Happy new strata year – here’s our 2020 vision

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We reckon this year in strata is going to be a big one across the nation.

Our big campaign this year is going to be about embedded networks – where developers get infrastructure installed for free provided they can dupe their purchasers into signing up for inflated maintenance contracts.  The developers get a freebie and the owners get the bill, several times over.

It’s wrong in so many ways, and we want it stopped.

Also, this year NSW will finally see the introduction of the short-term letting laws, complete with fire regulations and a register of holiday properties.

Naturally, Airbnb hasn’t given up the fight – the spin, misinformation and fact massaging continues unabated – and it will be interesting to see if our state government has the cojones to put them back in their box.

Down in Victoria, they will be bringing in their revised strata laws, which will make for some interesting developments.  And they will also be fronting up to the devastating effects of their “come on down” policies of short-term letting on strata communities.

From what I hear, the Andrews government despises strata owners – they see everyone as horrible capitalist investors – and has little concern for apartment residents, including renters, lacking the wit or wisdom to see the knock-on effects of their “more liberal than Liberal” policies.

As usual, it’s the punters who suffer while Victoria rakes in the tourist dollars and tells everyone how clever they are.

In Queensland, we hear that strata owners there have had it with their adjudication regime – which they say relentlessly supports the fundamentally corrupt on-site management sale and pre-sale system, regardless of the merits of any case brought agains managers – and are now planning to take their issues directly to court where at least some form of justice will prevail.

Meanwhile, here at Flat Chat we will continue to try to bring you our particular insight into what’s happening in Strataland, while answering your questions as best we can.

And the Flat Chat Wrap podcast will be back, punchier, funnier and more controversial than ever.

It’s going to be big year for us all, so strap yourselves in – it could be a bumpy ride.

2 Replies to “Happy new strata year – here’s our 2020 vision”

  1. Great to hear that Flatchat has Embedded Networks in its sights for 2020. Many strata residents wouldn’t know what an embedded network was, let alone having had to live with one.

    It involves strata buildings purchasing their utilities – electricity, gas, internet etc – from a single source not just for common property but also for individual apartments.

    In theory this opens up opportunities for apartment residents to share in the financial benefits of group purchasing and the discounts that go with it. The only problem is, as Flatchat points out, the process has been hijacked by developers.

    It is the developer who pockets the benefit upfront from selling the supply contract whose value is in direct proportion to the profit that can be made from selling utilities to strata residents in years to come. As Flatchat also notes, the developer leaves the business of installing the infrastructure to distribute / meter the electricity etc to the embedded network supplier. The owners are left locked into a contract for a supply, which they could in theory forsake for another more competitive supplier, but in practice would have to pay for separate infrastructure for any new supplier they chose. The practical hurdles for any apartment resident or owner changing to another more competitive supplier are just too great – and that’s assuming that apartment residents understand what’s going on – which most would not.

    Not everything about embedded networks is bad. They could be used to empower the owners corporation to centrally purchase utilities not just for the common property but for individual apartments. The combined utility needs of the common property and apartments could give the OC some leverage in negotiating utility prices. But that is only going to happen if it is the OC that is in control, and not some outside Embedded Network Supplier, and any costs savings flow back to owners.

    Those of us who are fortunate to be in buildings that have installed solar pv to cater for our common property electricity needs should now be thinking about how we can share the benefits of cheap and clean solar power with our residents & owners. Expanding our solar pv installations to provide electricity not just for common property needs but to individual apartments could be the way to go. An embedded network owned and controlled by the owners corporation for the benefit of owners could be the answer to bringing the benefits of solar pv electricity to our apartment residents.

    Strata Answers
    http://www.strataanswers.com.au
    Practical Solutions for Strata Living

  2. Avatar Jimmy-T says:

    This is now being discussed in the Flat Chat Forum

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