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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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 […]

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 […]

How much do you really know about Airbnb?

How much do you really know about Airbnb?

What happens when you complain?  How many homes have been taken out of the residential market? What’s an “astroturfing” campaign?If you don’t know already, it’s time you took our fun quiz.  And it IS fun (unless someone is running half a dozen Airbnb rentals in your building).   This quiz first appeared in Title Online. […]

By-laws review: Beware the rusty ratchet effect

By-laws review: Beware the rusty ratchet effect

Tucked away near the end of the new strata laws that came into force in NSW almost a year ago is a requirement which is being widely ignored but should be a call to action for every apartment resident in Australia. The 2015 Act requires every strata scheme in NSW to review their by-laws.  What […]

Flammable cladding the ‘asbestos of 2017’ says fire safety expert

Flammable cladding the ‘asbestos of 2017’ says fire safety expert

Future owners of new apartments will be protected from buying into potentially unsafe buildings with Federal and State government agreement last week to place a moratorium on the use of composite aluminium cladding in high-rise construction. However current owners still face the prospect of having to arrange for inspections of their buildings to determine whether […]

Your chance to speak out on Airbnb in unit blocks

Your chance to speak out on Airbnb in unit blocks

Want to have your say about short-term holiday letting in apartment blocks but feel your voice isn’t being heard? Not sure what to say in a submission to to state government’s consultation? On October 24, Sydney state MP Alex Greenwich is going to chair a “town hall style” meeting in Parliament House, organised by Our […]

Roundup:  Clock ticking on your compulsory by-law review

Roundup:  Clock ticking on your compulsory by-law review

Have you  completed your by-laws review yet? What do you mean “what by-law review?” The NSW strata laws that came in last November gave all owners corporations exactly one year to have a look at their existing by-laws, compare them with new model rules and update them accordingly, if that was appropriate. What?  You haven’t […]

Come fly with me on my latest Vietnam tour

Come fly with me on my latest Vietnam tour

Here’s one from the department of shameless self-promotion that has little or nothing to do with apartment living –  you can join me on a luxury 14-day trip to Vietnam next year. And before we go any further, let me stress the word “luxury”. If you have just made a killing on the property market […]

Five false economies holding back your block

Five false economies holding back your block

It’s a real estate sign you rarely see around Sydney these days: “Luxury flats – resort facilities – low levies” Those too-good-to-be-true promises disappeared when new laws in NSW allowed apartment buyers to seek compensation from developers if they had deliberately underestimated the running costs of the building. What’s most surprising is how many people […]

Cladding and Airbnb crises halt strata event

Cladding and Airbnb crises halt strata event

The Owners Corporation Network has postponed its Savvy Strata seminar planned for Saturday week (Oct 14), citing a series of major challenges to strata owners as the reason for the late change of plan. “The flammable cladding issue and the response to the short-term holiday letting position paper, including a planned “Town Hall” on short term letting to be […]