For the last decade or so we have been renting a storage space at Strata Storage in Little Collins Street Melbourne, to store all of our excess junk (and we have a lot of excess junk!). Last week we moved all of our stuff to another storage spot and I am glad that we did as for the last few months we have had a lot of trouble with our old storage place.
The trouble at Strata started in October when we received a call saying that the owner of our storage space had decided to take the space back, and that we had to move to another spot within the building. This seemed to be very weird and I wondered why the owners would decide to take the spot back even though we paid the rent on time every month. I naively thought that perhaps the owner needed the space for his own storage needs.
When we turned up at Strata to move our stuff back in October, the guy working there told us a different story. He said that the owner wanted us out of the spot ASAP and had broken our lock and wanted to move our stuff out himself. The only reason the owner, who we were told was a big shot with BHP did not just turf our stuff out was because Strata had told him that what he wanted to do was illegal. Priscilla was made highly suspicious by this story but I stupidly took it on face value.
Then we read an article in the Herald Sun that made us make up our mind to finally move from Strata storage. The crux of the article said that Strata Storage and their parent company Beluga Investments had not been passing on the rent that was paid to them to the owners of the storage units. Apparently over $500,000 is owed to the owners in unpaid rent. Reading this set off alarm bells for us and we decided to plan to move our stuff somewhere else.
After all of that planning we finally moved last Thursday and Friday. On Friday there was another article in the Herald Sun about Strata Storage and the owner of that company Mark Baranov, who ironically enough, was also at Strata on Friday morning. (I had to subtlety point out to Priscilla that he was the guy pictured in the Herald Sun.) The new article said that Strata was insolvent and gave the impression that the company may not be around for much longer. We figured that it was a good thing that we moved out on our own terms rather than being forced to move out later. We noticed that a lot of people have had the same idea as us, as there were quite a few storage spaces that have become empty in the last couple of months. Hopefully we won’t have any trouble with our new storage space in Port Melbourne.