Author Archive: JimmyT

JimmyT - the T stands for Thomson - has been writing the Flat Chat column in Domain in the Sydney Morning Herald for the past 12 years. He also appears regularly on radio on the James Valentine show on ABC 702 radio. Jimmy is also an author (of 10 published books) and a TV scriptwriter (three broadcast series) and writes travel articles for whoever will publish them

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Roundup:  Monstered by tradies with trucks

Roundup: Monstered by tradies with trucks

I was in at the ABC doing my strata spot with James Valentine the other day and the question of monster trucks and the increasing squeeze in apartment block car parks came up. We wrote about that here a few weeks ago but it makes you think that Australia’s love affair with large 4WDs and […]

Why Airbnb is nothing like Uber

Why Airbnb is nothing like Uber

As Airbnb pumps bucks by the bucketful into the local media to try to convince our MPs to remove the legal right of apartment owners to keep holiday lets out of their buildings, you are going to hear it suggested time and again that Airbnb is just like Uber. And, to be fair, in some […]

Winners and losers –  the five main options for Airbnb laws

Winners and losers –  the five main options for Airbnb laws

As D-Day approaches for holiday let legislation to be tabled in the NSW parliament, Jimmy Thomson looks at the five main options currently under discussion – and examines the likely effects of each of them. Despite the fact that the search for new legislation on holiday lets was sparked by massive fines threatened against free-standing […]

City hosts strata living workshops

City hosts strata living workshops

Sydneysiders can learn how to get the most out of apartment living in a series of free interactive workshops for apartment residents, organised by City of Sydney. The City has run the highly popular Strata Skills 101 workshops for the past five years. The 2017 program covers the recent changes in strata laws and provide […]

Roundup: Same-same strata shame in Singapore

Roundup: Same-same strata shame in Singapore

Flat Chat has just returned from Singapore where they know a bit about building lots and lots of apartments for their booming populations – and face many of the same problems we do … only on as bigger scale. With a population of 5.5 million, most of whom live in strata, they are confronting the […]

Strata management giant slugs unit owners millions

Strata management giant slugs unit owners millions

More than 200,000 unit owners have been slugged with compulsory ‘compliance fees’ potentially totalling millions of dollars, that critics have branded ‘gouging’. And the NSW Government Minister in charge of strata has advised apartment owners to “shop around” if they aren’t happy with the fees. The charges have been imposed on buildings managed by PICA […]

How to beat balcony bombers

How to beat balcony bombers

Of all the neighbours in apartment blocks who can turn tolerant, accommodating, reasonable residents into screaming psychopaths, it’s not all-night party people, or weekend hobby home renovators, or barking dog owners (or even owners of barking dogs) that are the worst. No, it’s the balcony bombers. They smoke, eat and drink on their balconies and […]

Roundup: The upside of apartment living

Roundup: The upside of apartment living

We’ve been doing a fair bit of trumpet-blowing this week, what with being praised in state parliament, podcasts of our radio chats and all that.  So, while we have our lips pursed and cheeks puffed, forgive us if we have one final toot. Flat-Chat’s sister website Title Online has been given a bit of a […]

Finding positives in negative gearing

Finding positives in negative gearing

To many Australians, the connection between negative gearing and inflated property prices seems obvious.  But would rents rise if it was scrapped? Reader John Byrne thinks he has a solution. I am not affiliated with any political party, lobby group or similar. I do have a rental property. I have been trying to get some traction […]

Podcast: New laws, proxy farming and your calls on ABC radio

Podcast: New laws, proxy farming and your calls on ABC radio

You’re always hesitant in this game to claim that you have a regular slot, anywhere, doing anything.  It’s usually a guaranteed precursor to getting the hook. But I guess after almost 10 years of guesting on James Valentine’s Afternoons on ABC radio, I can say that, yes, I do get an occasional 25 minutes of […]