so) clever way to get out of paying what they actually owe. It looks like Guinness continue to be creative with their bookkeeping, hardly a reassuring thought for any of their customers.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Hero
Jill BurdettJanuary 13th 2015.

their pettiness is beyond belief. GNC should accept the judgement, pay its dues, buck up its service or bail out.

Martijn De RooJanuary 13th 2015.

With 15 Piccadilly, Lancaster House and potentially Granby House part 2, 2015 may turn out to be yet another expensive year for GNC. So easy to avoid if only they would listen and act accordingly...

AnonymousJanuary 14th 2015.

Interesting comment....'if only they would listen and act'.....I know for a fact the Guinness Partnership Executive Team as well as member s of 'The Board' are contacted on a regular basis by unhappy customers, yet they seem to be equally unresponsive to do anything about it. You are 'lucky' if you get a standard response from one of their PA's.

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

Just to give you an update on the state of Granby House since the LVT took place...............NOTHING! the place is exactly the same! apparently GNC are working on moving forward, so fingers crossed! (although we have heard it all before over the past 8 years)

AnonymousJanuary 14th 2015.

Interesting, in the Guinness Partnership Financial Review document for 2014, the ‘overall satisfaction with services provided’ for Leaseholders is at 55% (benchmark is 63%), so it seems they are quite happy providing a mediocre service. Equally funny how ‘satisfaction with repairs’, mainly performed by City Response Ltd, who the Guinness Partnership actually own is at 62%.....so again, they are happy for their own company to do a poor job……

AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2015.

At last.......the Granby House Leasehold manager (who was responsible for the incredibly poor day-to-day management of the building for the last 4 years), will be replaced from coming Monday.....no doubt off to ruin someone else's life......fingers crossed his replacement will have some better skills & behaviours......

AnonymousMarch 2nd 2015.

What a surprise. Guinness have just revealed the budget for 2015-2016 in which they completely disregarded the decision and recommendations made by the Tribunal. They still charge a management fee (as part of the Service Charge) of almost £17K (whereas the LVT felt a fair amount would be £9K) without showing any sign of improving. These people are criminals.........

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 2nd 2015.

Do these people think they are above the law? Why are they not being investigated? I bet their accounts are as colourful as their management style.......

Martijn De RooMarch 2nd 2015.

#thieves

MundyMarch 4th 2015.

Their justification for increasing the Management Fee is that they "have committed that they will manage the building properly" from now on. Not worth the paper it is written on. It gets better, they blame their failure to complete works on the building solely on residents not permitting them access to their flats (either for a full day on a week day or a full day on a Saturday, like THAT is reasonable). And they have no issues with threatening with legal action to gain access..... they are doing a great job bullying their paying customers.....

AnonymousMarch 3rd 2015.

Their attitude STINKS!

AnthonyMarch 3rd 2015.

People who wanted to buy in Lancaster House in the city centre, which is also 'managed' by Guinness (term used loosely) have been turned down for mortgage applications due to the state of the building (massive crack in the outside wall) which was never managed properly by Guinness. Yet everyone still thinks they should be called a Management Company. Unbelievable!

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