Newsletter Spring 2023

Category: Newsletters

Cornish Manor Owners’ Association Newsletter

Spring 2023

Welcome to the first Newsletter of 2023. At the last AGM in November, members present agreed to abandon the Spring meeting at Swindon and replace it with Newsletters issued twice a year. Your committee will also meet prior to the issue of a Newsletter. The AGM will continue as normal in early November at a JFH site. This year it will be held on Saturday 4th November at Tolroy Manor.

The first committee meeting was held by video in March and was attended by most of the new committee elected at the AGM. CMOA now has good representation on St. Ives, Perran View and Tolroy Manor. Kenegie Manor still requires at least one and ideally two representatives.

Introducing the newly elected Chairman Kevan Hensby

As with many of our owners, Cornwall to our family is our second home and we look forward excitedly to arriving at our property at St Ives holiday village. We have been owners since 2014 but have been coming to Cornwall for many years, each time travelling from Sheffield.

It is a long travel time but when we arrive it is well worth the drive.

Since we first purchased our lodge, significant developments have taken place across many of our sites and still continue to do so. This has been recognised by the tourist industry with several awards that the John Fowler sites have received. This could not have been achieved without the support of John Fowler senior management team and the hard work and dedication of receptionists, cleaners, maintenance staff, bar staff, and many other unsung hero’s.  And let’s not forget our own CMOA

committee & site representatives, who also work tirelessly in the interests of our owners. However, there is still much more work that needs to be undertaken, and I’m sure we are well on course to achieving this.

 

May I say that I am humbled to have been elected as your chair and, along with the committee, will  do our utmost to ensure that as an owner, you are kept up to date with any future developments.

I am looking forward to another season in our second home and look forward to meeting many of you at some point.

Richard Smith newly elected Vice-Chairman

Hello everyone I’m Richard Smith and I took up the position of Vice-chair at

the AGM at Novembers AGM.

My wife and I own one of the properties on the St Ives site and run it ourselves.

I am a retired Railwayman but have also worked in the banking industry. I now enjoy my time painting, brewing and watching local football.

I’m delighted to be involved with Cornish Manor Owners’ Association as I think it is important to have an interest in your investments and CMOA is a good way for owners to not only have a say but also to benefit.

Because we live locally and are regularly on the site cleaning or improving our property, I hope that you will come over and have a chat.  I think you will find me pretty approachable!  I would like to hear your views, in person.

I think the Forum is a very useful tool and would encourage you to use it and speak out if there is  anything that concerns you. If you find something that bothers you its very likely that others will be feeling the same way.

I’m sure that, like you all, I am hoping for a successful year in 2023 and hoping that bookings will start to pick up after Easter. It’s a very competitive market with more and more properties coming up as holiday lets, so we can’t afford not to be on the ball.

The holiday experience for our guests depends heavily on John Fowler and a quick perusal of the   Unhappy Customers JF Facebook page should send a few alarm bells ringing.  As we all make      improvements to our properties and try to provide a first class service to our Guests, so should JFH themselves.  And we have a role to play in reminding them of this.

Secretary  Martyn Dale

Here we are again, the start of another season.

There is no denying that the winter months have been difficult for the majority of people but with the coming of Spring we can only hope that things will improve.

The media tell us that fuel prices have fallen but as yet it`s not obvious but when it becomes so, people may decide that they can afford a holiday after all and bookings will  increase. John fowler Holidays (JFH) have continued to invest in their holiday parks even though they have felt the squeeze with the ever rising prices of goods and services and they acknowledge that it may be a difficult year.

As ever the committee will do it`s best to keep abreast of any changes and updates at the various holiday parks and keep you informed via the C.M.O.A. website which is always available for you to peruse and to use the forum if you wish to share experiences with other members.

I wish you all a very enjoyable summer and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the AGM later in the year.

Treasurer Sam Simpson

 Hi, I am pleased to submit my first submission for the CMOA newsletter, which I    hope will provide useful information to everyone.

As of now, our membership stands at 196, with 13 new members joining for                the current season (23/24).  As previously mentioned by my predecessor, if you have   sold or are considering selling your property, please inform us promptly so that we can maintain accurate records.

