RICS surveyors indemnity insurers pay up 2019

RICS  Mr Mark van Blommestein of Pearson Gore Surveyors – MRICS Chartered Surveyor and Party Wall Surveyor

 

Mr van Blommestein’s professional indemnity insurers settled the claim, with Mr van Blommestein contributing the £2,500 excess.

Back ground

Mr van Blommestein MRICS was appointed by an adjoining owner to give advice in relation to a proposed extension by the building owner.  He did not engage fully with the adjoining owner to the extent that left the adjoining owner rather bemused and confused about what was actually taking place.

 

When the Award was served it transpired that Mr van Blommestein MRICShad together with a Mr Baker a member of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors (FPWS) (the building owners surveyor) awarded the construction of a new wall on the line of junction, and foundations would project across the boundary line onto the adjoining owners land, authorising scaffolding on the AO’s land.

 

Now the adjoining owner being a man in his 60’s whilst not conversant with the Act, or construction, considered this to be somewhat unusual.

 

He took advice from Philip Antino who spotted the errors immediately and wrote to Mr van Blommestein in clear terms advising him that the Award was invalid because (i) he had no jurisdiction to determine a wall on the line of junction without any s.1(5) notice having been served, and (ii) the s.6(1) notice for excavations did not entitle Mr van Blommestein to authorise foundations projecting onto the adjoining owners land.

 

Effectively what Mr van Blommestein had done was authorise a trespassing foundation and scaffolding.  Mr van Blommestein was invited with Mr Baker to withdraw the Award, serve a new Award, removing the trespassing foundations and if there was an intention to build a wall on the line of junction, to serve the appropriate notice.

 

Somewhat shockingly, Mr van Blommestein together with Mr Baker argued that their Award was valid, and that you did not need to serve a notice under s.1(5) because the notice under s.6(1) allowed for a structure to be built on top of it!!!

 

Clearly, neither Mr van Blommestein nor Mr Baker understood the mechanism behind s.1(5) or the mechanism that required the notice of excavations under s.6(1).

 

Mr Antino advised the adjoining owner to make an application for a declaration of invalidity.

 

Mr Antino referred the adjoining owner to a solicitor and barrister who prepared the application for a declaration of invalidity running up many thousands of pounds in costs.

 

The adjoining owner was put to unnecessary inconvenience, nuisance and distress through the intransigence of Mr van Blommestein and Mr Baker.

 

Mr van Blommestein was invited to declare himself incapable of acting under s.10(5) because the relationship had broken down and clearly it was considered that he was incapable of dealing with this objectively and impartially, a clear conflict of interest had arisen, because there was a potential claim for negligence against Mr van Blommestein.

 

Mr van Blommestein refused to stand down, then rather shockingly joined together with Mr Baker without any prior notice and served another Award removing the trespassing foundations and also moved the wall away from the boundary so it was constructed inside the boundary line, and thus removing the right to erect scaffolding.

 

Mr Antino is not quite sure why Mr van Blommestein could not have done that in the first place, but after £8,000 of legal costs, an Award had now been set up that was considered to be valid.

 

However, on closer inspection of the drawings Mr Antino spotted another issue, it transpired that the boundary position had now miraculously been moved into a different location, to that in the first set of drawings, and that caused a further dispute.

 

Mr van Blommestein refused to respond to the adjoining owners solicitors who wrote in clear terms that they would not appeal this Award on the basis that it was accepted that the boundary was in the position as noted in the first Award, and not in this revised second Award.

 

Mr van Blommestein was put on notice that a complaint would be registered, as the adjoining owner quite rightly wanted to be reimbursed for his costs.

 

Mr van Blommestein complaints handling procedure (CHP) was requested, this was flawed because it related to a dispute resolution procedure that no longer existed.  Mr van Blommestein was asked for a revised CHP, this one was also flawed, because he had included a dispute handling procedure for landlords and tenants of which the adjoining owner was neither.  This was becoming a comedy of errors.

