Pensioners waiting after tribunal over control of their homes
A GROUP of pensioners must wait until the New Year to find out whether they can seize control of their retirement home.
As The Herald reported on Monday, disgruntled residents at Elim Court are locked in a legal battle with their managing agent.
Around 20 elderly tenants from the Peverell home attended a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal in the city yesterday.
They are attempting to use right to manage legislation under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to replace Y&Y Management Limited with their own Elim Court Right to Manage Company Limited.
Residents say they have concerns over staffing, care and proposed changes to car parking and intercom systems since Y&Y took over running the 38-flats home in January last year.
The London-based management company yesterday tried to block the pensioners' claim during the hearing at Plymouth University's Rolle Building.
Barrister Justin Bates, for respondent Y&Y, argued the OAPs' claim was invalid because key documentation was incorrect.
He told the tribunal that the original claim notices were not correctly served on tenants in eight flats who had pulled out of the Elim Court Right to Manage Company.
A ninth resident ceased to be a member of the company when she passed away, Mr Bates added, but similar documentation required by law was never sent to the intermediate landlord of her flat.
Mr Bates said the alleged errors were not just inaccuracies but "wholesale failures", rendering the pensioners' claim invalid.
But Margarita Mossop, legal counsel for the residents, said the company's argument was "completely flawed".
She told the tribunal the original claim notice letters had been sent out correctly by Right to Manage Federation founder Dudley Joiner, on behalf of the Elim Court Right to Manage Company.
Mr Bates responded by accusing the residents of "an attempt to rewrite history".
Valuer chairman Robert Batho said at the end of the four-hour hearing that the tribunal would return its judgement after Christmas. "When we do make our decision, please understand that we are creatures of statute," he added.