Subscription renewal letters were sent out in February and we are still awaiting payment from 68 members.  We kindly request that you make payments directly to our bank account, as PayPal

payments incur fees.  If possible, please set up a standing order for April 1st each year, this would help no end.

Please ensure that you include your name and membership number with any payment to ensure

correct allocation.  For the year ending March 31st, 2023, CMOA incurred a loss of approximately £1,500 due to the cost of our new website.  Finalised accounts will be issued at the AGM in November. With the receipt of all membership subscription payments, we anticipate returning to a surplus next year.

Thank you for your cooperation, and we look forward to your continued membership.

Site meetings

Meetings were held with each site manager at the end of February to address issues raised by members at the AGM. An arranged meeting with Ed Newbold at Kenegie Manor was cancelled due to an injury he had suffered.

Perran View

Lodges – The installation of Lodges is scheduled to start at the end of this current season,

however, it will largely be determined by the level of bookings achieved due to the current

economic climate. When the programme does commence the project will be phased over a 5 year period.

Toilets – New toilets have been installed in the club and facilities upgraded.

Site report by Katheryn Hewitt and Bridget Walker

A visit to Perran View at the beginning of March saw the grounds looking good for the

beginning of the coming season.   Thank you to Amanda, Tony and the team for continuing to keep it in good order.

The main entrance road to the site has been resurfaced in readiness for the area at the front of the park that will house the new lodges.

Internally some work has been carried out on toilets in the main reception building.  The bar and lounge area has had a part refurb.  New downlighters have been installed, the walls have been part timber clad, solid wood doors and new sofas have been added. The area is looking more modern and attractive.

Owners continue to contribute to a WhatsApp group that shares information about local tradesmen and local services as well as general advice.

They also use the group to communicate when they are onsite in order to meet up on a social basis. All owners are welcome to join the group.

St Ives

Site Representatives

Ted Hand                                                Claire Hensby                                 Georgina Charlesworth

TripAdvisor

Christina was pleased to report a significant increase in 5 star ratings in 2022.

Review of Winter Security Arrangements

New system worked well with 80% of owners on site in the closed period complying with advising of occupation of their unit prior to arrival.

Owners are reminded if they do not advise that their property will be occupied in the closed       period, management have the right to challenge who is staying in the unit.

There were some instances of the entrance gate not being locked after owners/guests exited the site. This may be rectified next winter with the installation of an automatic barrier.

There is still a concern that there may be some long-term winter lets to contractors’ workmen etc. This is against the owner’s lease agreements. John Fowler Holidays Ltd will take any action deemed necessary to prevent this type of letting.

It is worth noting that owners who let their property have zero business rating. This is because they bring income into Cornwall. We are sure owners would not want to lose that benefit, because of non-compliance with lease agreements.

There were no instances of theft or burglaries during the closed period.

There were some instances of fly tipping. In previous years when the general public had access to the site in the closed period, fly tipping by outsiders was a major problem. This year, the amount of fly tipping has been significantly reduced. However, some owners have been fly tipping old kitchen units, mattresses etc. Where owners have large items such as mattresses, old kitchen units etc. for disposal, would they please advise the management/staff on site, who will arrange disposal, which may be at a cost.  Please do not put large items in the waste bins around the site.

Servicing Standards

As the 2022 TripAdvisor ratings would indicate there has been a raising of servicing standards. Housekeeping staff have had better training, with the number of complaints considerably down on previous years.

Replacement Items Costs

Christina explained they only buy quality replacement items and therefore, the cost will be higher than if the owner was to purchase items themselves.

State of the Roads

The state of most of the roadways has been improved. The road resurfacing programme for St Ives Holiday Village will be completed by the end of 2023. This will bring all the site roads up to the    required standard.

Environment

St Ives Holiday Village has been transformed in the last year. The park looks pleasant and welcoming, lovely features have been put in place all around the park. Improved lighting has also been     installed. The park has come a long way in 2022/23, which is testament to the hard work of Christina and the team, together with the significant investment put into St Ives Holiday Village by John Fowler Holidays Ltd.

Installation of WIFI

WIFI is anticipated to be available sometime during the coming holiday season. Phase 1, for the lodges cabling has been completed.  Work on Phase 2, for the rest of the park is about to start.

