Day traders’ crossed lines

A complaint from tenants that  their phone lines weren’t working has revealed that their rented flat was being used as an office  and they had been promised there would be two or three separate phone lines available. “A tradesman who the OC had to call out told us it contains  desks and a bank of about […]

Owner incensed by holy smoke

Ah, the gentle tinkle of a tiny temple bell, the whispered chant of a Buddhist  prayer, the barely visible thread of smoke from an incense stick.  What could be more relaxing? Oh, I forgot the yell from above:  “Put that bloody joss stick out!” I exaggerate, of course.  There was no yelling but there was […]

When renting a unit beats buying a house

The news last week that the Reserve Bank of Australia  thinks young people might be better off renting rather than buying had a resonance in strata more than any other area of housing. Right now more than 50 percent of residents of strata units are renters, while there seems to be broad acceptance that the […]

Long-term pain in short-term shame

An odd little coincidence occurred in the past few days.  In the same week that we discovered, almost tragically, that students and young tourists were being housed in shipping containers in Erskineville, it was three years to the week that one of the most blatant cases of unapproved short-term lets in Sydney was first reported […]

Shipping containers of shame

Shipping containers of strata shame The other day I put a dark thought into the mind of a contact in the NSW government. Fair Trading has been running a campaign about the dangers of dodgy phone and tablet chargers after a young woman was killed when her USB booster went seriously awry and caused an […]

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Strata law reform gunned down

The NSW Government has put on hold strata law changes that were due to come in this month – including allowing a majority of owners to sell units from under reluctant owners, as well as making it easier for owners to keep pets. Only last year,  it was suggested that the changes to the Strata […]

How short-term lets distort the rental market

Forget the buck’s night strippers’ glitter clogging up the lifts, the weekend footy fans vomiting in the stairwells and the country kids doing cannonballs in the communal spa, there is a much more serious consequence of illegal short-term lets. Every unit in a residential-only building that’s set aside for holidaymakers is another home that isn’t […]

Curious case of a cat and an iPhone photo

The fur is flying in a strata battle over an illegal cat and a sneaky iPhone photo. It starts with a  Flat Chat reader who tells us she inherited an ageing cat from her mother who passed away recently. Knowing that having pets was in breach of her building’s bylaws, but believing the ageing moggy […]

How to beat brat dumping

Brat dumping – when parents buy an apartment for their teenage or young adult offspring so they can offload the results of their lack of child rearing skills on to otherwise happy and peaceful communities – is spreading. West Australia may be a bit behind the times when it comes to apartment living but they […]

Dementia sufferer wants to be elected

Ageing is not an issue that we immediately associate with apartment living … but it should be. Retirees and empty nesters are among the largest social groups moving into apartments. Security, level access, location and the lack of any need to maintain the building are big attractions for older people. But there physical and mental […]