High Court action for storage pod investment scheme promising 85% return

Store First Ltd, a Lancashire-based, self-storage warehouse company providing the UK’s biggest storage-pod investment scheme, has been faced with High Court action launched by Business Secretary, Greg Clark.

The self-storage company pledged to investors that they would receive rental returns and the opportunity to enter a buy-back scheme. Yet pod owners have claimed that Store First broke these pledges which were initially marketed to them, as revealed by This is Money.

Store First guaranteed that during year 1 and year 2 of the investment, an 8% return would be reached, and then during year 3 and year 4, the return would climb to 10%.

A promotional video for Store First, fronted by ex-Top Gear star, Quentin Willson, includes him saying that Store First is a ‘remarkable investment.’

He added that a £15,000 investment could return £13,000 in six years, a profit of 85%. He goes on to say, “Call me old fashioned, but who needs gold?”

He said, “But the idea is to buy one, then another, and one after that. And you’re getting all this rental income coming in and you’re building up this portfolio of store pods which you can eventually sell at a profit.”

“It’s clear, it’s simple, there are no hidden fees, no hidden charges. It is a transparent, hassle-free investment.”

The court case will commence in Manchester High Court on August 1.

Store First boss, Toby Whittaker, was also behind the collapse of investment firm, Dylan Harvey Residential, owing up to £100m after it fell into administration. 500 investors handed over £6.5m in sums ranging from £5000 to £20,000, as reported by the MEN.

This is Money has contacted Store First for comment but had no reply.

What is a Storage Pod Investment?

Storage Pod Investment (SPI) is an investment in which funds are used to purchase Storage Pods. A Storage Pod is a unit within a self-store warehouse which is rented to the general public on a temporary basis.

The Storage Pod will usually be sold leasehold to the investor so they will be the legal owner of that particular area of land. They are free to rent it, mortgage it or sell it as they wish.

The most common way that a SPI is mis-sold is via cold calling. The caller will seek to get you to invest either directly in a SPI or will ask you to transfer your pension to a scheme which invests in Storage Pods.

What should I do?

If you believe that you may have been mis-sold a SPI, get in touch with Cooper Stern to find out if you have a claim. It is important to act fast in these situations, many of the companies who are involved in the initial marketing of SPI’s have fallen insolvent. Whilst this does not eliminate a claim, it can make the process more difficult.

We have recovered millions on behalf of customers that have been mis-sold complex financial instruments and loans. Our dedicated team consists of experienced advisors from a range of backgrounds including legal, accountancy, investment and banking.

Speak to one of our team directly on 01204 328 287 or fill in our online enquiry form.