The following are 8 emails I have received about the agreement:
1. This sounds pretty disturbing.
In my opinion both the Oaks and SSKB lack a customer focus and should both be terminated as soon as possible.
2. I thought I had a great investment property as was quite excited when I signed up off the plan in 2002, only to see expenses clim and service decline with Oaks. I find it incomprehensible where I have made a capital outlay but the Oaks and their band of associates were making more money from my unit than I was. When I took it out of the pool it took my wife and I three days to clean the apartment to a state fit to live in. There was lint and peanut paste marks on the walls and mould everywhere in the bathroom, yet my apartment was being “cleaned” on average twice a week at $100 a time. There are many other stuff up, cost gorging, disaster stories I could tell, but it is just depressing. I thought many times that if these Oaks people worked for me in my company I would sack them, so at the end of 2012 I did, fortunately I was in a financial position where I did not need to have the property as a rental and now enjoy it myself.
I have had a number of dealings with Mark and he has always gone out of his way to assist and has always been extremely responsive. There is obviously work which he has done for the good running of the building. Thank you Mark.
3. We live in Melbourne and during a recent visit we met with the “old and new” managers Peter and Chris to discuss some ongoing issues with our apartment. During the course of the meeting we were ambushed with the announcement that the management agreement was about to change. The basics, as explained to us were, we take out all our furniture and they put in new furniture. We sign new agreement and get a guaranteed amount each month and are locked in for 7 years. After that time we own the furniture which will be replaced on a 7 year cycle. There are some other details but this is the basic idea.
Needless to say we are not happy. We have spent a lot of money over the last 18 – 24 months replacing white goods and furniture on the advice of the current manager. We always purchased quality items. We have been told by 2 different managers that our apartment is one of the better quality units. We also had a visit from Mandy Cowie from Oaks head office. She told us that the new contracts had been 2 years in the making.
She has since sent us further documents to read and requests our signatures within one week.
I spoke to Mark Elmer today. He tells me he had heard of other owners being approached and not being happy but he had not seen any documents. He believes the Body Corp is unaware of any changes. Under normal circumstances I would expect Oaks to advise the Body Corp of a change of this magnitude and also to write to all owners in the letting pool to advise them of upcoming changes.
It appears that there is a certain amount of subterfuge happening in this instance.
The reason I am writing to you is I believe that owners need to know what is happening and wonder if the Seaforth webpage that you set up some time ago could be used for this purpose. I have checked and the last post was November 2013. Is there some way we can contact owners and ask them to check the site? I am happy to post information and ask for comments.
4. "The onsite fee's are already high enough as it is, I purchased Lagoon's Unit 623, 3 years ago. The first year I had it as my own personal use, then the second year I signed a contract with Oaks Seaforth to rent it out as part of the rental pool, within 7 months I cancelled the contract with Oaks and went with an outside agent who to this day has had the unit rented out 100% of the time with long term tenants, I am clearing more money in the hand with long term rental than what I was getting through the onsite rental pool"
5. Thanks for the information Sue. Sorry you will not be staying on the committee. You have certainly been an asset. Regards,
6. Thank you for your email. My brother and I are very disappointed with the proposal offered by Oaks.
After meeting with Mandy, I was informed that unless we refurbish, our apartment(s), we have 2, will not be in their letting pool.
7. I believe the existing Body Corp fees are way way too high at Seaforth. We have a number if units in very similar complexes and Seaforth is up to 50% more expensive. I would like the units to go back to individual body corps per buildings ..... Something is not right
8. My husband and I own unit --- and we are confused about this whole refurbishment thing. We received a letter about it back in September of last year and have heard absolutely nothing since. Can you tell us what the deal is with this. We have heard nothing about new or different rental agreements or anything else. Hope you can help or if not should I just phone Seaforth direct?
We have been talking to Oaks for 2/3 years about a refurb because our Aleutian unit is looking dated even with updates & upgrades since we bought in 2000. We rent it out most of the time except for the occasional visit by us or our family & certainly agree that it should be kept in tip top 5 star condition to attract the most/best bookings. Like other owners we also feel ambushed by the new deal & now have a real dillemma. If we pay for the upgrade ourselves & DONT sign up to their deal BUT keep it in the rental pool we feel that we will only get minimal/crook bookings (footy teams/bogans/very short stays etc) because Oaks will obviously favour the units in their pool first. If we DO take their deal then sure, we get a guaranteed return but is it fair? I am trying to determine if the fixed rent offered to us is fair or not ($430 pw approx from memory) Plus we will get limited access for ourselves. Generally we have some grumbles about Oaks like their abysmal cleaning regime/costs/effectiveness- (I know that they promote the huge profitability of the cleaning as a selling point to shareholders/investors) & they make almost no effort to recover damage/losses from renters. Sue, is it true that they have the management rights for 99 years?
I am glad that we have this forum to air our thoughts & maybe take a more structured approach to Oaks in regard to the "deal" We have no idea if this is a "take it or leave it " thing or if they are open to negotiation, for instance, on the fixed return or private use or the $100 repair benchmark etc etc. I think a united approach would secure the best deal for us & find it hard to beleive that the refurb is "well under way" like they say in their owner updates.
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