About us …

FLAT CHAT is a column that has been appearing in Domain section of the Sydney Morning Herald for the past 12 or more years, answering questions, offering advice and occasionally stirring up controversy about strata living in Australia. Mostly we are making strata owners a bit more aware of their rights and responsibilities and suggesting the minor compromises and concessions we all have to make if we want to live happily in strata.

The Flat Chat phenomenon began with the publication of the book Apartment Living (written with Sue Williams) in 2004 and at time of writing I have just published my 600th column.

Where I once used to answer questions individually, there are way too many to manage these days so this Forum is where all the heavy lifting gets done. Rather than wait for your problem to appear in print (as it still might), this allows other strata owners and professionals to see the questions and offer their own advice.

There is an archive on this website of all my columns but some of the advice may be a little out of date as circumstances as legislation may have changed since they were written.

Some of the issues are specific to New South Wales, some are universal. But most of them relate to the whole business of getting on with each other in modern apartment buildings wherever we may be.

If you need definitive advice, contact the Office of Fair Trading (in NSW, or its equivalent elsewhere) or talk to lawyers who specialise in strata law. If you want to ask a question or send a comment for possible publication in the SMH, log on to the Forum – that’s the quickest way to get a response.