A property maintenance company formed out of failed consultant Erinaceous has been dropped from one of its biggest remaining contracts

3c Asset Management, which is backed by HBOS, had been employed on a five-year housing maintenance framework contract with Dartford council since February 2007. The contract was worth up to £50m to the firm.

It has emerged that less than two years into the deal, 3c is to leave the project. The programme, which when it was signed was worth £5m a year with a possible five-year extension, has now been re-tendered.

It is understood that 3c had been under pressure over the quality of its performance. It was given six months’ notice at the end of October and will leave the contract in April.

The move is the second contract to cause 3c problems in Kent. A five-year council framework for Medway was the subject of an investigation which reported last year that Erinaceous was overpaid for work during 2007/08.

3c was formed out of Erinaceous Property Maintenance, which was bought out of administration by an HBOS-backed vehicle when its parent company collapsed in April last year.