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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

Landlords caught in repairs trap

Which law do I break?  That’s the dilemma facing landlords whose tenants are suffering  because of a failure of owners corporations to repair and maintain common property. “I keep having to get the ceiling fixed or replaced in the second bedroom and my tenant can’t occupy that room, “ says one landlord in the Flat Chat […]

Brake on forced unit sales

The whole question of whether a majority of owners can vote to sell their entire building, bulldozing the objections of those who would rather stay,  is the hottest topic in the proposed changes to strata  law. It is also set to be the main target of the Labor opposition when the Bill gets to Parliament, […]