Short shrift for airheads

Melbourne city council were due to be back at the Building Appeals Board this past week, to re-argue their case that residential apartment  blocks are no place for short-term holiday lets. Good on ‘em, but they may be fighting an uphill battle as Airbnb and other social media based accommodation websites enable the curse of […]

Late call on rental damage

We came across this interesting titbit on the interweb – a couple had left their rented accommodation  in May and their bond had been refunded (albeit after two months). Now they are facing a tribunal and demands for damage that the agent claims were missed in the end of lease inspection. The couple claim that […]

Eye in the sky drone grounded

When an apartment resident decided to grow a “sauvage”  garden on his balcony – filling it with soil and letting it grow wild – he claimed the by-laws allowed for planters and that was all he had. The owners corp knew this wasn’t the case but how could they prove it? Without the owner’s permission, […]

Law defective on defect claims

It’s all gone quiet on the strata law reform front but that doesn’t mean nothing is happening.  Strata laws are one thing but the most significant legislation for new apartment buyers is the Home Building Act. And, sadly,  there’s a Get Out Of Jail Free card for dodgy developers included in the new building legislation […]

Flat Chat Live lives

Try to stay calm but … Flat Chat Live is on again. Yes, on October 25, we are putting on another mostly enlightening and often entertaining forum in which a selection of your questions will be answered by a panel of strata experts chaired by yours truly. But that’s not all, the Strata Community Australia Owners Day has all […]

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Winners and losers in user-pays rentals

If proposed curbs on interest-only loans make life easier for people who want to buy where they live, at prices uninflated by speculators, what about tenants? Like it or not, investors pay for the units that are rented out. And that forgotten “minority” of tenants represents a whopping 75 percent of apartment residents in inner […]

Persons of interest pumping up prices

If we ever needed proof of a disconnect between the cost of building apartments and the prices at which they’re sold, it came a couple of years ago when a prestige new development in central Sydney started selling off the plan. From the moment they opened for business they were swamped.  One investor even bought […]

Do we need a no-tenant tax

Have Sydney’s rental vacancy rates turned the corner?  With a rise in the availability of properties to 2 percent, while hardly easy, life could be getting less stressful for renters. Many new apartments, preferred by renters and investors, have come on to the market and a recent report by  BIS Shrapnel says around 5,800 units […]

Forced sales – a chance to have your say

The spectre of aged residents being hauled off  to retirement homes, kicking and screaming, so that rapacious developers can turn their old apartment blocks into something shiny and new, has dimmed slightly. Moves to change strata law have been postponed until just before the next state election in March and you have to wonder what […]

Sign up for some smart thinking

Baffled by by-laws?  Confused by committees? Mystified by the multiplicity of managers in strata?   Don’t worry – help is on the way. An abundance of experts are lining up to offer advice to strata residents, and among them are City of Sydney Council … as they should be. According to CoS,  75 percent of Sydney […]