Investors in projects managed by Liverpool’s troubled Elliot Group have banded together to form a support group and hopefully find a solution to a situation that has left investors worldwide owed thousands of pounds by the company.
The group, Elliot Group Investor Community, began on Facebook last year and now has almost 60 members from across the globe. The group was originally founded by Bangkok-based British national Tim Russell, who invested in Elliot Group’s Leeds development Victoria House in 2015. The property came with a guaranteed rental yield of 8%.
“My property was due for completion in Q3 2016” says Russell, “but didn’t complete until Q2 2018. This in itself caused me considerable financial problems. But once the development was completed, the problems didn’t end there, and the developer has consistently refused to pay out the guaranteed yield – instead, investors are either receiving just ‘live yield’ (ie the actual rental income minus management fees) or, in some cases, nothing at all.”
Russell originally began the group just for Victoria House investors, but soon found himself being contacted by people who had invested in other Elliot Group properties across the north of England. “Some are in the same situation as I am, ie they now own their properties but are not receiving their guaranteed rental yield” he says. “But others are in a worse situation in that they have invested in properties where development has ceased following Elliot Group founder Elliot Lawless’ recent arrest for fraud – such as Aura and Infinity in Liverpool and Residence in Manchester. They have made down payments on developments that have not completed and which are now in administration, and are worried they will lose everything.”
Some investors, says Russell, have been successful in making claims for the rental yield they are owed via the small claims court, but others do not have this option. “My development – Victoria House – is registered to a management company based in the Seychelles” he says. “This means that I have no recourse to the UK courts.”
Frustrated at the lack of communication from Elliot Group, Russell and his fellow investors are going public in the hope of the developer finally addressing their grievances. “Elliot Group invested millions in new developments in 2019” he says, “Yet they won’t even honour their contracts with existing investors and pay them what they are owed. So we would like to know when the company will honour their legal agreements and pay investors – many of whom, like me, are small investors who rely on this additional source of income to cover expenses – what is rightfully ours.”