 

Mr van Blommestein was asked for a third CHP which was ultimately given,

Mr van Blommestein was invited to settle the adjoining owners costs.

 

Mr van Blommestein’s professional indemnity insurers settled the claim, with Mr van Blommestein contributing the £2,500 excess.

 

Do you have concerns with your surveyors conduct and/or Award, if so contact Philip Antino.

Posted on July 28, 2019 .

Another successful case for Philip Antino's Clients and appointing owners

Nessfield Ltd v Oi Tan Chan Central London County Court Appeal E20CL182

 

Mrs Oi Tan Chan over the moon with the service provided by Philip Antino.

 

Philip Antino was appointed by the building owners following the deemed incapacity of the building owners first surveyor.

 

The adjoining owners appointed a Mr Kritzler from the beginning, who had raised numerous pejorative issues over the proposed works which caused considerable delays and frustrated the building owner’s surveyor so much that he deemed himself incapable of acting.  Following Mr Antino’s appointment as the replacement surveyor he quickly brought Mr Kritzler to hand, and progressed matters, and dismissing the previous points raised by Mr Kritzler as irrelevant and/or unsupportable. Given the nature of the works being undertaken to the building owner’s property for the creation of a loft conversion in a maisonette flat in a property in Holloway Road North London.

 

Mr Kritzler persistently challenged the validity of the building owners’ structural engineers’ calculations.  Mr Kritzler has no structural engineering qualifications, was unable to make any reasonable or sensible arguments to challenge the engineer, and when invited by Mr Antino to instruct their own checking engineer declined to do so.

 

There was an impasse, Mr Kritzler demanding that a trial pit was excavated to identify the depth of the foundations to the party wall to establish their suitability.  Disingenuously, avoiding the fact that his own appointing owners had recently carried out a loft conversion, and knew the depth of the foundations, he refused to provide details of the earlier party wall award and structural engineers details of his appointing owner when they carried out their loft conversion works.

 

Furthermore, and somewhat surprising, given that the building owners property comprises a mixture with commercial use at ground floor and basement, let on a long-term lease to a tenant, and the building owner residing in the first and second floor maisonette flat.  The site being land locked as it had been fully built upon. It was a physical impossibility to undertake a trial pit without causing considerable damage to the basement and disruption to the tenants. 

 

Mr Kritzler made a referral to the third surveyor, claiming that there must be a trial pit excavated to examine the depth of the foundations whilst refusing repeated requests to disclose the party wall award that was prepared by his appointing owners previously and their structural engineers’ calculations.

 

The third surveyor ruled against Mr Kritzler, his appointing owners then appealed the third surveyors award under s.10(17).

 

There had been a number of preliminary hearings regarding the adjoining owner’s failure to disclose evidence and/or to participate properly with the litigation and the adjoining owners despite being represented by counsel and legal representatives failed to comply with Orders issued by HHJ Bailey and consequently were exposed to Costs Order up to and prior to the abandonment of the appeal.

 

In particular the adjoining owners were ordered to give full disclosure of the previous award, structural engineers calculations, investigations, trial pit details and/or foundation information that they had obtained during their works.

 

Costs will now be assessed against the adjoining owners for this misconceived appeal of the third surveyors award, the building owners are clearly extremely relieved, but more importantly, very pleased with the outcome and the advice provided by Mr Antino and indeed their legal team comprising of Mr Ashley Bean and counsel Mr David Mayall of Lamb Chambers.

 

The case was listed to be heard on the 20th May 2019 and on the 13th May 2019 the adjoining owners discontinued their appeal.

 

The adjoining owners are liable for legal costs be  and compensation for the delay in building works which is estimated to be circa £67,000. Mr Antino had to serve an ex-parte award following Mr Krenzler’s failure to move matters forward.

 

 

 

Posted on May 23, 2019 .

