Archive

Roundup: Mystery tapping had a criminal cause

Roundup: Mystery tapping had a criminal cause

Tap, tap, tap. The sound had been driving neighbours mad. Every night from midnight for several hours, the people in one of the top floor flats would come home and it would start: tap, tap, tap, tap, tap … People complained. They’d bang on the door but no one ever came although the tapping would […]

How I failed to stay calm and write a submission on Airbnb

How I failed to stay calm and write a submission on Airbnb

The NSW state government has called for submissions responding to their Options Paper on legislation to govern the rapid expansion of short-term holiday letting in residential homes. My view of the short-term holiday letting (STHL) debate is quite simple – give Airbnb exactly what they say they want. I chose my words very carefully there […]

Is flammable cladding such a big deal after all?

Is flammable cladding such a big deal after all?

The NSW state government has sent out the first 800 letters to apartment buildings to find out which of them has dangerous inflammable cladding.  What happens if you say yes?  are we facing huge bills to remove and replace? We reckon behaviour is just as important as building specifications when it comes to fires The […]

Roundup: Daylight robbery by commercial lot owners

Roundup: Daylight robbery by commercial lot owners

Think things are less-than-perfect in your strata scheme? There’s a full-blown nightmare scenario happening right now in Sydney city. The scheme is dominated by commercial lots that have somehow (probably with the help of the developer) set things up so that the residential owners pay a big chunk of the bills for the commercial lots. […]

Why Flat Chat moved house

Why Flat Chat moved house

After 13 years in the Domain section of the Sydney Morning Herald, Flat Chat has flitted to the Saturday edition of the Australia Financial Review and new readership, new challenges … but the same philosophy. It’s not such a huge cultural change – moving from a property supplement to the Smart Investor section is just […]

How to avoid buying a high-rise lemon

How to avoid buying a high-rise lemon

Flat Chat is now appearing in the Australian Financial Review, both in print and online at weekends. This is the first column in its new home. With recent revelation that the median rent for apartments is now roughly equal with houses in Sydney – and the gap is closing rapidly in Melbourne – many potential […]

Capital works and avoiding that sinking feeling

Capital works and avoiding that sinking feeling

Do you “get” the capital works fund? No, me neither and neither do all those committee members around the state who think a spreadsheet is something you put over the furniture when you are painting the ceiling. I know that it used to be called the sinking fund and you have to have a 10-year […]

Roundup: Guess who pays when new cladding task force finds blocks at risk

Roundup: Guess who pays when new cladding task force finds blocks at risk

There we were, sitting down to compose our submissions on holiday letting (again!), when the State government announced its proposals for dealing with inflammable cladding on high-rise blocks. The same kind of cladding that caused the Grenfell and Lacrosse fires is all over the place, apparently (like some government policies). So Fair Trading is going […]

Barbie and smoking bans could cut crippling cladding costs

Barbie and smoking bans could cut crippling cladding costs

Bans on smoking and removing barbecues from balconies could be a low-cost option for apartment owners as the State government plans to force buildings with inflammable cladding to own up – then fix it. On the day it was revealed that Metropolitan Police are considering corporate manslaughter charges against the managers of the Grenfell building […]

Roundup: Elevated anger over lifts that never arrive

Roundup: Elevated anger over lifts that never arrive

Ever wondered why you always seem to be waiting ages for the lifts in your building? Maybe the lady upstairs is holding it for her partner while he hunts for his keys, hat or phone (or all of the above). Or someone is moving in when they shouldn’t be and have commandeered every available elevator. […]