Window Cleaning

A window cleaning service will be available this holiday season. Frequency will be every 6 weeks. The charges will be £10.00 for large units and £5.00 for small units. Owners who wish to have this service, please contact Christina by email.

Roof Cleaning

A contractor has been secured who will clean, seal, and guarantee the work for 5 years. Owners who wish to take up the roof cleaning, please contact Christina by email. The charge is £350. Invoicing can be done through owners JFH accounts. Owners who would prefer to pay at the time, will be invoiced direct. Payment terms will be 30 days.

Please note the full St. Ives report is available on CMOA website.

Kenegie Manor

Following the loss of Debbie Croucher as a representative, due to her having family commitments,

Kenegie is now the only site without a representative.  As shown in the recruitment section 56%  of all owners are members of CMOA, therefore there must be one or two members  who are willing to volunteer their services  on behalf of other members. Your help is needed, please contact David Lappin today.

A number of issues were raised at the AGM  in November and have been actioned upon and resolved.

The one outstanding issue is the external painting of Old Court and when it is scheduled to be carried out.  Numerous requests have been made by CMOA but the information is still not forthcoming and will be continued to be pursued.

Tolroy Manor

Gavin  West  – Tolroy  Rep                      Dawn James—Tolroy Rep

Most of the issues raised at the Q&A session chaired by Denyse & Karinda have been dealt with.

The current concern centres on a couple of owners of multiple properties using them for long-term lets.  Some of the properties  are in a poor state of repair with windows broken and  debris outside.

Whilst every effort is made by the management to address the problem, the long-term renters are having a negative effect on bookings.

General items

CMOA Website

The new website has now been up and running for one year. Unlike the previous one members are able to log-in using their own email address and password and the site is secure. As members renew subscriptions from 1st April, each member’s log-in account has to be updated. Members who have yet to renew their subscription receive an automatic notice advising that their login account is about to expire. As with anything new there is always a learning curve to overcome and this has resulted in notice of expiry emails being sent out prematurely to members who had already paid thus causing some confusion. All the accounts of members paid have now been updated, so sincere apologies for any confusion caused.

Pets on Holiday

During covid-19, pet ownership in the UK increased by over 3 million and            owners naturally want their pets to accompany them on holiday.  JFH and MJL have reported rising demand for pet friendly accommodation. 25% of bookings so far this year were for pet accommodation as reported by MJL.

All changes bring advantages and disadvantages, so is the case for this

increase in demand.  The upside is that owners who take pets will see an upturn in bookings, whilst owners who don’t, may start losing out.

However, owners taking pets are now experiencing a different problem of cleaning and hygiene. A problem has already come to the surface with the increase in number of pet bookings during the season which has rendered the standard cleaning provided by say JFH as being inadequate.

One member has had to remove carpets from living areas because of staining and strong dog odour that deep cleaning failed to remove.

If the trend continues then more owners may experience similar problems as the season progresses. The short term solution is to increase the frequency of deep cleaning and associated costs or take a longer view and replace the carpet with laminate or vinyl flooring, which is easy to clean and maintain, reducing potential costs for the future.

Further information about flooring types is available on CMOA website.

Sub-letting long term

There are still a few owners who do not wish to abide by their lease and prefer to be landlords by sub-letting their holiday property on a long term basis. These tenants tend to behave in a different way to holiday makers and can have a negative impact on the holiday experience.

Every effort to dissuade owners from sub-letting and to honour the lease agreement is applied by the lessor and legal action taken when this fails. HRMC is endeavouring to tighten up on identifying the source of income and now mandates all letting agencies such as Airbnb to inform them of payments made. This may impact on owners who claim business rates  and sub-let long term.

Electric Vehicle Charging

St. Ives, Perran view and Tolroy Manor have now been supplied with charging points which should be operational by the summer. Kenegie Manor was due to place an order with a supplier this spring.

Guest warning notice

To advise guests who are able to park electric vehicles close to their accommodation and be tempted to use the owners electricity to charge the vehicle, a warning notice has been produced by JFH and CMOA. The notice will be included in the visitor hand book for owners who let through the letting scheme. Owners who arrange their own bookings are advised to issue a similar warning.

