A Grand History
Between April 1981 and September 1981 the residents of the Grand made six written requests for a summary of costs for service charges to Michael Stainer (pictured circa 1983). Under the 1980 Housing Act a landlord – as Mr Stainer was then, but is no more, was required by law to provide a summary of expenditure in respect of service charge costs within one month of a request. On all six occasions Mr Stainer failed to comply with the written requests. On the 7th Oct 1981 another request was made and a deadline set.
It took in the end nine requests and initiation of correspondence with the local council (Shepway at the time) to elicit the accounts for 1980 and 1981.
However, in Dec 1982 two further request were made for a summary of costs for service charges; which were not complied with, quelle surprise! Then in Feb 1983 three further requests were made and all five request were not complied with before June 1983.
Mr Stainer was elected as a Conservative Councillor in May 1983 for the then Folkestone Harvey Ward.
In late January 1984 Mr Stainer – “a reputed millionaire” at the time, found himself in the local magistrates court for not complying with numerous requests for the summary of costs for service charges made by the residents of the Grand. He was fined £400 and ordered to pay £250 costs. In late Jan 1984 Mr Stainer resigned his position as a Councillor after only nine months. The Herald ran the following story below on the 3rd Feb 1984
Well I never!!!! Someone has spent a lot of time in the archives and well done for providing an explanation as to why the Grand residents first went to court in 1985 — and are still chasing the Stainers for moneys long owed. I have to ask — where are our local ‘newspapers’ today? How has this gone on for so long? Who has allowed this? And why?
The answer might be that he’s an archetypal Tory?
More likely a funny handshaker.
How profoundly ironic that Stainer was fined under the 1980 Housing Act section relating to a tenant’s right to demand that his landlord supplies him with a written summary of the service charge costs, this was a criminal offence as opposed to a civil offence at the time.. In January 2018 Stainer’s excuse for not paying his own £167,000 service charge arrears on his 19 flats was the ‘failure’ of the Tribunal-appointed manager to provide adequate accounts etc. Needles to say, this was laughed out of court. What a shame this 1984 conviction wasn’t then known to the Judge.
So this was a conviction in Folkestone Magistrates Court in 1984. Wish we’d known that in possibly the same court room in January and April 2018. Maybe that explains his non-attendance? Bad vibes……..