Report: #1054294

Complaint Review: Freshstart Living, Empirical Property Group, PF Advisors Ltd,

  • Submitted: Tue, May 28, 2013
  • Updated: Tue, May 28, 2013
  • Reported By: Admin — birmingham Other
  • Freshstart Living, Empirical Property Group, PF Advisors Ltd,
    2nd Floor Clifton, Wynne Avenue, Salford
    United Kingdom

Freshstart Living, Empirical Property Group, PF Advisors Ltd, Bradford University Urge Caution Over Colonnade House (‘The Fort’) Freshstart Living Salford Nationwide

*Consumer Comment: freshstart living, empirical property group, pf advisors ltd, fsl invest, fslinvest

*Consumer Comment: freshstart living, empirical property group, pf advisors ltd

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The University of Bradford and UBU are warning students to exercise caution before 
signing up to live in the former Colonnade House. Student accommodation development Colonnade House, which was plagued with problems since its launch last September, has been rebranded as ‘The Fort’. However, West Yorkshire Fire Authority has advised that there is still a prohibition notice preventing occupation of the property, which is now being widely advertised for 2013/14. The notice will remain in place until the Fire Authority is satisfied that all necessary fire safety works have been completed. Moreover, ANUK/Unipol has confirmed that the development is not covered by the National Code for Non Educational Establishments and that Fresh Start Living remain suspended
from the National Code’s membership process. No further decision on FSL’s application for membership of the Code will take place until the building has re-opened AND it is clear who will be managing it on a day-to-day basis. [continued below]....
..... To this end, the University of Bradford and UBU would currently advise that students do not sign contracts for this property irrespective of any special offers or competitive prices. Colonnade House residents were forced to leave the accommodation last October after
the Fire Service prohibited use of the building. On top of this, residents reported a string of issues including; Inadequate or no heating in rooms Leaks in bathrooms Internet problems Faulty smoke detectors Broken lifts Faulty lighting Piles of rubble Inadequate fire evacuation information Promised facilities such as a gym, prayer space and communal area did not materialise Inadequate ventilation in kitchens
One washing machine in the whole development

When tenants raised complaints, they were not happy with the responses given by staff
and did not feel confident their problems would be resolved. Tenants were forced to leave the accommodation at very short notice and were initially told they had to find their own alternative accommodation. When they were allowed to return a few days later, they believed they were being allowed back permanently.
They were then given a few hours’ notice to move all of their belongings, for which no
assistance was provided and they could not use the lifts as they were broken. Confusion quickly set in amongst the tenants, some of whom had paid a full year’s rent
and yet were being told they had to pay for their own alternative accommodation. The University’s accommodation services team worked swiftly to ensure that all tenants were accommodated and would not have to pay two lots of rent. Since then, the confusion worsened, with tenants being led to believe they could move
back to the accommodation until the university was eventually informed in January that
the property was being closed down and that the tenants could not move back. Students were advised by Stephen Anderson, a solicitor from Hatch Legal, that he
believed there had been a fundamental breach of contract and that students could
terminate their contract and take up accommodation elsewhere. Despite the accommodation team’s best efforts, to this date some tenants have been left in the dark as to whether they will receive back rent owed to them, let alone
compensation for the distress and inconvenience caused. Throughout the process, the landlord – Fresh Start Living – has been almost impossible to communicate with, while the letting agent, RMG, has itself apparently been kept in the dark as to the situation. Students have, understandably, been left stressed out and anxious by this situation, with many feeling their studies have suffered as a result. One student told us: ‘Colonnade house was the first accommodation in the UK for me as
an international student. I experienced so many difficulties living there; showers and toilet not working properly, lift out of service most of the time and it made going to and coming from uni very difficult (walking up stairs to 7th floor). The most disheartening of all is the fire alarms were not working and I virtually could have got burnt any time. Moving impromptu from there cost me a lot, I had an exams the next day and virtually failed my exams.’ A fellow tenant agreed and said: ‘I cannot put into words how living at colonnade house disrupted my time at university. We were put up in a hotel for 4 days though some may think this would be a nice experience; it was greatly troubling and to not be around your books and a familiar area of comfort whilst completing essays was daunting. (The hotel we stayed in was not paid for and they soon started to ring the students who stayed there requesting £4500 for our stay).

