With thanks to one of our loyal followers, we have received a copy of letter written by Mr. Robert Richardson (pictured), back in August 2014, when he described himself as “General Manager The Grand.” In this he seeks to correct what he claims was a misstatement by his “employer”, Michael Stainer, whom was quoted as saying “we are NOT in a position to keep paying in full” when Richardson claims that he said “we are NOW in a position to keep paying in full”. It’s amazing what a “T” can do!
All of this arose out of the First Teir Property Tribunal in 2014 that removed the freeholder, Hallam Estates and its agent, Fell Reynold from management responsibility for the Grand. The payment issue that came up in this case related to, surprise surprise, non-payment of service charges by the Stainers. Here’s what Mr. Stainer’s barrister, Jonathan Upton stated:
“To a large extent the source of the dispute had been or nearly been resolved namely, the Respondent’s failure to meet the shortfall in its contribution and the failure of Mr. and Mrs. Stainer to provide their appropriate share of service charge liability. This had been to a large extent resolved.”
Here’s what Adam Rosenthal, the barrister acting for the applicants, who were Grand residents:
“It is necessary to look at what is being done and what is suggested will be done to resolve the funding issue. It is more of the same. From the correspondence it shows that the problem has gone on for decades. It has been the source of litigation in the past and has recurred throughout. The evidence of Mr. Stainer is too little to late. He has been promising for a long time that he would be in a better position to fund the service charges but there is no evidence of funds in place. ……….There is just an email in principle to a loan and not enough evidence that the funding problem is to be resolved in the near future or at all.”
Judge Norman clearly agreed with Mr. Rosenthal when he stated:
“Unfortunately, the history of this building shows that the Respondent [Hallam Estates] has not covered shortfalls. Indeed the Respondent has added to the shortfalls by failing to contribute to the maintenance fund……. The continuing theme in this case is the failure by the Respondent and Mr. and/or Mrs. Stainer to make the contributions they are obliged to make to the maintenance fund.”
This is a far remove from Mr. Richardson’s (pictured) perspective, why let the facts get in the way of his atempt to whitewash the painful facts out of existence? He writes in the enclosed letter to the Folkestone and Hythe Express:
“Your article does correctly identify our enviable financial position (£144,250 + cash in the bank and growing. £50,000 additional revenue p/a due to increased development of the Grand.)”
Bear in mind he was at this time a director of Keppells Cuisine Ltd and Grand-UK Ltd – both now subject to winding up orders, so he knew the reality, and here it is – the Balance Sheet for Hallam Estates Limited as filed at Companies House for the year ending March 31st, 2015. These paint a very different picture. There a £223,306 negative balance showing – no sign of any cash.
The Shepwayvox Team