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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.

Welcome to the Flat Chat Forum where your questions can be answered by me, industry experts or other readers who've had similar issues.

Anyone can read all the material but you have to register and log in to ask or answer questions. A full description of how to do that 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.

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, 2017

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How to use this forum
A simple guide to getting your message across
Topics 11
Posts 17
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Common Property
Who owns what and what can you do
Topics 806
Posts 4067
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Strata Committees
Kind hearts and control freaks
Topics 542
Posts 2856
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Another day in paradise
Odds and ends from daily strata living
Topics 552
Posts 1872
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The Professionals
Strata managers, lawyers, building managers etc
Topics 310
Posts 1482
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Airbnb and other short-term lets
When holiday and weekend rentals are no fun for the unit block neighbours
Topics 30
Posts 212
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Rental rants
Tenants and landlords have their say
Topics 283
Posts 839
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By-laws and outlaws
Laws, rule, regulations ... and why people don't read them
Topics 159
Posts 862
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Forced sales - the 75 percent solution
NSW's plans to allow 75 percent of strata owners to force the others to sell their homes for redevelopment
Topics 6
Posts 16
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Parking Peeves
One of the great strata issues - how to deal with rogue parkers
Topics 135
Posts 839
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Talkin' 'bout a renovation
All about refurbs in your unit ... or your building
Topics 120
Posts 637
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Pets: Furry friends ... or fiends?
Animals in apartments and all that entails
Topics 98
Posts 566
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Levies and Unit Entitlements
What you pay and why you pay it
Topics 108
Posts 578
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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 66
Posts 341
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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 52
Posts 219
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Neighbour noise
Are your neighbours too noisy ... or too nosy?
Topics 88
Posts 476
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Hard floors and tough decisions
Stamping out the stomps and clomps
Topics 48
Posts 263
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Smoke gets in your eyes
What to do about smoke from neighbours' units, balconies and common property
Topics 36
Posts 203
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Buying and Selling
The biggest deal most of us will ever do
Topics 37
Posts 159
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Two-unit strata
Duplexes and villas - a problem shared is a problem doubled
Topics 31
Posts 121
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Dirty Linen
Drying laundry on balconies - the debate heats up
Topics 8
Posts 92
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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 25
Posts 129
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Company Title
And you thought strata law was complicated ...
Topics 14
Posts 31
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Community Title
Community, Precinct and Neighbourhood Associations - it's strata-like, Jim, but not as we know it.
Topics 5
Posts 25
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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 14
Posts 75
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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 22
Posts 68
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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
This Forum is now closed for new posts. You can still read previous posts but to raise new issues, please find the appropriate sub-forum from the list above. These were questions and answers from Flat Chat Live, 2014.
Topics 46
Posts 183
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Finance, budgetting and loans
Everything you need to know about
Topics 7
Posts 22
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Victoria
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
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Pets
Beloved companion animals or nasty noisy smelly pests - you be the judge
Topics 0
Posts 0
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Parking
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
Topics 4
Posts 13
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And the rest ...
Everything not covered by the above
Topics 14
Posts 48
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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

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Building and maintenance
The buck stops here - you have to look after the building ... it's the law
Topics 77
Posts 399
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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 24
Posts 101
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Strata managers
What strata managers do - and what you nneed them to do
Topics 69
Posts 355
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Building managers
On-site or off, the people who keep things going ... or not
Topics 12
Posts 67
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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 13
Posts 47
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Strata Law Reforms
90 different changes to NSW strata law were passed by Parliament and will come into force in mid 2016. This forum was based on proposals first mooted in 2013. We will be updating them with the actual law changes as we get closer to their implementation. Meanwhile, feel free to ask questions and comment

We originally presented the different topics of the proposed changes to the NSW strata laws so they could be read and discussed item by item.

In opening this up for further discussion, we have maintained the original proposals and structure as many of the changes are subtle if not slight. Where the incoming laws vary from what was proposed back in 2013, we'll signal that as clearly as we can.

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Governance
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
Topics 29
Posts 103
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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
Posts 62
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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
Posts 13
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By-laws
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
Posts 61
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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
Topics 10
Posts 10
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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
Posts 88
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