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Daniel, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5709
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (dist) Graduate Diploma in Legal Practise. Admitted NSW Supreme Court / High Court
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My son is staying with his partner in newly purchased St Kilda

Customer Question

My son is staying with his partner in newly purchased St Kilda Road apartment since mid last year. Ever since, many unpleasant happenings.
It is a building occupied by Four Season Hotel owned by Marcus and family. They own a substantial number of apartments plus managing for a good number of apartments privately owned by individuals. Only about 20% are owner occupants
As such, they become powerful and greedy. Not only they voted themselves in to become the body corpmanager, they cause to have the fees charged high, part of the fees is actually towards his hotel staffs and maintenance indirectly. For our one room apartment of 6 SQ the body corporation fees is unreasonably very high at $7800 per annum. Yet so many places like car park area and stairs up are in bad condition as very little spent on them. Car park had been vandalised not long ago and leakages everywhere, to list but a few. We the minority owners and occupiers are very unhappy about it but no power to rectify situation. Our resilient meets with their hostility. First of all, they won't let us have more than 2 entry cards , one extra for mum even though initially we were told we could. Secondly they initially forbid us to bring our small dog into the apartment. We questioned there is no such the corporate rule stated. Then they wanted us to carry the dog and not to allow our dog to walk the carpet out. Of course we won't comply because in same building next block, they allow another even bigger dog to walk without lease. We walk our dog on lease and now they harass us again this time claiming they have seen us walking dog on long lease. We normally shorten our lease but accidentally became longer lease but not so long we can't control. There is a limit to the length of lease. Obviously they are trying to bully and harass us continuously. The care taker has been rude and disrespectful towards us most of the time. He told us off wrongly in car park no visitor allowed to park there. Our friend did not park his car at car park at all! Then one day I sat at the lounge with my dog on lap. Without permission, the care taker photographed me as if I was a criminal. Then the electricity bill formally paid by body corp now come to us since they made a point of installing separate meter in each apartment. There are lifts from car park but they won't allow residents to use them because they are for the hotel staffs. Instead, we had to climb the stairs up and the passage at the stair is unsightly and dirty looking. All these unfair treatments and harassment are causing us so much of stress, anger and unhappiness that it is causing us sleepless nights and lost of appetite. I am amazed that it does affect our health to go down hill tremendously. In the wake of our retaliation , we decided to take some useful photos to proof as we intend to approach Channel 9 or 7 to expose the unjust and bully of the owner of Four Season Hotel having vested interest in body corp. The building is divided between this and St James. Recently St. James is having a face lift and renovated to a high standard much more than this place simply because he , Marcus and family is living there. I took some photos there but while doing so, was being told off by the care taker even though it is at the open public place outside the entry. The care taker's action had always been under the instruction of the owner. We received letter re walking dog on long lease etc and threatening to take further action on us if we do not attend their demand of a meeting on 18th May 2015. We have no idea Marcus is being personal and constantly finding fault on us. He had even told others if they were not happy they can sell and leave the apartment. To sum it all, who is happy to pay for such exobitant body corp fees while being treated as third class citizen. Do we have the chance to sue him for our suffering (no set price for claim)as well as to demand compensation for the lost of stamp duty , moving house in and out and whatever transport cost and lost of income ( the chances of appreciation as we initially intended to keep the apartment for ten years)., as we decided it is too much for us to tolerate any further living there. We would like to use your expertise to attend meeting on 18th May 2015 and wonder if you will have time to meeting us prior for more informations. Meanwhile thank you very much for your help in answering this email. Regards, ***** ***** Tsan
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Daniel replied 2 years ago.
File a complaint with VCAT.
There is really no other option as they are simply being bullies.
The strata figures and conditions are simply a ploy to have them removed and or be subject to conditions that are only made for them.
An extremely unenviable position.
In respect of the matter, they must adhere to the conditions imposed by VCAT.
All they can do is make arrangements for a change of fees, conditions ans the like, you cannot sue for moving house and suffering however.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can I differ answering you tomorrow? I have urgent matter to attend to right now.Thank you.
Expert:  Daniel replied 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can I differ answering you right now as I have urgent matter to attend to right now. Collette for Ngan & Tsan
Expert:  Daniel replied 2 years ago.
yes, i await for reply
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have to wait for my son to verify my statement then can we continue to communicate with you. He should be coming to see me tomorrow. Sorry for waiting. I too eager to conclude the finding.
Expert:  Daniel replied 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am embarrassed for not being able to response to you yet because I am still waiting for my son and partner to come give me more information before I can response. Somehow they are still too busy to come. From your initial response I get nothing new as VCAP had been used and we already know Marcus is a big bully. What we are seeking from you is to effectively nail him and expose him to the public. We thought of using channel nine or other channels as we would not be able to fight him legally as Marcus is too clever and cunning and he knows his game too well. Previous owners and current owners (minority) had already failed to fight him legally. It would be too expensive to go through that again unless there is another solution---like I said, to expose him to public for a start and eventually cause him to step down in his right to vote in body Corporate General Meeting because of vested interest. I mean he can't wear two hats at the same time. Is there such law to forbid. If your answer is "no" there is only one way to punish him, that is to expose him to public but still won't solve the problem of high body corporate fees. Can we use you to issue a letter to inform him our intention to expose him? We want effective answer or solution instead of telling us what we already know.Regards,
Mother of Ngan and Tsan
Expert:  Daniel replied 2 years ago.
Well legally that is the only option. If you go to the media, it is a. Matter for you.
Please leave feedback as to my service
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry I still don't get any new idea or answer from you. As I requested, and if you can help , we need an effective legal letter to inform him of our intention to expose him in public. We will be appreciative of that instead of telling us what we already know. We will gladly pay the fee once you help us in issuing a legal letter. If you can't, we understand. Then we will see a lawyer in person and requested him or her to use legal letter to warn him of our intention for a start.
Expert:  Daniel replied 2 years ago.
We refer to the above and recent issues surrounding the complex.
It is our view that the fees for strata are excessive. The amounts paid do not warrant the services rendered on the units.
Secondly, we have been adversely affected in respect of not having our rights of use and enjoyment of the unit in comparison to other tenants.
As a consequence we are seeking legal advice in respect of same.
At this point we invite you to take the above into account and review the current situation.
Should not response be made within 7 days, we shall initiate legal action.
Please leave feedback
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Again I am telling you legal action had been sort but with unsuccessful result. Therefore we have to resort to other method like I suggest, to expose him in T.V. or News papers. No use to complain to him again and again by so many units holders. He just won't bother. He is selfish and greedy. We have no choice but to expose him in public even though he may turn a debt ear or blind eye to it. At least we are doing our best to use our last resort. So please modify your last sentence "should not response be made within 7 days, we shall initiate legal action" Scrape the sense and replace with "Should you not response be made to cause the changes within 7 days, we shall initiate to expose you to public in News papers and T.V. News." Please refer to ***** of T510, 348 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004 and signed by you as a Solicitor and your address in Melbourne please.