Every so often, I get invited on to a radio or TV show to talk about apartments. This week I’ve been on Breakfast on ABC 702 with Josh Zepps, (usually hosted by Robbie Buck and Wendy Harmer) and then on Friday I got up at 4am to go on ABC’s early morning show with Rod Quinn (which will be featured in next week’s podcast).
That was a challenge (apart from being two cups of coffee under par) because we had lots of callers from all over Australia. Next week, I will be on Triple-M in Adelaide to talk about Airbnb.
Back to this podcast, I was on the ABC with Josh to discuss why residents of the Opal Tower had been told to move back into their apartments, whether or not they felt safe. It’s an emotive issue and we tend to forget that the driving principle behind why developers are in business is to make money, not necessarily house families. They were paying hotel accommodation for people who could have moved back home – so they pulled the plug.
We also discussed the damage done to owners’ investments that aren’t covered by defects claims – the plummeting values of apartments that are no longer worth what some people have borrowed in mortgages.
It would be nice at this point to say we moved on to lighter fare, but it doesn’t get much darker than the legal battle to get defects fixed in Part Two of our Strata Disaster podcast.
Sue Williams and I recall what happened when our owners corporation had freed itself from the dodgy developer’s management and committee cronies, only to be led by so-called “experts” into a $6 million battle with attack-dog lawyers.
And all the time, the strata committee was being undermined by disgruntled neighbours, overly secretive lawyers, liars and spies and then, finally, subjected to the most horrendous personal abuse. Fifteen years on, we can laugh at the ridiculousness of it, but there are people in the building who still haven’t uttered a word to each other since those days.
Pour yourself a stiff drink and plug in to the podcast.