Make yourself heard

If information is knowledge and knowledge is power, then the Owners Corporation network is certainly powering up, gathering as much information as they can about what strata residents want and need. If you have an idle moment, go to THIS SURVEY before Thursday Aug 28 and click a few buttons. Your responses will help shape OCN’s […]

Wild Birds: Pets or pests?

Is an animal regularly fed and cared for by a strata owner a pet? Or is it maybe, in fact, a pest? “My strata has a by-law (‘rule’ in Victoria) that owners aren’t allowed to keep a pet of any kind,” says Petula on the Flat Chat Forum. “But what is a pet?  Does it have […]

Tenants shut door on ‘open house’ inspections

A Melbourne couple’s objection to large numbers of prospective buyers coming through their rented home could curb ‘open house’ inspections in Victoria, especially, and even in NSW. According to a recent story in Fairfax Media, the Box Hill couple were told the property was being sold and they would have to allow open viewings as well […]

Things that go bonk in the night

You call an exorcist when you hear things that go bump in the night, but who do you call for things that go bonk during the day? “I am suffering from the constant banging of a bed on wall at all hours as my upstairs neighbours have sex,” writes Wizardofoz on the Flat Chat Forum. […]

Cop the rise or hit the road

Nobody likes rent increases  – no renter, at any rate – but when are increases fair and what can you do if they aren’t? “I was just notified of another rental increase of $10 to $440 effective in September,” says Nimrod23 HERE in the Forum. “The previous one was in November 2013. Do I have […]

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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 […]