Australia: Building Defects: How do You Prove Systemic Defects?

It is an unfortunate reality that many strata apartment buildings contain defects. Many of those defects are widespread or systemic defects that affect most or all of the lots. But how far does an owners corporation have to go to prove the existence of systemic defects? Does the owners corporation have to organise for its […]

Australia: Strata debt: What happens when strata levies are not paid?

Almost one in five people in New South Wales and 16 per cent of Australians live in strata housing, according to the Australasian Strata Insights 2022 report & infographics, released by the University of New South Wales City Futures Research Centre.  So it’s probably not surprising that issues relating to strata living have been in […]

Australia Op/Ed: There’s more trouble coming for apartment owners. Here’s why

The Netstrata insurance scandal rocked the strata management industry in NSW but that’s just the beginning as an independent inquiry starts to dig deeper.  Strata management in NSW is in turmoil after an ABC TV expose in March alleged that the strata managing giant Netstrata has been benefitting from significant hidden income via its insurance […]

Australia: Toe the Line Before You Tow

There’s always a lot of hype in the build-up to legislative change, even when the changes proposed have been in the pipework for more than a decade and some of them, like pets and smoking, aren’t changing at all – they are just restating what adjudicators have been telling us for years.  Legislative change in […]

Australia: What’s Your Strata Code Of Conduct?

In light of recent changes to NSW Strata legislation, it’s time to review your Strata Committee Code of Conduct.  Conduct such as bullying, intimidation or other abusive behaviours are never ok. Unfortunately, strata living can create a situation where this behaviour emerges.  The revised strata laws now make it easier to remove a strata committee […]

Australia: What’s Your Strata Code Of Conduct?

In light of recent changes to NSW Strata legislation, it’s time to review your Strata Committee Code of Conduct.  Conduct such as bullying, intimidation or other abusive behaviours are never ok. Unfortunately, strata living can create a situation where this behaviour emerges.  The revised strata laws now make it easier to remove a strata committee […]

Australia: Lithium-ion batteries in strata buildings

Owners and occupiers of strata buildings are increasingly asking about what to do to prevent fires caused by exploding lithium-ion battery powered household products, including eBikes, eScooters and eTools. These products are injuring people on a weekly basis globally and there has been fatalities and multiple injuries in Australia. They are often cheaper, lower quality, […]

Australia: Don’t get caught out! Changes to strata title legislation

The NSW Government reviewed the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 (‘SSDA’) and the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (‘SSMA’) with some 139 reforms recommended. As stated by the Hon. Mark Buttigieg in the second reading speech, the aim of the Strata Legislation Amendment Act 2023 is ‘to improve the governance, accountability and effectiveness of strata […]

Australia: Mascot Towers: A termination order is not in order

On 24 November 2023, Her Honour Justice Peden gave judgment in The Owners – Strata Plan No 80877 v Lannock Capital 2 Pty Ltd [2023] NSWSC 1401 (‘Lannock Capital 2’) in the ongoing saga that is better known as ‘Mascot Towers’.   Read the article………………………….

Australia: Resolving Ripples: The Art of Diplomacy in Strata Disputes

In the tapestry of communal living, disagreements are like ripples on the surface of a tranquil pond. Strata living, with its shared spaces and interconnected lifestyles, often witnesses the emergence of disputes, creating waves that can either disrupt harmony or be skillfully navigated to maintain equilibrium. Welcome to the realm of “Resolving Ripples,” where the […]

Australia: Is Mascot Towers a Wake Up Call for Strata Owners?

In today’s guest-writer article by well-known strata commentator and consultant, Michael Teys, he discusses the latest setback for the ill-fated Mascot Towers building after a NSW Supreme Court decision, explains his alternate view of their situation, and reminds us of his strata ownership mantras. It’s a bit of tough strata love.   Read the article…………………………

Australia: Why do Good Owners make Bad Strata Decisions?

Even though strata buildings are full of good, smart and well-intentioned people, they don’t always make great decisions. And sometimes strata buildings delay important decisions or, worse still, actually make really bad decisions. Why is that and what dynamics create those kinds of counterinitiative outcomes? The many potential reasons for the phenomenon should be studied […]

Australia: Your Strata Scheme is Being Sued for $850 Million

Generally we use these bulletins for educational purposes, but it’s getting toward that time of the year when everything goes a little crazy in the world of strata title, and so today the emphasis is on providing you with sheer relief that your strata scheme is not tied up with the sort of case in […]

Australia: Our most frequently asked strata management questions

This month we asked our Strata Managers what their most frequently asked questions of the year were – and the answers were surprising! Over the last 5 years, ESM Strata has prioritised educating our stakeholders and customers to ensure they are empowered with as much knowledge about their strata property as possible.    Read the article………………………………..

Australia: NSW Strata Reforms – The New Laws Explained!

Since last week’s article where we spoke about ‘phase 1’ of the strata law reforms, the proposed amendments to the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) have been released.    Read the article…………………………………..

Australia: Residential Focus: The Building Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 has been introduced to parliament (NSW)

On 12 October 2023, the NSW Government introduced the Building Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 (the Amendment Bill) to the NSW Parliament. It passed the NSW Legislative Council on 19 October 2023, read the Second Reading Speech here and is currently with the Legislative Assembly, awaiting concurrence.   Read the article……………………………..

