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    • TheAceOfClubs
    • By TheAceOfClubs 20th Sep 17, 6:06 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 9Thanks
    TheAceOfClubs
    "Fair and Honest Property Advice" - Are they scammers?
    • #1
    • 20th Sep 17, 6:06 PM
    "Fair and Honest Property Advice" - Are they scammers? 20th Sep 17 at 6:06 PM
    Today I received an unsolicited email from "Fair and Honest Property Advice". ( A copy of the email is included at the bottom of this post.)

    It appears they have emailed a lot of homeowners like myself who pay ground rent to "Estates and Management Limited". (Estates and Management Limited act for various freeholders to collect ground rent and other such fees).
    This "Fair and Honest Property Advice" are claiming that "Estates and Management Limited" charge unreasonably high fees for doing simple admin tasks, they also seem to be suggesting that they can help people like myself reclaim money from "Estates and Management Limited" and are offering to sell me a guide to reclaiming these charges for £12.

    I am smelling a very big rat here.

    Firstly this company "Fair and Honest Property Advice" doesn't seem to exist anywhere.
    Their contact email is an "outlook.com" address which clearly no professional company would use.
    Their suggestion that I could reclaim excessive fees from "Estates and Management Limited" seems to have no substance to it.

    I think they are scammers trying to con people into paying £12 for some "guide book" which doesn't exist and would never be received.

    BUT MY MAIN QUESTION IS... How have these people got my email address and how do they know I have an account with "Estates and Management Limited" to pay my ground rent?

    My email address is pretty private, and I would suggest that the only way anyone could know that my email is linked to an account at "Estates and Management Limited" is if they have stolen the information from "Estates and Management Limited"....

    Although google turns up no such organisation as this dodgy "Fair and Honest Property Advice", I did find a cycling forum where several others have received their unsolicited email.
    (This forum won't let me post a link to it)

    Is there something criminal going on here?


    The email received by everyone is:-

    To Whom It May Concern,

    We write to you on behalf of Fair and Honest Property Advice.
    Our aim is to make homeowners aware of hidden and unreasonable charges they may have paid to Estates and Management Limited upon the purchase and during the ownership of their property.
    As you may be aware, Estates and Management Limited act for various Freeholders and Rent Charge collectors. They are known for their unreasonably high fees for very basic administration tasks. What you may not be aware of is that many of these fees can easily be avoided.
    Estates and Management Limited prey on the fact that many homeowners are unaware or unable to understand the wording of most lease clauses or Transfer documents and how easy it is to dispute their unreasonable charges. Your solicitors who acted for you during your purchase may also be at fault for not making you aware of these charges.
    Estates & Management Limited generally charge the following fees for their basic administration tasks which generally take no longer than 10-15 minutes (fees circa 2017, you can verify by calling Estates & Management Limited);
    Registering as a new owner:
    Registration of a new owner - £125.00
    Registration of a remortgage -£125.00
    Register at Land Registry if consent is required from E&M £205.00
    Renting out your property:
    Registering of new tenant for letting your property - £130.00
    Renewal of a new tenant for letting your property - £65.00
    Written confirmation that letting is not required £70.00
    Selling your property:
    Sellers pack for prospective buyers when selling your property - £135.00
    Permission/Consent to sell your property - £175.00
    Consent for Pets and Alterations:
    Consent for a Pet £80.00
    Consent for Major alterations - £395.00
    - Removal of walls
    - Conservatory
    - Porch extension
    - Parking bollard
    - Driveways
    - Stair lift
    - Solar Panels
    Consent for Minor alterations - £195.00
    - Wooden flooring
    - Window replacements
    - Gas central heating
    - Relocation of Boiler/Flue
    - Bath to shower conversion
    - Satellite Dish
    - Addition of Stud Walls
    - Fence
    - Sheds
    General fees
    Statement of your Ground Rent - £65.00
    Purchasing a copy of your lease - £185.00
    From the information above you can see the prospect of spending hundreds of pounds for ‘consents' from the landlord with very little, if any, services in return.
    We have therefore created a detailed guide on how to avoid and in some cases reclaim money that has been paid to Estates and Management. The guide will include the following;
    - Where the charge has arisen from and what they do for the work
    - How to dispute and demand a reduction or no fee at all and in some cases ask for your money back
    - How they will argue and justify their fees
    - How you can respond to their arguments
    - How to transfer all rights relating to approvals for consents from the landlord to the leaseholders creating your own management company and appointing your own managing agents
    Our guide is £12.00. To order, please email remittance.fahpa@outlook.com with your request and we will provide you with our BACS details.
    Please send all confirmations of payment to remittance.fahpa@outlook.com, please ensure you have included your payment reference.
    Thank you to everyone who has already purchased a guide, please send any feedback to enquiries.fahpa@outlook.com. Please note that any additional queries will be answered free of charge.

