Age UK retracts accusations about property companies

The two firms had objected to a report by the charity that they said contained 'serious inaccuracies'

Age UK chief executive Tom Wright
Age UK chief executive Tom Wright

Age UK has issued an apology and amended a lobbying report after two property companies that it criticised made complaints.

The charity published Putting Retirement Housing in Order on 4 October. It criticised "unreasonable and unjustifiable charges made by some landlords and managing agents", and contained allegations about the property management company the Peverel Group and the freehold-owning company Fairhold, both of which are owned by the same family trust.

The report prompted Peverel chief executive Nigel Bannister to send a private letter to Tom Wright, chief executive of Age UK, on behalf of the two companies, about what he said were "serious inaccuracies".

Age UK published a correction on its website last week, accepting that it had made errors and that the issues covered by the report did not apply only to Peverel and Fairhold. "We apologise for any confusion caused by our comments," it says. Among the corrections to the original report, Age UK said it was wrong to attribute a description of complainants as "dribbling geriatrics" to a Fairhold spokesperson.

The charity says it repeated the quote from a national newspaper, but now accepts that the spokesperson did not actually say it. An amended version of the six-page report has been added to Age UK's site. This lists the original report's inaccuracies and recognises the two companies' efforts to improve regulation across the leasehold sector.

Bannister said he was satisfied with the outcome.

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