Are you having trouble with your commercial tenants then APA can help recover your property

Riaz (Harry Potter) Uddin tenants loses lease

SECTION 146 Successful forfeiture of a Lease

 Philip Antino was instructed by Messrs A.A. Fisher (Properties) Ltd in relation to Mr Mohamed Riaz Uddin’s breaches of a lease for a property in East London.  Having secured the leasehold interest in 2012, Mr (Harry Potter) Uddin became what could only be described as the ultimate tenant from hell.

The property comprised of a mixture of retail at ground floor, with residential accommodation extending over three floors above.  Access to the residential area was through the shop and there were no provisions for sub-letting the premises.

 Within a matter of weeks, Mr Uddin had sub-divided the retail area, and then sub-let to two tenants, he had separated the rear parts of the retail area from the front creating an independent access to the residential areas, and had converted outbuildings and garages into bedsits.

 Not unsurprisingly, Mr Uddin did not obtain planning or building regulation approval or any approval or consent from the landlord.  The building works were illegal undertaken to sub-standards, construction practice, no NICEIC certification for electrics or gas safety certificates were obtained.

 The health and welfare facilities within the property were insufficient for the number of occupants that Mr Uddin had now encouraged to occupy the residential areas.

 In a three bedroom flat with converted commercial outbuildings etc. Mr Uddin was sub-letting to 23 tenants who were paying conservatively £100 per week each for occupation plus additional commercial rental space for the two units at the front of the shop.

 The standard and quality of the work would give a cowboy a bad name, proceedings were issued almost immediately after occupation by the landlord to seek forfeiture of the lease in late 2012.  For the past 7 years Mr Uddin has evaded, avoided, bringing the matter to its full and natural conclusion before the Court for numerous reasons which are set out below.

 However, in 2018 being branded as the Harry Potter landlord (cut and paste link) Mr Uddin was charged with numerous breaches of health and safety, and at Court pleaded guilty to a limited number of offences, for which he received a two year suspended prison sentence.

 An Order was also issued under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover money he had wrongfully, illegally, morally obtained for the rent of the sub-standard premises.

 At earlier civil litigation by the landlord to recover the property, Mr Uddin had failed to turn up at Court offering excuses such as I am sorry my son broke his leg last night and I have had to take him to hospital, that turned out to be false.

 

On another occasion it was alleged that there was a bereavement in the family that turned out to be a false claim.  On another occasion another bereavement and that turned out to be a false claim, but at all times the Court gave this tenant every opportunity to get his act together and comply with the lease, but simply failed.

 The day of reckoning arrived rather ironically on Valentines Day (14th February 2019) when Mr Uddin arrived at the Court for the hearing he asked for permission to make an application for an adjournment.  He claimed that he required an opportunity to seek legal representation and when asked why he was not legally represented when there was on the Court record a firm of solicitors, and his barrister had been in discussions with the landlord’s barrister regarding the hearing, he simply announced that “I was called at 4.30 last night and told that my solicitors could not be here today plus they wanted extra money which I could not get to them in time for today’s hearing”.

 

Then Mr Uddin changes his story altogether, claiming it is nothing to do with the money, but the solicitors said that could not be here for reasons which were unclear.

 

The Judge expressed some concern about that excuse and suggested they perhaps should ask senior partner to attend the Court immediately, as their offices were less than 10 minutes away.

 At that time the clerk walked into the Court and handed the Judge papers of which the Judge then read aloud and it was a letter from Mr Uddin’s solicitors advising that at 4.00 pm on the 13th February they had been dis instructed by Mr Uddin and were therefore no longer acting on the record.

 A completely altogether different set of circumstances as given by Mr Uddin, of which the Judge quite properly recognized that Mr Uddin had lied to the Court in order to simply delay matters.

 The application for an adjournment was rejected.

 The case then proceeded to deal with a number of issues including non-payment of rent and more importantly the request for forfeiture under section 146 which was granted and Mr Uddin will now have to vacate the premises.

 Whilst the law moves slowly it does get there in the end and landlords should take heart from this judgment.