Property Insurance

The standard property lease stipulates that the Lessor will insure the property at the owners expense. Some years ago JFH agreed  with CMOA that owners could arrange their own cover provided that they were issued with the policy documents and the insurance cover met the Lessors criteria. The responsibility for ensuring all properties on each site rests with the site management, who are using their precious time to chase owners who have failed to produce insurance policy documents. An uninsured property is not only a risk to the owner but also neighbouring owners in the event say, of a fire.

The site cannot take the risk of having uninsured properties, therefore in future, owners who do not provide the appropriate insurance policy, the company will then arrange insurance and charge the owner accordingly.

Claiming on Insurance

Owners who arrange their own building and contents insurance should always ensure that the policy provides the best cover for their needs. In particular Public Liability should be for a minimum of £5 million if it is being let out via an agency for holiday use.

Damage and theft

Most insurance companies will honour a claim for damage and theft caused by a guest who has booked via an agency. They will not in general pay out for guest damage caused by friends or family and through non registered agencies such as eBay. If in doubt please check your policy or with your insurance provider.

Safety on site

The site managers would like all owners to advise them of their presence on site. A courtesy email to the site manager beforehand would suffice.  Should an emergency occur they need to contact and identify for safety reasons all persons on site.

An incident occurred recently of an owner who sadly died on site and was not discovered for a number of days. The owner was there on his own and the site did not have any contact details for next of kin. Owners are requested not only to advise of their presence but to supply contact details especially if alone.

Facilities Booking App

JFH has developed a booking App for guests to pre-book facilities such the swimming pool before

arriving on site. The introduction of the App is causing logistical problems on site and owners are being turned away because it is fully booked. The reality is the pre-booked guests are failing to arrive to the annoyance of all concerned.

Members are advised to download the App: JohnFowleronPark, which is available on Playstore and Appstore. Use the App to pre-book facilities you wish to use before making your journey to site.

Maintaining member numbers

When a holiday home is purchased, at some point it will be sold on, so each year a number of properties are sold and as the majority of owners are also members of CMOA, they are lost.

Last year 2022, 42 properties on the four sites changed hands. In 2021, 19 properties changed hands. This represented over 100%  increase year on year. CMOA is left with a recruitment task for new members just to stand still. As we know,  data protection makes it difficult to identify the new owner, therefore CMOA has to devise other means. One is through the good offices and cooperation of JFH & MJL. Recruitment flyers are distributed by them to attract new and existing owners to join. So far this year 13 new members have been recruited, but that still leaves quite a shortfall of members lost due to selling up.

Your help is needed

Most owners talk to other owners on site, so why not ask the simple question “are you a member of the owners’ association”, if not encourage them to join and advise CMOA of their details, if you can.

The association hears stories of new members who have been owners for years, saying they  have never heard of the association and had no idea what it did for members.

CMOA’s ultimate goal is 100% membership, which of course in practical terms is not achievable. The association is a bit like the Bumble Bee that can’t fly, but as nobody told it, it does, so CMOA keeps on trying.

Site membership Number of

privately owned properties              No. Members                      %

Perran View                           45                              34                                   75

Tolroy                                      133                            64                                  48

*St. Ives                                   144 ( inc 50 lodges) 37                                 26

Kenegie Manor                        98                              55                                 56

*numbers distorted by additional Lodges.

The year of rising costs

2023 sees the biggest ever increase in running  costs for holiday homes. Electricity prices have increased by circa 300% since 2019 and inflation running at over 10%.

Electricity prices are showing signs of stabilising and hopefully falling throughout the year. Owners who let out have little control on consumption by guests other than ensuring low energy lights bulbs are fitted. Inflation now adds to the cost as ground rent and service charges and pitch fees rise annually in line with RPI in February/ March which was 13.3%. Owners using their holiday home for private use have also seen a 5% increase in Council Tax.

Owners letting out have enjoyed two good years in 2021/22 and now it looks like a year of famine.

Bookings are down by as much as 15% on last year. Cost of living and the weather impact on bookings and two bank holidays in succession have not helped. Both JFH & MJL are increasing their marketing effort to drum up business.

 

 

 

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