We were told to get what we could carry from our rooms and at 7 o'clock at night walk
through Bradford's red light district with all our possessions as we made our way to the
Green. Needless to say many of us soon after became ill with exhaustion and had to hand
in extenuating circumstances as we just could not settle into our new environment and
work whilst ill. Just to write this email makes me furious with the situation.

We never revived a penny from whatever company ran the accommodating or an apology. Big thank you to the accommodation team at the Green and the University that was more than helpful in our time of need.” Another student said: ‘Although Internet had been advertised there was none; in fact
none of what was advertised was there. There were no fire safety systems and security
were useless with local prostitutes following us into the building to try and take money
from us. We were unlawfully evicted which for me was extremely stressful.’ The University, which provided temporary accommodation during the period of uncertainty, has yet to be paid by Fresh Start. The University and UBU Advice Centre advise all students to only rent with landlords who are accredited by Unipol/ANUK. If any students have questions about Colonnade House or the Fort, please contact Julie Hartley in accommodation services on or the UBU Advice Centre at UBU Advice Centre offers advice on a range of accommodation issues and problems as wellas a contract-checking service.


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#1 Consumer Comment

freshstart living, empirical property group, pf advisors ltd, fsl invest, fslinvest

AUTHOR: ravegarden - ()

A LONDON property developer is behind a bid to wind up Salford buy-to-let specialist FreshStart Living.

Roger Walters, chief executive of Supercity UK which operates three aparthotels in the capital, is chasing FreshStart over a £20,000 deposit he paid on 10 flats at a proposed FreshStart student scheme in Nottingham.

He says the scheme is now not going ahead and he wants his money back, but FreshStart insists the development is on track, although it has been delayed.

The company was planning to convert a 30,000 sq ft office building at the Victoria Shopping Centre into 157 student apartments in time for the 2012-13 academic year.

Mr Walters said: “They didn’t own the property and they never bought it so there was no chance of developing it so I asked for my money back, and they just don’t give it back, it’s incredible, they just don’t.”

Mr Walters issued a statutory demand, which gives a debtor 21 days to pay, and then issued a winding-up petition which was heard in London on Monday. The case was adjourned to give both sides time to submit evidence.

FreshStart’s chief executive Charlie Cunningham said it was “rubbish” that the Nottingham development had been abandoned. “We’ve exchanged contracts which makes us the beneficial owner and we’re going through the planning process to change it into student accommodation. It’s taken much longer than we hoped it would but there’s no question of the scheme not going ahead.”

He added: “He’s reserved six units and is contractually obliged to buy the units and complete. We’ve offered him a number of alternatives but that hasn’t come to anything.”

But Mr Walters told TheBusinessDesk he was not interested in other developments. He said: “I’m not going to let it go, I’m going to take it all the way. They’re not denying they have the money, they even offered to move it to another scheme. They’re not denying it, they just don’t want to give it back.”

A developer for 30 years, Mr Walters said he wanted to “let someone else do the developing” and has also put a deposit of £75,000 down on six flats at FreshStart’s Trafford Press scheme in Manchester which has not yet been completed.

as featured in by James Graham

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#2 Consumer Comment

freshstart living, empirical property group, pf advisors ltd

AUTHOR: ravegarden - ()

Notice Code: 2450

Petitions to Wind Up (Companies)

In the High Court of Justice (Chancery Division)

Companies Court     No 4211 of 2013


(Company Number 06816500)

and in the Matter of the Insolvency Act 1986

A Petition to wind up the above-named Company Registered No 06816500 of 2nd Floor, Oak Court, Clifton Business Park, Wynne Avenue, Swinton, Manchester M27 8FF, presented on 12 June 2013 by Roger Walters, of 55 Ennismore Gardens, London SW7 1AJ, claiming to be a Creditor of the Company, will be heard at The Royal Courts of Justice, 7 Rolls Building, Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1NL, on 29 July 2013, at 10.30 am(or as soon thereafter as the Petition can be heard).

Any person intending to appear on the hearing of the Petition (whether to support or oppose it) must give notice of intention to do so to the Petitioner or its Solicitor in accordance with Rule 4.16 by 1600 hours on 26 July 2013.

The Petitioner’s Solicitor is Brecher, 4th Floor, 64 North Row W1K 7LL. DX 42701 OXFORD CIRCUS NORTH. (Ref SR/W11-9.)

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