 If you are a landlord with problems with a non-compliant/difficult tenant then contact Philip Antino and he will advise and assist you together with putting you in contact with the appropriate specialist legal teams to ensure that your property is returned to you or that the tenant complies with his lease obligations.

 

Posted on February 28, 2019 .

"Harry Potter" Rogue Landlord receives a 12 months suspended sentance

Mr Riaz Uddin obtained a sub-lease on a combined residential/commercial premises in the London Borough of Newham.  The lease set out clearly that the residential premises which was accessible only through the commercial premises and for occupation by the leaseholder. There were no provisions for subletting the property.

 In 2010 the superior “freehold” landlord was concerned that Mr Uddin was acting not in compliance with his lease obligations and had fallen into arrears with his rent.  Mr Philip Antino of APA Property Service Ltd (www.apaproperty.com) was instructed by the landlords to carry out an inspection of the property and to report thereon.

 It became immediately obvious that Mr Uddin was not in occupation and had carried out unlawful structural alterations to separate the commercial and residential premises, and was now subletting the residential accommodation on a multiple occupancy (unlicensed HMO).

 The large rooms had been divided in some instances up to three times to create smaller bedsit rooms.  Surprisingly Mr Uddin had also formed stud partitions around stairwell enclosures, which were large enough to accommodate one single mattress and was also letting these to tenants, just like Harry Potter Mr Uddin had tenants living under the stairs.

 In all there were approximately 25 people living in the premises paying on average £125 per week per room.  The premises had one bathroom and a ground floor cloakroom.  There was no communal rooms, the kitchen was reduced by 50% in size to accommodate the alterations to external access with one fridge and one oven/hob.

 There was unauthorised interference with electrical wiring, there was no independent protective means of escape over the four floors.  No smoke, fire alarms installed and none of the works had been carried out with either planning or building regulation approval or indeed the superior landlords permission.

 Mr Antino reported these breaches of building regulations and planning to the London Borough of Newham.  Legal proceedings were initiated for forfeiture of the lease for these blatant breaches.

 The London Borough of Newham issued repeated warnings to Mr Uddin to make an application for planning and building regulations and then to carry out any appropriate works that were deemed necessary to ensure compliance and to vacate the premises immediately of all tenants or face prosecution.

Mr Uddin cleared the property of tenants for several months and then moved them back in following further unauthorised structural alterations to the property.

 The London Fire Brigade were notified of these ongoing breaches and concerns regarding the safety of the occupants, and they issued a prohibition notice preventing the use of the property for residential use.

 Mr Uddin was repeatedly warned that residential occupation was prohibited but ignored these warnings and repeatedly let and relet the premises to tenants.  He repeatedly misled the LFB and the council and the landlords surveyor Mr Philip Antino about the use of the premises.

 The UK border agency were notified of the occupancy and on the LFB the Council and the UK border agency raided the property.  It was abundantly clear to all concerned an supported the non-complaint building work evidence collated by Mr Antino that the building was in use as multiple persons albeit now reduced to 13 occupants at the date of inspection July 2016.

 It was abundantly clear that Mr Uddin was putting his own financial interests ahead of the safety of the tenants and/or his legal obligations as set out in the lease.

In April 2018 Mr Uddin appeared at Court and pleaded guilty to six offences as follows:

 2 for non-compliance with a prohibition notice for extended periods between 2012 & 2017.

 4 charges for substantive regulatory breaches of failure to provide fire alarms/detection, lack of compartmentation between shared kitchen and means of escape, dangerous condition of means of escape stairs and extremely excessive travel distances for means of escape.

 Mr Uddin was sentenced (as a totality rather than against individual offences) to 12 months in prison, suspended for 2 years and to 100 hours of unpaid work.

 A criminal investigation was commenced under the proceeds of the Crime Act 2002 where an application for a confiscation order for all of the illegal rent that Mr Uddin had received was made following the unlawful lettings.  This is a lengthy process which would require co-operation of Mr Uddin and full disclosure of his financial history by a credited financial investigators under supervision of the Court.

