Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered


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Flat Chat Forum
Your chance to ask a question, answer one or express an opinion. This independent website is based on the Flat Chat column that appears every Saturday in the Domain section of the Sydney Morning Herald. Posts appear in the order that they arrived with the most recent postings at the end, so that you can follow an entire thread from the initial question. Use the little folded arrows to move around the topics faster.

The Flat Chat column in the Sydney Morning Herald's Domain section receives far too many questions to answer in print. Through this website forum your questions can be answered by me, by industry experts or by other readers who've had similar issues.

A full description of how to register and post to the group can be found by clicking on on the links in the Welcome section (below). They will take you through the process of registering for the forum.

Or you could just browse the Forum and look for similar questions to yours. Either way, I hope you find at least some of the answers you are looking for.

The posts are displayed with the most recent first so if you want to read the whole thread please start at the bottom and work your way up.

This is an independently funded website - please support the strata professionals who support us by clicking on their advertisements - they may have a service that provides the answer to your problems.

Jimmy Thomson, 2012

How to use this forum
A simple guide to getting your message across
Topics 9
Posts 16
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Common Property
Who owns what and what can you do
Topics 664
Posts 3397
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Rental rants
Tenants and landlords have their say
Topics 262
Posts 772
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Airbnb and other short-term lets
When holiday and weekend rentals are no fun for the unit block neighbours
Topics 11
Posts 109
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Another day in paradise
Odds and ends from daily strata living
Topics 274
Posts 1088
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Executive Committees
Kind hearts and control freaks
Topics 398
Posts 2157
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The Professionals
Strata managers, lawyers, building managers etc
Topics 259
Posts 1293
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Parking Peeves
One of the great strata issues - how to deal with rogue parkers
Topics 119
Posts 750
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By-laws and outlaws
Laws, rule, regulations ... and why people don't read them
Topics 121
Posts 662
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Talkin' 'bout a renovation
All about refurbs in your unit ... or your building
Topics 98
Posts 513
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Pets: Furry friends ... or fiends?
Animals in apartments and all that entails
Topics 73
Posts 401
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Levies and Unit Entitlements
What you pay and why you pay it
Topics 80
Posts 406
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NCAT - the Tribunal formerly known as the CTTT
Love it or loathe it, NCAT (NSW Civil Administration Tribunal) decides what's right and who's wrong
Topics 55
Posts 282
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New to strata - or just strata-curious
Questions by and advice for newcomers to the wonderful world of strata life
Topics 42
Posts 181
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Neighbour noise
Are your neighbours too noisy ... or too nosy?
Topics 79
Posts 429
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Hard floors and tough decisions
Stamping out the stomps and clomps
Topics 37
Posts 211
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Smoke gets in your eyes
What to do about smoke from neighbours' units, balconies and common property
Topics 29
Posts 166
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Buying and Selling
The biggest deal most of us will ever do
Topics 32
Posts 141
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Two-unit strata
Duplexes and villas - a problem shared is a problem doubled
Topics 25
Posts 99
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Dirty Linen
Drying laundry on balconies - the debate heats up
Topics 6
Posts 87
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Proxies - blind faith or good sense?
How many buildings in NSW are run by a few owners with a fistful of proxies? And is it a bad thing?
Topics 21
Posts 120
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Company Title
And you thought strata law was complicated ...
Topics 13
Posts 30
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Community Title
Community, Precinct and Neighbourhood Associations - it's strata-like, Jim, but not as we know it.
Topics 3
Posts 9
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Is it really easy being green?
Your questions about greening your building - answered by people who know what they're talking about.
Topics 13
Posts 74
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Surveys and information wanted
Every so often somebody, somewhere needs information that only strata residents can provide. If you want to contribute, or if you need help, this is the place to start.
Topics 19
Posts 56
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Why I love apartment living
It's not all doom and gloom and apartment living can be great when you get it right. Can't it? Say something positive right here.
Topics 5
Posts 11
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Flat Chat Live
Questions and answers from Flat Chat Live, 2014
Topics 22
Posts 82
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Group RSS
Strata law is different in every Australian state and nowhere more so than Victoria. If you live there, this is where your questions should be asked
Beloved companion animals or nasty noisy smelly pests - you be the judge
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One of the perennial sources of disputes in strata - flatchatters, start your engines
Topics 1
Posts 3
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Parties ... and other neighbour noise
What to do when your neighbour turns the volume up to 11
Topics 1
Posts 3
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Committees and professionals
The people who run your lives ... for better or worse
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Posts 0
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And the rest ...
Everything not covered by the above
Topics 6
Posts 13
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Group RSS
Executive Committee Corner
A special section for Flat Chat readers who are on ECs or plan to join them

This section is primarily for those who are on Executive Committees and who want advice on how best to fulfill their obligations and responsibilities. Anyone can read the postings but we would ask individual owners or those with questions about their own properties to restrict their involvement to the Flat Chat Basics Forum

Building and maintenance
The buck stops here - you have to look after the building ... it's the law
Topics 61
Posts 337
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Topics 8
Posts 24
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By-laws and breaches
How to enforce your by-laws and change them if you need to
Topics 23
Posts 97
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Strata managers
What strata managers do - and what you nneed them to do
Topics 52
Posts 280
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Building managers
On-site or off, the people who keep things going ... or not
Topics 9
Posts 44
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Budgets & Levies
Advice on how to balance your budgets and keep your levies to the minimum while maintining your sinking funds
Topics 9
Posts 36
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Group RSS
NSW Strata Law Reform Position Paper
The 70 different proposals published in the Position Paper released on November 14, 2013. - and Flatchatters' comments

We have presented the different topics of the proposed changes to the NSW strata laws so they can be read and discussed item by item. The wording is exactly as was presented in Fair Trading's position paper (although some explanatory preambles have been removed).

UPDATE: We have made these "read-only" as any further discussion is moot - the legislation is ready to go and will be debated in Parliament this year (2015). You will find an appropriate place for your questions and answers in the main forum above.

From proxy farming to conflicts of interest, who can be on the committee, who can't and how many members you can have - it's all here
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Buildings, defects and common property
The NSW Government says it is actively pursuing reform in this area on a number of fronts. The reforms underway to planning laws will seek to improve building standards and certification, and reforms to home building laws will see improvements to statutory warranty, dispute resolution and home warranty insurance arrangements.
Topics 29
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Levies and budgets
Many disputes in strata schemes centre on money. Submissions argued that the law needs to provide greater fairness, transparency and accountability when it comes to the way money is managed. These reforms seek to address this without placing too heavy a burden on the people who administer the scheme’s funds.
Topics 8
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The by-laws of a strata scheme are a set of rules that govern behaviour and the use of common property by residents. All strata schemes are subject to a set of by-laws, which must be lodged with the Registrar General.
Topics 16
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Managing disputes
There will always be disputes in strata schemes. Strata living means that people with diverse interests and ideas live in close contact with one another. Most of the time disputes are resolved by talking with each other about the problem and through developing tolerance and an understanding of others’ views. However, there are times when disputes can only be resolved with outside help
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General comments
While we would prefer you to keep comments about specific proposals in the section created for them, you may have comments about the whole thrust of the proposed changes or broad areas of concern and this may be the place to air them. Otherwise, pleas scroll down and find the items you are interested in and click on the reply button there. You can open a Forum to read its topics by clicking on its title.
Topics 16
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