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Flat Chat: Strata disputes cut to the chase

Dispute resolution in NSW strata schemes is about to get a lot easier. Whether it will be better remains to be seen.  Under the new strata laws, due to begin in December, the preliminary paper adjudication at the Tribunal (NCAT)

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West Connex-style losses feared over new forced strata sales

Apartment owners forced to sell their units under new strata laws could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in a controversial West Connex-style value gap, it has been claimed.  Shadow Minister for strata issues Yasmin Catley says home owners should

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How to fight back against bullies in strata apartment blocks

We know all about school bullies, workplace bullies and cyber bullies, but what about strata bullies making residents’ lives miserable in apartment blocks.  They could be rogue owners determined to have their way, despite what the bylaws say. Or, in

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How City of Sydney betrayed strata residents over short-term letting

It’s too early to gauge the effect of City of Sydney’s betrayal of apartment residents when it comes to holiday letting – but it’s somewhere between a kick in the guts and smack in the mouth.  The council’s submission to

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Review of strata bylaws will fail unless they are made easier to adopt

Tucked away in a corner of the new strata laws is a smart-thinking provision that threatens to be a complete waste of time.  Quite simply, it says all owners’ corporations have to review their bylaws within a year of the

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A maze of strata bylaws face owners who want a pet

In all the kerfuffle over the new strata regulations, pet bylaws predictably got their fair share of column inches, internet clicks and confusion.  To be clear, there are two new model pet bylaw options on offer and both are available

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No barbecue ban but pets on notice as strata regs lay down the law

Balcony barbecues will not be banned, but pets still can be, as a raft of contentious strata rules is revealed in the new strata regulations released today.  The regulations – a dense mixture of rigid rules and optional by-laws –

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NSW Strata Laws Hold Big Changes For Sydney

Set to come into force at the end of November, New South Wales’ new strata laws are set to open up prime development opportunities in Sydney.  Included in the new legislation is the allowance for an entire strata scheme to

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New strata laws to give more say to owners: if only there was an app for that

All over Strataland, you can hear the wails of distress as desperate proxy vote hoarders look into the abyss of the new laws.  On November 30 proxy harvesting as we know it will end and individuals will be seriously restricted

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Strata managers’ lurks and perks to be disclosed

If knowledge is power, then strata committees in their dealings with their strata managers are about to get powerful, or at least empowered.  New strata laws for NSW, beginning 30 November 2016, force strata managers to give more information to

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Is Airbnb Destroying Strata Living? (Australia)

In Victoria, the Supreme Court handed down a decision on July 22 declaring that neither subdivision law nor strata legislation enabled owners corporations in that state to make rules which prevent owners of individual apartments from leasing out their apartments

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NSW Tribunal has power to allow short-term renting in strata blocks

Last week the Supreme Court in Melbourne ruled that owners’ corporations could not pass bylaws banning short-stay lets, such as through Airbnb, in apartment buildings.  This is a big win for strippers, hookers, travelling footy fans and buck’s weekend organisers

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Maintenance schedules will be strata managers’ burdens to bear

When it comes to settlement of a new block the developers focus could not be more narrow: to borrow from Jerry Maguire, “Show me the money!”.      Read the article………..

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PMs can draw lessons from strata management

If the industry seems too demanding, spare a thought for those juggling property management with strata management.  Mike Pollard, general manager of VJ Ray, says his company has been offering property and strata management for decades, but he would not

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‘Peeping Tom’ concern over drones (Australia)

LEADERS of Queensland’s $100 billion strata property sector have come out in support of drones being used to inspect high rise residential apartment buildings across the Sunshine Coast.  But they have called on government authorities to lay out a plan

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NSW Government Unveils Timeline For New Strata Legislation

Apartment owners in New South Wales may soon face the prospect of being forced to sell their property with the State Government releasing a start date for parts of its amended strata legislation.  From 30 November 2016, the Strata Schemes

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Window of opportunity as strata laws loom

The big day, July 1, came and went with the proposed changes to the strata Act still in abeyance until, well probably later this year.   Meanwhile, March 13, 2018, is another date you might want to write on your whiteboard.