 This case was notable because it was the first time that the authority’s had attempted to do this in the absence of the defendant volunteering the information.  The issues are outstanding and will take approximately another 12 – 18 months to complete and therefore costs for the prosecution will be dealt within those confiscation proceedings.

 However, in her sentencing the Judge stated unequivocally that Mr Uddin should consider himself fortunate to have been spared immediate custody given the egregious case history.

 

Furthermore, it was held that the case appeared suitable for Mr Uddin to be entered on to the GLA rogue landlord checker following new procedures introduced pending the City of States Judicial Review.

 Observations

 In light of the recent Grenfell tragedy it behoves any landlord to act in such a way that is detrimental to the safety and well-being of the tenants.  If any person deserved a custodial sentence it was Mr Uddin, LFB were extremely disappointed that his sentence was suspended.

 Indeed, there have been occasions where the LFB have bought charges against other rogue landlords for less serious charges and they have received longer and immediate custodial sentences.

 There are now civil proceedings by the superior landlord to ensure forfeiture of the lease is achieved as quickly as possible.

 Philip Antino’s reports on illegal structural alterations, breaches of planning and building regulations were fundamental in the council taking up the individual prosecutions for the breaches of the planning and building regulations and the council then working closely with the LFB to secure this prosecution.

In Philip’s opinion this “Harry Potter” rogue landlord should count himself very lucky that he escaped custody.

Posted on September 12, 2018 .

Philip Antino successfuly argues against revised Thorley Road planning application

Thorley Hill:  Planning Application: East Herts Council accept Philip Antino’s submissions and REFUSE  the SECOND application

Following the rejection of the rejection of the first application under planning application 3/18/0899/HH (see June 2018 Blog), http://apaproperty.com/blog?month=June-2018 the owners of No. 1a Thorley Hill, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 3ND submitted a revised  application to East Herts Council omitting the front extension. 

This incorporated a single storey rear extension.  The owners of No. 1 Thorley Hill remained  concerned that this would have a detrimental effect on their property and their quiet enjoyment of their house.  They instructed Mr Philip Antino to carry out a detailed assessment of the local authority planning and national planning policy framework policies, the site, the proposed works and to provide advice.

Mr Antino’s findings were such that he believed that there were justified grounds to register objections with East Herts Council opposing the revised scheme. .

Upon consideration of the relevant factors raised  by Mr Antino the council rejected the revised scheme

 

Posted on September 5, 2018 .

Philip Antino Prevents Planning Application detrimental to Neighbours Property

Thorley Hill:  Planning Application: East Herts Council accept Philip Antino’s submissions and REFUSE  the application

The owners of No. 1a Thorley Hill, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 3ND submitted an application to East Herts Council for front and rear extensions under planning application 3/18/0899/HH.

This incorporated a two storey front extension and a single rear extension.  The owners of No. 1 Thorley Hill were concerned that this would have a detrimental effect on their property and their quiet enjoyment of their house.  They instructed Mr Philip Antino to carry out a detailed assessment of the local authority planning and national planning policy framework policies, the site, the proposed works and to provide advice.

Mr Antino’s findings were such that he believed that there were justified grounds to register objections with East Herts Council opposing the proposed development, particularly the double storey front extension which was within a matter of several metres of No. 1 Thorley Hill.

It was further of notable concern to Mr Antino that No. 1a Thorley Hill had already been extended substantively to the side with double storey extensions and to the rear, increasing the original footprint by some 350%.

Upon consideration of the relevant factors and the East Herts local plan 2007 policies EMV1, EMV5 and EMV6 together with the national planning policy framework submissions were made to the East Herts Council in the following terms.

The proposed front extension by reason of its scale, sighting and design would cause unacceptable harm to the amenity use of No. 1 Thorley Hill which would result in a significant loss of light and create an overbearing effect for the occupiers of No. 1 Thorley Hill.  The proposed extension, by reason of its scale, sighting and design would cause unacceptable harm to the character and design of the surrounding street scene.  The council took into account the representations made by Mr Antino on behalf of his clients and reached the decision having full regard to those representations, the development plan and all material considerations that the planning application should be refused for terms as clearly set out and submitted by Mr Antino on behalf of his clients.

