Neil Bellis and Lucy Cummings, the founders of beleaguered property services company Erinaceous, are demanding “large pay-offs”, and this is delaying their departure, according to sources close to the firm.

The Erinaceous board is anxious to avoid holding an extraordinary general meeting next month, called by 19% shareholder Fursa, a US hedge fund, to remove Bellis and Cummings from the board.

But the pair, who went on gardening leave last week, are refusing to accept a deal to resign and have an effective veto over any attempts to oust them.

The source said: “The problem is the way the articles of association are set up. It is impossible for one director to be voted off without the unanimous support of the board. Bellis and Cummings can simply vote for each other, so at the moment an extraordinary meeting is inevitable.”

The source added: “They are holding out for a payout that will piss off shareholders because it will be a pay-off for failure.”

Erinaceous and Fursa declined to comment, but an insider said there was “no chance of a pay off” for the pair.