Property firm expelled from industry body

Property management agency ABC Block Management has been expelled from the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) following a formal complaint by leaseholders and a property tribunal ruling.

ARMA has excluded the company with no right of appeal after leaseholders at 112 Blackheath Road in south-east London took tribunal against its court-appointed block manager ABC Block Management and its managing director Richard Davidoff.

Complaints were logged after major works bills soared from £10,000 to almost £100,000.

In August, the tribunal found Davidoff had also charged the freeholder of the site several demands totalling £59,613.70, with no apparent explanation justifying these charges.

The tribunal ordered the two leaseholders who brought the case to be refunded £11,844.32 and £12,196.92. The other charges billed to ABC Block Management were ruled inadmissible.

Nick Hargrave, a former Number 10 special advisor when David Cameron was prime minister, is a leaseholder at another block managed by Davidoff and ABC.

He said: “One of my regrets from my time in Downing Street is that I didn’t do more to agitate on the subject of leasehold.

“Managing agents like Richard Davidoff and ABC are a symptom of what happens in an unregulated market. A statutory regulator with the power to stop unethical managing agents like ABC trading would be a huge step forward for the country.”

A spokesperson from ABC Estates told the press: “There has been a concerted effort by competitors and disgruntled former employees to cause damage to ABC. Substantial damages have been paid so far and further actions are in the process. This is all in the hands of our solicitors and actions are being taken, including advice regarding a challenge to the decision by ARMA. It would not be appropriate to make comment at this stage, save that we are optimistic about our challenge to this arbitrary decision.”

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6 Comments

  1. LovePropertyBiz

    Is the ARMA decision public? If so, where can it be found, please?

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    1. Gulliver

      ARMA no longer publishes sanction decisions.

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  2. LovePropertyBiz

    I found a ruling here: https://berniewales.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/210812-FTT-decision-Davidoff-Blackheath-Road.pdf

    I’ve never read such a damning decision.  I’ll be amazed if ABC’s solicitors successfully challenge it based on my reading of the decision.  Am I missing something?  No wonder Davidoff doesn’t want to comment.

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    1. Gulliver

      That’s a copy of the First Tier Tribunal decision that led to the complaint to ARMA. This, together with other evidence that was submitted, resulted in ARMA expelling ABC Block Management Limited. No, you are not missing something. Under its byelaws, ARMA’s expulsion of ABC Block Management Limited cannot be appealed.
       
      The IRPM are also looking into this matter in respect of Richard Davidoff. The IRPM has yet to make its decision.

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  3. LovePropertyBiz

    See also: https://berniewales.co.uk/managing-agents-are-crooks/

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  4. Gulliver

    The Association of Residential Managing Agents, the First Tier Tribunal, the Institute of Residential Property Management, the Property Redress Scheme and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors have various powers to sanction errant managing agents. Some might argue that they issue these sanctions too sparingly.
     
    The crux of the matter is that none of these entities have the power to stop a managing agent trading. We therefore have an absurd situation where managing agents such as Richard Davidoff and ABC Block Management Limited can continue trading even if their practices have been deemed by a court to be abusive and unacceptable.
     
    If a managing agent’s practices have been deemed by a court to be abusive and unacceptable (as in this case) we need an entity with the power to stop the managing agent trading. This can only be achieved by an independent regulator.

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