The Council accepted Mr Antino’s submissions and REFUSED  the application.

 

Posted on June 30, 2018 .

Heshmet Bibizadeh, Janet Bibizadeh & Ashley Bibizadeh sued for Malicious defamation

Philip Antino v Heshmet Bibizadeh’s, Janet Bibizadeh & Ashley Bibizadeh (2017) High Court Queens Bench QBD Claim No. HQ17M02658

 The Bibizadeh’s have made false, malicious and defamatory libellous written statements.  In order to protect his position Philip Antino issued a claim in the High Court (QBD) on the 26th July 2017.

The defendants had been asked to withdraw their false, malicious, defamatory and libellous statements to apologise but have chosen not to do so. 

The false and malicious allegations made by the Bibizadeh’s are vehemently refuted by Mr Antino and will be defended both in the RICS regulatory procedures and in the High Court.

On the 19th October 2015 Mr Heshmet Bibizadeh having been seen by Mr Antino to be breaching an undertaking not to do notifiable works together with his son Mr Ashley Bibizadeh threatened Mr Antino with physical violence.  When Mr Antino called the police (which is recorded on a video tape) the Bibizadeh’s ran away.

The police attended spoke to the Bibizadeh’s and they made no allegations whatsoever of Mr Antino’s behaviour which they now maliciously assert and allege occurred at that time to the police.

The police officer asked Mr Antino if he wanted to pursue the offence but decided not to (a decision he now fully regrets) Mr Antino was not prepared to be exposed to any further abuse and on the 17th December 2015 following a court order for access attended the Bibizadeh’s property with police officers in attendance.

The Bibizadeh’s having two police officers in their presence again made no reference to the malicious and false allegations that they now allege occurred on the 19th October 2015.  In fact there was no allegations made until January 2016 and those allegations do not reflect the allegations that the Bibizadeh’s have now made to the RICS.

Mr Antino fully intends to pursue the Bibizadeh’s through the courts to seek the justice and protect his name and reputation.

It is unacceptable that any person irrespective of whether they have a professional status or not are exposed to such vicious, and vile abuse when undertaking their contractual/statutory obligations.

It is clear that there is a growing tendency amongst those owners caught breaking the law to become aggressive, abusive and in some instances violent.

 

 

Posted on April 12, 2018 .

Lydia McLeod & Bridget Makepeace of RICS

Lydia McLeod (“LM”) and Bridget Makepeace (“BM”) of RICS

Mr Merricks CBE Remit (in abbreviated terms)

It is important to emphasise that my remit covers only the standard of service provided by RICS. I judge standards of service against ordinary standards of customer service that can reasonably be expected of professional bodies: these include promptness and timeliness, consistency, clarity of communication, courtesy and respect; and adherence to proper procedures.

Therefore in this case I have confined myself to the question of whether level of service provided to Mr Antino was reasonable.

I (Mr Merricks) will assess the service provided to Mr Antino in relation to promptness and timeliness, consistency, clarity of communication, courtesy and respect; and adherence to proper procedures.

Promptness and timeliness

LM handled the complaint in a timely fashion, responding promptly to PA’s correspondence – until 28 June when she provided an update to PA and promised him further updates. There was then a significant gap until 26 July when PA felt it reasonable to ask for an update. 

A more serious delay occurred between 10 August (LM’s final contact with PA), and 3 November. During this time there was no contact with PA to update him.

My observations

 I will assess the service provided to Mr Antino in relation to promptness, consistency, clarity of communication, courtesy and respect; and adherence to proper procedures.

Promptness and timeliness

There was a gap in communication between the time of LM’s last email on 4 October and the time on 7 November when BM took up the file and wrote to PA. Otherwise the case proceeded with reasonable promptness of communication.