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Start date for new NSW strata laws set – but defects bond on hold (Australia)

It’s on! The state’s much-anticipated and long-overdue strata reforms have a definite start date.  November 30 is the big day so it’s an early Christmas present for some apartment residents – although some of the “gifts” may be less than

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Does Australia’s Strata Sector Lack Accountability?

Having been found guilty of embezzling $67,000 worth of client funds from seven strata plans, he was originally sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment. Last year, his sentence was in fact increased to 18 months by the Parramatta District Court but

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Real estate agents pushing to get involved in strata (Australia)

Real estate agents are now pushing to get involved in strata management for apartment buildings in a move being branded the controversial “uberisation” of unit-living.  With advances in technology and a new outsourced strata service they can tap into for

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Strata management schemes to be modernised (NSW, Australia)

Following months of public submissions, new strata laws are coming into play. An industry body has drawn attention to the most important changes.  Over 90 new strata laws will come into effect in NSW by December this year, so the

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Flat Chat: Short let laws will make strata life a new hell

While NSW pollies are still wrestling with what to do about online short-term letting agencies such as Airbnb, which are cool and groovy – until your apartment block turns into holiday hotel hell – Victoria is about to give them

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Sydney (Australia) storms: Beachfront homeowners deprived of adequate insurance cover

Coastal Residents Association secretary Pat Aiken lashed out at councils and the state government for preventing protective works such as sand-bagging and the building of sea walls, upping the risk of property destruction in wild weather.  Read the article………….    Read

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Strata schemes in NSW accused of employing ‘slave labour’

It started with a simple question to Flat Chat: Who is ultimately responsible for the cleaning contracts in apartment blocks?  The answer revealed that thousands of strata schemes across NSW could be supporting the underpayment and exploitation of workers from

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Strata dispute heats up over majority rules (NSW, Australia)

The state government has denied vulnerable homeowners will be forced out of their houses in controversial proposed changes to strata laws.  About a quarter of metropolitan Sydney residents will be affected by more than 90 sweeping changes to state laws

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New strata laws and tenants: A genuine attempt at inclusion?

New strata laws for NSW to begin later this year make a token gesture towards including tenants in meeting about the management of common property. Like most forms of tokenism, they are bound to upset everyone concerned.   Read the article…………..

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VIC: New Laws For Short Stay Apartments

The Andrews Labor Government will introduce new laws to help stamp out bad behaviour when it comes to short stay accommodation in Victoria.  Under the reforms, for the first time apartment owners could be liable for any damage, noise or

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New strata voting regulations – Continuity and change, electrifying change

You have continuity and you have change; a campaigning slogan used in Veep, a satirical US comedy about an American running for president that stands for nothing, accurately describes the new strata voting regulations released for public consultation last week.

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NSW: Q&A – Is this Building Under-Insured or has Someone Made a Mistake?

Q:  We got a strata report for a block of 12 units in inner west, Sydney. According to the latest report, the building was valued in 2010 for $2.6M, BUT it is only insured for $1.8M. Also, is it an

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Sustainability Infrastructure and Strata Title Law

When you purchase a strata titled unit in many states in Australia, it is unlikely you will be able to improve its individual operational performance without the consent of the owners corporation.  Read the article…………

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Lidcombe unit owners face $2.6m storm damage bill after AIG insurance rejects claims (Australia)

Global insurance giant AIG initially told owners they would not be out-of-pocket, but after further investigation the company changed its position.  AIG claimed the roof of the building, which was developed by controversial Auburn councillor Ronney Oueik, contained structural defects

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Privacy, thy name is not strata living

“When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else,” writes American science fiction author David Brin?. And that’s nowhere more true than in strata living.   Read the article……….

