NSW Strata and Property Services Commissioner John Minns joins me to discuss his priorities for the strata sector. We discuss the “number one problem” in strata, reveal precisely who is manipulating the system, why Fair Trading needs increased powers, and more.

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9 Responses

  1. Hi Amanda,
    A huge thank you to you and John Minns for this thoughtful conversation. It was particularly reassuring to hear that Mr Minns is aware of the power play of OCs with respect to the all too-often strategy for delaying or avoiding repairs. That being to sit back, all but smirk, and say: “Make Me” when a lot owner reasonably requests common property repair work.

    Let’s hope there are some relatively easy-to-implement-and-manage solutions for that problem well before 50% of the Greater Sydney population is living in Strata.

  2. If we look on places like Flatchat or the old Stratalive or even look at the issues found in the member’s forum on YSP we can ask exactly what percentage of real life issues is this Macquarie St appointed savior addressing?
    Easy to embellish, puff and fluff the role of the Property Services Commissioner.
    Let’s look at the areas he is working on.
    Professional Standards – I am just going to say LOL about that given my experience with the State’s licensed professionals. Yes; there are some good ones but most do not have a working knowledge of the Act. The training is designed to run a business, not be competent in strata. Sorry but CPD is joke and i am not laughing.
    Project Connect – engage with industry. That really addresses a lot of the issues we find on the platforms I already mentioned; NOT.
    Project Beyond – tech based and potentially useful for a small percentage of SPs. Always looks great as a political announcement. It is Rob Sitch’s “Utopia” playing out in real life.
    Project Transform – future proofing of the strata sector. I think fixing the broken sector needs addressing prior to future proofing. Why are we future proofing a broken system.

    It all sounds like it is busy work that will have a small impact and presents opportunities for media hype but it will not significantly address the real issues strata owners experience on a day to day basis. The language from Minns’ is suited to a room full of 5 zero pay packets who think they are important but who really do not have the knowledge or the “balls’ to take on the genuine issues. A lot of what comes from suits engaging with suits only helps the top end of town.

    The system needs to be stripped down and rebuilt. You can’t keep tweaking a broken model and think you will find bliss.
    Inept managers are a dime a dozen, the industry of management is run in such a fashion the staff turn over is horrific and full of personal trauma stories, the manager to lot owner ration makes it near impossible to ensure reasonable management, owners are typically not fit for purpose when it comes to running a strata scheme. Why are we talking about how green is your strata plan when the real issues are so much more grass roots?

    90% of what Amanda does is calling the OC’s to account on s 106 issues.
    Not really on Minnsy’s agenda. Why I am not surprised?

    “Insurers are telling us” says Minns.
    I think that says it all; he is informed by business and players in the capitalist system.
    That just does not help mum and dad owners getting the sharp end of the stick out in the suburbs.
    And perhaps a good question that was not asked is how does he reconcile the mandatory requirement to have insurance when there is no requirement for that industry to provide a product … com’on.

    NCAT is not a no cost jurisdiction and I take offense at it being called that. If it is such then get the Parliament to make it so. I personally think lawyers should not be allowed unless a matter is legitimately complex and or involves significant money. I personally think it should be an inquisitorial system. The ride from the SSB to CTTT to the (not so) Super Tribunal (NCAT) is just a downward spiral in quality. I gave the State a solution to that and they ignored it because i feel the State has Groupthink issues.

    I see so many times NCAT throwing costs orders at parties because they did nothing more than lawyer up, win and argue for costs. I find it difficult to find cases where NCAT does not allow representation and representation just invites costs applications and NCAT is notoriously ‘noisy’ (variation in outcomes) when it comes to such decisions..
    Owners create the problems; let the owners argue the matter.

    If Minnsy wants a professional future then he needs to unlicense most of the current industry to start with and then rebuild from a new model because the current one does not work.

    I really struggle with people like Minns because I would bet good money that as he leaves the well paid job we are still going to see the same day to day issues, at the same volume we see now, on websites, in members areas, in forums and so on.
    Actually probably a higher volume because it is a growth industry using a defective model and no real fix in sight.

    1. Greetings ..Stephen…

      You’re spot on in every aspect , the current system needs an drastic overhaul.. at present the system is open to manipulation , a joke nobody wants gets involved in… it needs a shake up .. from the bottom up….in the meantime its an easy pick for corruption…

    2. I agree with you Stephen, sad to have to admit this. People buy into strata with the wish to have less responsibility, instead they are responsible for their neighbour’s defects.

      I am in a cubic strata plan, which eliminates responsibility for neighbours defects, however the very small common property still is subject to discussions and disagreements, especially when it comes to putting hands into the pocket and take out some money.

      We have a tenant who is ruining the surface of the driveway by contravening with by-law 1, parking and standing on common property not permitted, claiming that it is his right to generate wear and tear, and the OC have to cope with repair and maintenance cost.

  3. We have problems in Strata Living because we do not have consumer protection but Rorts in the system.
    At present I am not in the committee, 2 owners decided that they needed only 2 members in the committee instead of 3 because I was asking too many questions about our strata of 4 having repairs done multiple times.
    Repairs that need to be done are not done.

    1. Same here. My Committee are nasty, anon letters back biting>. I ask too many questions for their liking. 1 instance the roof that hasnt been touched for 20 years. When do you fix cracked tiles? We dont do that we wait for them to leak and then we fix it. Crazy

  4. Greetings ..Stephen…

    You’re spot on in every aspect , the current system needs an drastic overhaul.. at present the system is open to manipulation , a joke nobody wants gets involved in… it needs a shake up .. from the bottom up….in the meantime its an easy pick for corruption…

  5. I love ongoing education. But, I acknowledge not everyone is built this way.

    It is great to think this is how people think about learning new things, but more often than not. This is not realistic.

    I hope the changes coming take this into account. Every field have new learnin. My other work/field make sure we’re competent by annual testing. Perhaps something along the line?

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