Flat Chat 600 – Still crazy after all these years

Flat Chat 600 – Still crazy after all these years

Writing a new column – on the value of a good whinge, if you must know – I noticed that this would be our 600th Flat Chat. It’s true – we have been going for almost 13 years. Obviously, we’ve seen a few changes in that time.  For a start, new strata laws came into […]

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Budget strata insurance now online

Budget strata insurance now online

One of the most contentious issues in the new strata laws that came into force in NSW last year was the question of compulsory strata insurance and commissions paid by insurers to the strata managers who organised it. Under the new laws, strata managers have to declare any commissions they receive and they also have […]

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Roundup:  Now strata residents have three amigos

Roundup: Now strata residents have three amigos

Maybe it’s coincidence, maybe it’s a cunning plan, but the two MPs who had most to do with creating and establishing our new strata laws in NSW are now, after the recent cabinet reshuffle, in the perfect position to see how they operate. Anthony Roberts, our newly anointed Planning Minister, was the architect of the new […]

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New strata laws, same old dirty tricks

New strata laws, same old dirty tricks

Now that the holidays are out of the way, the first of the year’s AGMs will soon be upon us.  That will be the first time most of us will have to confront the realities of the new strata laws. It will be interesting to see how the proxy farmers and committee stackers try to […]

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Renters lose but few owners gain with Airbnb, claims Sydney Uni report

Renters lose but few owners gain with Airbnb, claims Sydney Uni report

More than half the empty rental properties in Sydney’s holiday hotspots are likely to be listed on Airbnb, according to a Sydney University report cited in a plea to new NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to allow curbs on short-stay lets in apartments to ease Sydney’s affordable housing crisis. And, despite the online letting agency’s corporate message […]

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Roundup:  If you leave us, Mr Dominello, can we come too?

Roundup: If you leave us, Mr Dominello, can we come too?

I was chatting the other day with the strata Minister Victor Dominello (his proper title is Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation).  I realised afterwards that, now that he has shepherded the new strata laws over the line, if there was a cabinet reshuffle, as there often is at this time of year, he could […]

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Meet airbnb’s public enemy No 1

Meet airbnb’s public enemy No 1

Airbnb is a ‘sinister force’ that hides its true business, while its popularity distorts the housing market and overly influences politicians, says the Australian who is arguably, globally, the online letting agency’s Public Enemy No 1. As the $50 billion business rides its first wave of negative publicity in its short but spectacular ride to […]

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Roundup: Drones and moans

Roundup: Drones and moans

Sometimes I wonder how closely people read my stuff.  I was criticised by a couple of people for my “dirty tricks” story (below) being pro-airbnb.  Huh? Just because they’re dirty tricks doesn’t make them bad, right? Apart from that, a lot of issues have been raised on the forum, covering everything from photography drones to […]

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Guerrilla warfare warning over holiday lets in apartments

Guerrilla warfare warning over holiday lets in apartments

Bogus by-laws, sneaky shut-outs and strangulation with red tape are all likely to be employed to keep holiday lets out of apartment blocks that don’t want them, say Sydney’s building managers. Even outright vandalism is being predicted should the NSW government follow through on proposals to force apartments blocks to accept short-stay rentals such as […]

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Roundup: A fair go for proxy people

Roundup: A fair go for proxy people

Happy New Year and welcome to 2017, arguably the biggest year in apartment living in NSW since our state inflicted this particular method of sharing our space on an unsuspecting world. OK, the laws came into effect last month, but it is only now that we are getting to grips with them and there’s a […]

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