Consistency and Adherence to proper procedures

As BM identified, LM had not adhered to a proper procedure in failing to gather any evidence to substantiate the allegation that PA had failed to reply to correspondence. This was indeed a substantive failing and BM apologised for it.

I am unaware that LM’s request to PA to keep confidential information provided by Mr and Mrs Critchley was part of any proper procedure.  There is no obligation on a person who is the subject of a complaint to keep confidential information provided to that person in support of allegations made against him or her, and as that is the case, such confidentiality should not be requested. PA protested about it and received no response to his protests. The issue was simply ignored by both BM and CH.

 A person who objects to a request made by RICS during a regulatory investigation is entitled to be told whether and if so on what grounds the original request was justified, or if it was not, why the request was made in the first place. That was also a failing.

My conclusion

 I have identified some service failings in my review of these two linked investigations.

Walter Merricks

5 February 2018

Irony RICS Regulate Professional Standards

RICS did not provide appropriate professional services when seeking to investigate a false and malicious complaint.  If a member acted in such a way, he would be subject to disciplinary proceedings, yet the very people who determine members conduct are not accountable when they fail to achieve professional standards.

Background

In 2017 a Mr and Mrs Critchley made a complaint to the RICS about Philip Antino, alleging that he had not written to their surveyor Mr Marchant, and that Philip Antino had unnecessarily delayed or refused to correspond with Mr Marchant.

For those of you that are familiar with Philip Antino you would know that he is one of the most conscientious and efficient surveyors and always responds to correspondence.

The complaint was passed to Mrs Lydia McLeod of the RICS complaints team, Mrs McLeod did nothing other than write to Mr Antino setting out the complaint and alleging various breaches of the RICS rules.

Mrs McLeod did not ask for any proof or corroborating evidence from Mr and Mrs Critchley.  Mr Antino has never written to, corresponded with, spoken to the Critchley’s and only met their surveyor Mr Marchant on one occasion in May 2017, which lasted 6 minutes with Mr Antino’s client ordering Mr Marchant to leave.  There was an agreement that Mr Marchant would be given access to Mr Antino’s clients property for him to take measurements in relation to an allegation by the Critchley’s that the boundary had been moved by Mr Antino’s clients.

Upon receipt of the complaint Mr Antino immediately wrote to Mrs McLeod (by email) asking her to provide any kind of evidence in support of the allegations raised by the Critchley’s.  In Mr Antino’s view Mrs McLeod had been derelict in exercising her duty of care towards Mr Antino by forgetting or simply not asking the Critchley’s for evidence that supported the allegation.

Undeterred she proceeded to write to Mr Antino in the most strictest terms making all sorts of wild accusations that there were grounds for a disciplinary hearing in breach of RICS rules.

Mr Antino wrote in the strictest terms asking again for evidence and none was provided.  Mrs McLeod was then replaced by Mrs Bridget Makepeace, another member of the RICS regulatory team.  Mrs Makepeace immediately recognised (to her credit) that Mrs McLeod had failed to identify any reasonable grounds to justify opening an investigation into the allegations, and apologised on behalf of Mrs McLeod and then said she was closing the file.

 

Mr Antino was quite aggrieved by this, clearly recognising a breach of his human rights under Article 3 that the RICS were treating him in an inhumane manner.   To write to a professional threatening all sorts of allegations and breaches of rules when there was not one shred of evidence disclosed or even requested by the RICS investigating officer (Lydia McLeod) was tantamount to mental torture.

 

Mrs McLeod’s apology appeared to be the conclusion of the RICS involvement.  Mr Antino made a formal complaint about Mrs McLeod, it was referred to another team member who said quite simply that the service had not been to the standard that Mr Antino was entitled to receive from the RICS and they apologised on behalf of RICS and that was the end of the matter.

Mrs McLeod has not offered an apology during or since.

Mr Antino undeterred wanted the matter referred to another party and it went before Mr Walter Merricks CBE.