    Yours sincerely
    Sarah Lane
    Fair and Honest Property Advice
Page 3
    • berberis2017
    • By berberis2017 24th Sep 17, 1:00 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    berberis2017
    E&m
    Hi everyone, thank you for all this shared info. Just met an elderly resident who had received this email and will share warnings with our residents. We are 52 in a block managed by First Port/E&M/Fairgap etc that has sold shares to the John Lewis Partnership Pension Trust (JLPPT) so they can use the surety of our ground rent presumably to mitigate against the risk of their pension deficit. Happy to connect with any groups that are struggling with these people to share info. We have just got our residents association up and running (formally recognised). Hoping to take these people on and would be amused if it was a data protection breach fine that unexpectedly and serendipitously did the trick. Am not an expert in anything just tired of seeing vulnerable people in my building at their wits end with hefty charges they don't understand and can't challenge. Am reaching out to other blocks and trying to inform myself and connect with others maybe doing the same thing. A complete !!!!!! Won't stand for it.
    • scriv
    • By scriv 24th Sep 17, 11:02 AM
    • 81 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    scriv
    spyderbite.. an interesting perspective, but this is not quite the style of the 'honest whistleblower' wanting to help people.

    I would not be inclined to trust any person or organisation who somehow has gained confidential data and then used it to send unsolicited emails to sell their services. And also someone whose profile is suspect on Linked-in.

    All they have given us to entice us to part with £12 for an unproven service is an albeit useful and well written summary of all the issues and fees and costs which we know already and that any of us who have dealings with E&M could have provided.

    Yes there is a serious breach of data here and E&M have got a problem - but I have no intention of compounding the issue and sending further info about myself to a dubious unknown identity.
    Last edited by scriv; 24-09-2017 at 4:30 PM.
    • robgul
    • By robgul 25th Sep 17, 8:55 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    robgul
    What would be REALLY INTERESTING is if one of the email recipients actually bought the offered £12 panacea (with care on bank details etc) and published the contents here.

    The possible upside, hinted at up-thread, is that the email contents and apparent rip-off exposures MAY get E&M to back-off on their aggressive approach.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 25th Sep 17, 9:06 AM
    • 5,022 Posts
    • 4,366 Thanks
    00ec25
    What would be REALLY INTERESTING is if one of the email recipients actually bought the offered £12 panacea (with care on bank details etc) and published the contents here.

    The possible upside, hinted at up-thread, is that the email contents and apparent rip-off exposures MAY get E&M to back-off on their aggressive approach.
    Originally posted by robgul
    well since you have already posted that you received the e mail the obvious course of action is that YOU SPEND THE £12 and post up its contents here yourself

    the cynic in me thinks if you receive anything at all it will be obvious statements that any reasonable person could have come up with themselves anyway
    • kulajava
    • By kulajava 26th Sep 17, 11:20 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    kulajava
    Buying freehold from E&M
    Hi - I also have a maisonette with the lease held by E&M. When I asked about extending the lease they quoted a crazy figure so I am looking into purchasing the freehold.
    If anyone is in a similar situation could they PM me? Thanks
    • rjshook
    • By rjshook 27th Sep 17, 9:12 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    rjshook
    Just to clarify - are you saying that you gave E&M an email that you only gave E&M (clarkster+em@somemail.com) and the message from FAHPA was sent to that same unique email address? If so, please ensure you make this known to the ICO and kudos to you!
    • rjshook
    • By rjshook 27th Sep 17, 9:44 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    rjshook
    A very interesting thread. Several people have stated that they use unique emails in their registration with E&M. This lends strong credibility to a data breach from E&M by "Sarah Lane". Please file a report with the ICO.
    As for the points that "Sarah Lane" makes against E&M - she is broadly correct. They are a bunch of scammers that do not pay attention to the details of your lease and use their position to leverage inappropriate fees.
    it is important to note however that E&M is not usually your Landlord. They act as an agent on behalf of your Landlord.
    READ YOUR LEASE CAREFULLY and understand the difference between Landlord/Lessor and Manager. They are often different and have differing rights and responsibilities. YOUR SOLICITOR MIGHT BE TOO LAZY TO CARE. So do your homework and don't be afraid to challenge your solicitor.
    I have battled E&M, questioned their unnecessary fees and have won! You can too if you read and understand your Lease.
    -Ryan
    • scriv
    • By scriv 28th Sep 17, 3:27 PM
    • 81 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    scriv
    E&M have confirmed that there has been unauthorised access to customers' email addresses and have reported it to ICO and the police. They are investigating the issue to see how widespread it is, but believe it is restricted to emails.

    Whilst agreeing with rsjhook that E&M is not usually your Landlord, but act on behalf your Landlord, they often share the exact same Directors and Officers and address and contact details - so although they are legally different entities, in reality it seems that you are often dealing with the same crew!
    Last edited by scriv; 28-09-2017 at 4:19 PM.
    • robgul
    • By robgul 29th Sep 17, 10:22 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    robgul
    Googling "Tchenguiz" - and also this link brings up some interesting information about Thenguiz (the brothers) and on the intertwining of E&M with First Port (and its previous names OM & Peverel) - the link about the structure of the group companies is worth a look.

    It is interesting, perhaps, that two people I know that have paid E&M fees related to their properties did NOT receive the email (despite E&M having their address) from Sarah Lane. Chance perhaps?
    • robgul
    • By robgul 3rd Oct 17, 7:07 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    robgul
    It may just be me but both E&M and First Port online payment systems have not worked for about the last 5 days? (FP did have a note on the payment page for a while - the others just failed the process)?? I have sent good 'ol cheques.
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