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Study Finds Strata Residents Worried About Airbnb (Australia)

International room letting service Airbnb is facing increasing resistance from strata residents, with a substantial number concerned about a stream of strangers entering and leaving their buildings.  According to new research conducted by Queensland body corporate company Archers the Strata

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Strata owners opposed to short-term letting need to pass bylaws now

With the state government about to “do an Uber” on short-term and holiday letting, apartment owners need to get their act together if they don’t want to be swamped by frolicking families, bucks night parties and footy fans on a

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Parking cages in strata buildings raise ire of other owners

Can an owner put a cage around their car park to create a secure storage space? This old chestnut has popped up again on the Flat Chat Forum, years after we first heard about an owner who was denied permission

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Sydney mum threatened with $550 fine for noisy toddler in strata apartment

A SYDNEY mum is furious after receiving a letter from her apartment building strata company threatening her with legal action unless she can stop her toddler from creating “excessive noise”.  Read the article…………

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Pets causing nuisance can be removed from strata blocks under laws and rules

When it comes to excuses and denial, pet owners can be even worse than doting parents. It’s never the dog or cat’s fault – there’s always some factor other than the bleeding obvious.  “I am being slowly driven out by

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Aim of the new Strata Defects Regime: quick and efficient repairs of defects!

Of the strata schemes constructed in the last 10 years 85% are reported to suffer from at least one form of building defect. Owners corporations are often the losers when it comes to building defects in their strata scheme, incurring

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Hills strata manager charged with larceny over more than $200,000 (Australia)

Officers attached to The Hills Local Area Command allege that between June 22, 2010 and July 2, 2013, the 31-year-old man, transferred funds into personal bank accounts while working as a strata managing agent and trust accountant.  A total of

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Rewriting the strata rules taking longer than the government expected

Apartment owners fearing they will be forced by neighbours to sell their homes to developers, or dreading the tread of parking wardens in their car parks, have been given a temporary reprieve.    Read the article………..

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Hills strata manager charged with larceny over more than $200,000 (Australia)

Officers attached to The Hills Local Area Command allege that between June 22, 2010 and July 2, 2013, the 31-year-old man, transferred funds into personal bank accounts while working as a strata managing agent and trust accountant.   Read the article…………..

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Strata Owners Do Not Have the Right to Silence

We’ve talked before about noise issues in strata, but with new laws coming in soon and ever-more people living in apartments for the first time it’s worth a reminder about one of the biggest challenges when it comes to by-laws

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Three Things You Need to Know About New Model By-laws

New strata laws are due to take effect in the second half of 2016, but many owners aren’t sure how their by-laws will be affected. Following are three key bits of information that will save confusion and arguments over by-laws

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Should you sack your strata committee?

How bad does your strata committee have to be before a tribunal will sack it and appoint a strata manager to take over?  If you can’t vote the committee out, usually because of blind proxy votes, this is the ultimate

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NSW strata gunman found not guilty (Australia)

An elderly Sydney man who became increasingly obsessed with ousting his strata manager before gunning him down at a tenants’ meeting will be detained indefinitely.    Read the article……

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Removing unwanted bikes from unit blocks is breaking strata law – for now (Australia)

It’s a quirk in strata law that’s about to be fixed, bringing it into line with tenancy laws. Under the Residential Tenancy Act, a landlord can give departed tenants two weeks’; notice that they are planning to dispose of any

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Elderly resident, 85, who shot strata manager ‘not mentally fit’ to enter plea

AN ELDERLY man accused of shooting a strata manager during a body corporate meeting allegedly told a resident the previous day not to attend saying, “I prefer no females to be there because I don’t know what is going to

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Bodies Corporate Potentially Liable for Bullying of Contractors

A recent Fair Work Commission decision demonstrates how far the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) bullying jurisdiction extends, which will have serious ramifications for Bodies Corporate, committee members and individual lot owners.  Read the article………….

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New Western Australia strata title law – opportunity for developers

The Western Australian Government has announced its intention to introduce legislation within the next six months to amend the State’s Strata Titles Act.   Read the article……..

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Strata laws should take care of children who call apartments home (AU)

There is a community title estate in Sydney made up of multiple high-rise buildings that bans children under 13 playing on all common property without a resident adult over 21. The common property includes parks, basketball and tennis courts. Residents

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