Hong Kong investors pressure UK developer to make good on quarterly 'guaranteed' returns pledge

By Lam Ka-sing kasing.lam@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/property/international/article/3007389/hong-kong-investors-pressure-uk-developer-make-good?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | April 30, 2019 4:15 PM SGT
Several Hong Kong investors are among an international group of more than 100 seeking redress from a UK property developer they say has fallen behind in quarterly payments on guaranteed ­returns on property investments.
According to several of the ­investors, developer and manager A1 Alpha Properties (Leicester) stopped paying them rental ­returns after mid 2018 on their investments in student quarters and holiday homes in Britain.
They said they were entitled to receive guaranteed and fixed returns of about 10 per cent for 10 years.
A1 Alpha was placed into ­insolvency in February at the ­request of investors. According to business advisory firm Quan­tuma, appointed to handle the insolvency, the case involves 2,160 units and 1,377 investors across 20 projects in the country.
According to seven investors contacted by the Post, the student quarters projects included College Street Village in Leicester and Scholar's Court in Bradford, while there were also six holiday home projects, including ones at Westbeach in Devon and Green Park in Ilfracombe.
The properties, which cost about £50,000 (HK$510,000) each on average, were marketed by UK-based agency Emerging Property and developed and managed by companies related to A1 Alpha.
Sales literature seen by the Post ­referred to a number of projects, including College Street Village and Scholar's Court as offering "fixed returns of 8 to 10 per cent for 10 years".
Brian Hodgson, a 55-year-old auctioneer in Hong Kong, was one of the investors affected. He bought one unit in College Street Village and another at Scholar's Court after being attracted by the high "guaranteed" returns stated in emails sent to him.
He paid a total of £100,000 over two years to 2017, or £50,000 each on average, aiming at securing retirement income. He said he was guaranteed £1,010, or a 10 per cent yield, in pro-rated quarterly payments for each property.
Hodgson said he received a full payment in July 2018, and thereafter received a payment of £72.49 in January.
"Nothing in the contracts says they had the...