Strata charges – a question of trust, cheques and balances

Strata charges – a question of trust, cheques and balances

How much can you – or should you – trust the professionals who are contracted by your owners corporation? Bearing in mind the major factors at play here – owners’ apathy and ignorance – you’d be forgiven for thinking this is an area wide open for abuse.  However, that doesn’t mean all strata managers and […]

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Roundup: Another fine mess as NCAT floored by loophole

Roundup: Another fine mess as NCAT floored by loophole

Once again, the Flat Chat Faithful have done us proud by tipping us off to a big deal; this time it’s a story that reveals a fairly major loophole in the whole NCAT fines system. Or, more to the point, the complete lack of a legally enforceable fines regime. With the strains of Send in […]

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Why you need to fine landlords who don’t register tenants

Why you need to fine landlords who don’t register tenants

It’s funny how the whole holiday letting issue is shaking out a lot of strata and council laws, especially the unenforceable ones. And before we go any further, this is not about Airbnb – it just starts there. A colleague was looking into a case that began with an apartment owner in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, who […]

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Roundup:  What happens when the powers that be curb Airbnb

Roundup: What happens when the powers that be curb Airbnb

As I sit in a hotel in Da Nang, Vietnam, my planned billet in Hoi An under water, and the death toll from Typhoon Damrey rising up to 50, it’s hard to get too worked up about what I had planned to write – the effect of Airbnb on housing availability and rents in a […]

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Roundup: New commissioner – same old story?

Roundup: New commissioner – same old story?

So we have a new Fair Trading Commissioner. Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean this week announced the appointment of Rose Webb to the NSW Fair Trading hot seat. Mr Kean said Ms Webb has an extensive background working at senior levels across both regulatory and enforcement agencies. “I’m so excited to announce Rose Webb […]

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Whine like an old modem but don’t expect faster internet

Whine like an old modem but don’t expect faster internet

With all the conflicting reports about NBN in the media at the moment, you could burn up half your download allowance scouring the internet for the best option for your apartment block. The Four Corners investigation on the ABC this week was pretty dismal viewing, with the news that Dunedin in New Zealand has 10 […]

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ROUNDUP:  Airbnb – wake me up when it’s all over

ROUNDUP: Airbnb – wake me up when it’s all over

Are you sick of reading about Airbnb?  Me too. I for one will be so glad when the whole online holiday letting debate is put to bed. That said, unfettered short-term letting is one of the most potent threats to the way we live in StrataLand – a much more real threat than the faint […]

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Stamp duty: Hard floors and high anxiety

Stamp duty: Hard floors and high anxiety

A funny little notice appeared in our lifts this week, headlined “Hard Floors and High Heels”. Apart from sounding like a Pedro Almodovar movie, it was a simple request for people with timber or tile flooring not to performing their own flamenco dance every time they walked across the room. As the notice pointed out […]

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Strata managers back a better cladding deal for owners

Strata managers back a better cladding deal for owners

Strata management unbrella organisation Strata Community Australia say they are stepping up their fight for fairness as the issue of non-compliant aluminium cladding hits strata owners across Australia. And the first step would be to have dangerous flammable cladding declared a major defect in new buildings, allowing owners six years to claim against builders and […]

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Roundup: Punch-ups predicted as party animals fly in

Roundup: Punch-ups predicted as party animals fly in

Flat Chat was on a panel at a conference of barristers in Sydney last week, talking about the “sharing” economy and how new technologies are changing or lives. One of my fellow panellists, a property lawyer from Brazil, said one of the problems in her country was that people were turning up to find that […]

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