Now the irony of this situation is that the RICS regulatory team are there to ensure that members of the RICS demonstrate and comply with the appropriate professional standards, and if they do not, they bring proceedings and issue fines and costs against the member.

When the RICS regulatory team fail to demonstrate the duty of care and/or the appropriate level of service that they are required to provide, especially when purporting to be a regulating body, and wrongly, mischievously and negligently write to members without undertaking the basic checks to establish if there is any evidence to support an allegation made by a member of the public, that they simply walk away from this having given an apology.

The RICS should lead by example, when they make a mistake through negligence or a breach of their own standards then the person that has done that in this case Mrs Lydia McLeod, and as it turns out Mrs Bridget Makepeace as recognised by Mr Merricks should be fined, suspended from work, ordered to pay from their own pocket compensation to the surveyor who they have grievously harmed through their malicious and wrongful communications.

 

 

Posted on March 29, 2018 .

Sean Tompkins CEO of RICS Mistaken about his professional status !!!!!

Sean Tompkins CEO of RICS

Mr Sean Tompkins is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the RICS.  He has a high profile position and from what can be seen from his job description is that he is there to promote the RICS.  The RICS reputation is purportedly founded on honesty, integrity and professionalism.  It therefore came as somewhat of a shock to Mr Antino whilst undertaking research generally about the RICS in preparation of a forthcoming expose on the RICS that he stumbled across the Form 288a appointment of a company director or secretary.

In 2006 Mr Tompkins completed a Form 288a for submission to Companies House to become a Director of St Benedict Homes Ltd.  The form was completed by Mr Tompkins in his own hand and he recorded existing directorships at that time being Director of RICS Business Services Ltd (2002 – to date) being 2006.

There is a requirement that the applicant provides a business description.  This is what caused Mr Antino some alarm and justifiably so because Mr Tompkins had written claimed to be a chartered surveyor.  Mr Tompkins has never been a chartered surveyor and remains at present without any professional standing within the RICS.

As a professional member of the RICS Mr Antino knows that it is wrong for anyone to hold themselves up to be a chartered surveyor, because RICS have by the Royal Charter, absolute control over the use of chartered surveyor.  In much the very same way as someone filling in a form purporting to be a barrister, a doctor, a High Court Judge, a member of RIBA, without having those professional qualifications would lead to serious repercussions by those regulating bodies and justifiably so.

Mr Antino therefore wrote to the RICS advising in the strictest terms that Mr Tompkins had held himself up to be a chartered surveyor.

There was no acknowledgement of the complaint letter until approximately 4 – 5 weeks later when Mr Antino received a response from the RICS legal team.  They thanked Mr Antino for bringing it to their attention, confirmed that they had looked into the matter and advised that this had been determined previously to be an administrative error.  They were therefore closing the file and doing nothing further.

An administrative error, what does that mean?  In the context of this plainly wrongful assertion on a legal document to Companies House, it cannot be an administrative error.  Mr Tompkins filled in a form, he signed the form, and having submitted it to Companies House in anticipation of becoming a Director.

That cannot fall within the definition of an administrative error.  An administrative error is filing the letter in the wrong file, incorrectly posting a letter to someone who should not get the letter, or putting the wrong address on an envelope, and sending the letter to an incorrect address.  That is an administrative error.

This response gives rise to the question of just how many other people are doing the same thing.  Mr Antino can assure you that it is not a rare occurrence.  In 2017 Mr Antino identified a Mr Blake trading as a party wall surveyor has stated on his correspondence, stationery etc. that indeed he was RICS qualified and regulated.  Mr Blake was not.  Mr Antino reported this gentleman to the RICS and they simply got him to remove the designated RICS logos and not to misrepresent himself any further.

Where is the protection that should be offered by the RICS to its members to prevent people wrongly and mischievously using the RICS Royal Charter of chartered surveyor.

Members work very hard to achieve that status and they are quite rightly entitled to have that status protected and not abused, however it is being devalued.

Posted on March 29, 2018 .