Australia: Court Clears Up Cladding Construction Confusion

……..they explain the results and impacts on strata title stakeholders of a recent NSW Court of Appeal decision on our old favourites: strata building defects, combustible cladding, and Toplace. It’s a timely reminder that hard legal cases sometimes need to be pursued properly and completely to get the right results, as this strata building successfully […]

The Tragedies of the [Strata] Commons

The overuse and misuse of pithy catchphrases is commonplace and annoying. So, when strata stakeholders glibly refer to the tragedy of the commons in thier buildings what are they saying and what do they really mean? It’s probably not what you [or they] think, and it may in fact be the exact opposite.   Read the […]

Australia: Does the Joy of Keeping a Pet in Strata come at a Cost?

Keeping a pet in some strata schemes can be costly when schemes charge an additional fee or bond for the joy of having a pet! The good news is that the NSW Government as part of the reform has labelled these fees and bonds as being costly, unreasonable, and unnecessary as lot owners already pay […]

Australia: By-laws and Strata Community title schemes Management Statements and the effect of uncertainty, inconsistency and power

This has been a question in a number of strata scheme cases following the introduction of section 136(1) of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (which is mirrored in the Community Lands Management Act 2020). SSMA as to whether a by-law is harsh, unconscionable and therefore invalid.   Read the article………………………………..

Australia: Strata reforms in Queensland: Introducing the Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill

Originally announced earlier this year by the Queensland Government as a key measure arising from the 2022 Housing Summit, on 24 August 2023 the Queensland Government introduced the Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 (the Bill) into the Queensland Parliament.   Read the article………………………..

Australia: Decoding Strata Insurance: What Does It Cover?

With the tightening market, insurers are choosing what risks they take on, if any. Whilst it is required that Strata Schemes must have insurance in accordance with the legislation, it is not compulsory for insurers to provide a policy. It is becoming common that some buildings are left with reduced terms or no insurance.  Read the […]

Australia: Building Managers: How to transfer or terminate agreements

Hi, this is Allison Benson from Thoughts from a Strata Lawyer and Kerin Benson Lawyers. Today I am following up on my previous post about building managers and I’m going to be talking about how to transfer a building management agreement and how to terminate one under the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015.   Read the […]

Australia: Get Proactive With Strata Maintenance

It may be time to review your strata maintenance.  Maintenance is so important for buildings, for resale and rentability. It’s also vital to ensure resident and visitor safety and security and help avoid legal issues or future, more costly repairs.   Read the article………………………..

Australia: Dealing with Adjoining Owners

Strata disputes and common property come in all shapes and sizes, especially when dealing with neighbouring property owners.  As owners of real property, owners corporations find themselves dealing with the owners of neighbouring land in a multitude of circumstances.    Read the article………………………..

Australia: Strata Management Statements and the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015: Inconsistencies in Owners Corporations’ rights (NSW)

The case of Walker Corporation Pty Ltd v The Owners – Strata Plan No 61618 [2023] NSWCA 125 highlights the importance of ensuring Strata Management Statements (SMS) are in accordance with the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) (SSMA) and the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 (NSW) (SSDA). A clause in a SMS that acts […]

Australia: One contract, one cause of action for defective building work

The Owners Corporation (owners) of a residential strata development in Haymarket commenced proceedings against Parkview Constructions Pty Ltd (builder) and The Quay Haymarket Pty Ltd (developer) for breach of the warranties in section 18B of the HB Act due to 85 alleged major and other defects.   Read the article………………………..

Australia: 10 Common Maintenance Challenges in Strata Properties

Living in a strata property in Western Australia offers a range of benefits, including shared amenities, reduced maintenance responsibilities, and a sense of community. However, like any type of housing arrangement, strata properties come with their own set of maintenance challenges that require careful attention and proactive management.   Read the article………………………..

Australia: The Crucial Role of an Effective Strata Council

In the sprawling landscape of Western Australia, strata communities have emerged as a prominent housing choice, offering a blend of shared amenities, reduced maintenance burdens, and a sense of communal living. However, at the heart of every flourishing Strata Company lies a well-organised and efficient Strata Council.   Read the article………………………..

Australia: Demystifying Unit Entitlement (WA)

If you’re a proud strata owner in Western Australia, understanding “Unit Entitlement” (UE) is vital. This term plays a pivotal role in defining your rights, responsibilities, and financial commitments within WA’s unique strata landscape. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of Unit Entitlement as outlined by the current Strata Titles Act in Western […]

Australia: Don’t You Dare Sue Me – Overstepping the Mark

Is it legitimate for a lot owner to pressure an owners corporation not to sue her or defend legal action she takes against the owners corporation? And what happens when the lot owner oversteps the mark? Can the owner be held in contempt of court? A recent NCAT case considered that very issue.   Read the […]

Australia: There is nothing common about this strata property

Strata title doesn’t exist without a building: it’s fundamental.  There must be a strata building to create a strata corporation, define the common property, and, give life to boundaries for the strata lots. Strata owners’ property [their cubic space] is defined by the walls, floors, and ceilings of the strata building. Asset values depend on […]

Australia: Telco’s Still Flexing their Powers – Be Warned Strata!

Earlier this year we wrote about an increasing rise of telecommunications providers who are licensed under the relevant Commonwealth telecommunications legislation, using their powers to gain compulsory access (at no cost to them!) to owners corporation’s buildings.   Read the article………………………..

Australia: Is your Building Missing a few Strata Dollars? (NSW)

You’d think that strata buildings would notice if money is missing, given how frugal they are. But, in NSW there’s more than half a million dollars of uncollected strata money just sitting around in government coffers. Read on to find out how and why that’s happened, and, what strata buildings can do about it.   Read […]

Australia: Preventing Winter Fire Hazards

Winter is well and truly upon us and statistics show that almost half of unit fires are started in the kitchen and 58% of all fire fatalities occur in winter. With winter well and truly here, let’s take the time to brush up of safety measures and be prepared if you haven’t already to reduce […]