387. How to Plan for Emergencies – with Leanne Habib and Megan Chatterton

Megan Chatterton and Leanne Habib join me to reveal just how unprepared our buildings are for emergency events - even though such events are increasingly likely. Megan is asking owners to participate in research that will assist to arm buildings with vital resources they can rely on in emergencies, and Leanne calls for legislative reform.

385. How to navigate the very FIRST annual general meeting – with Tim Sara

Strata manager Tim Sara of Strata Choice joins me to explain the purpose and process of a "First AGM". Tim explains the role of the strata manager at this early stage of a strata plan's life - including their relationship to the developer, how owners can best get through a daunting meeting agenda, and his tips for making this "birthing" of a new strata plan as successful as possible.

384. The strata lessons hidden in residential tenancy cases

When a landlord has to shell out thousands of dollars in compensation to a tenant because of a wet, mouldy apartment, what rights do they have to claim that loss from their owners corporation? I'm unpacking two instructive cases coming out of the NSW Tribunal's Residential Tenancy List last month.

382. Strata levies are rising, but so is your property value…

Reena and I discuss: - why a little perspective would go a long way in the face of rising strata levies - an owner's obligation to fix a fire door impacted by their new flooring - the timely recognition of a hard-working strata manager  - where to go if you want to share what you LOVE about living in strata

381. Stories to solutions: how to learn from reported strata cases

Having received such positive feedback after our episode two weeks ago in which I unpacked an important District Court decision, in this week's episode I'm highlighting further strata law cases of interest, PLUS giving the members of our online community access to a special research resource.

380. REPLAY: Successful Strata Records Inspections

This week, I'm sharing a REPLAY of one of our top 5 most popular podcast episodes: Successful Strata Records Inspections. A source of frustration for many owners, records inspections is one of the subjects I am most frequently asked about. In this episode, I share my 4 steps to a successful strata records inspection, including what to do when particular records are withheld for ‘privacy’ or ‘legal’ reasons.

379. The emails you wish you’d never sent

A NSW strata manager has been ordered to pay $35,000 in damages to a committee member defamed by three emails the strata manager sent ahead of an AGM. In this episode, I lead you through the key findings in the case, including why the form of an email might matter just as much as its content, and why ignoring the “troublesome” is always a risky move.

378. Psychosocial Hazards in Strata Explained – by Wal Dobrow

Wal Dobrow has worn many hats over his years spent serving our strata space. In this week's episode, he joins me to cover just one topic in particular: psychosocial hazards in the strata workplace. What are they and how are successful leaders managing them? Wal shares his "yellow and red card" system, explains why a strata manager's inbox should NOT be open to every owner, and introduces me to a new word and acronym I think you'll enjoy too.

377. Why you might want to self-manage your strata, and how to do it successfully

David Glover has been at the helm of his self-managed strata building for many years. In this conversation, David shares how the decision to self-manage came about (the 'strata manager from hell' played a role) and how his community remunerates him for his services. He generously shares his top tips for those thinking of self-management, including the specific software his building uses, and so much more. This episode is a must-listen for any community thinking of moving away from the professional strata management model, AND any strata manager wanting to understand why some owners are voting with their feet.

376. Surprised by an expired agency agreement?

Reena deals with an unhappy owner who feels unfairly accused. I question why agents are letting their agency agreements expire and explain the precarious legal position in which this places them. Together, Reena and I announce a very special in-person event happening in February 2024.

375. How to Speak with Confidence in Strata – with Cat Matson

It's often the role of our strata managers to communicate complex information to the inexperienced. Strata owners can become frustrated by a lack of clear communication or explanation from their strata manager about an important issue. Cat Matson, the CEO of Impactful Presenters, joins me this week to explain where our managers might be going wrong, and how we ALL might communicate more effectively, especially in high-conflict situations.

374. Has the DBPA gone too far with its strict rules for remedial waterproofing?

Daniel Caruana of Danrae Group joins me to explain how the Design and Building Practitioners Act (NSW) is increasing costs and wait times for owners needing waterproofing work. We question whether legislation intended to apply to new buildings should be used to regulate remediation work in ageing buildings, and Daniel explains the role he believes owners can play in contributing to the proper maintenance of their waterproof membranes – with implications for their building insurance premiums.

371. Insurance commissions need to stop: your professionalism depends on it.

By popular demand, I've brought last week's Friday LIVE chat with strata lawyer Michael Kleinschmidt to the podcast. This is an edited version of the longer video discussion (you can find that here). Michael busts some entrenched myths about strata insurance commissions and broker fees, and explains why the future of strata management as a "profession" depends on whether or not managers are prepared to dramatically change the way they charge for their services.

370. Affordability, availability and competition in strata insurance – with John Trowbridge

Phase 3 of John Trowbridge's review of strata insurance practices has been released. In this chat, he shares his findings and recommendations, including: - how strata owners can be empowered to discuss insurance on equal terms with their strata manager and broker, - why we find it so hard to break away from an insurance regime that seems to perpetuate conflicts of interest, - the role that owners have to play in ensuring the affordability and availability of strata insurance, and more.

369. Flooring by-laws + the myth of “typical” strata levies

Together, Reena Van Aalst and I cover: -hard flooring by-laws. How much detail is too much detail?  -a checklist process for approving remedial works quotes -the cash windfall hiding in a new client's accounts (found by Reena...again) -why real estate agents must stop seducing purchasers with promises of low strata levies

366. Michael Teys – strata lessons from around the world

Michael Teys is BACK, sharing: the power play within mixed-use developments, why some banks in the United States are now looking at governance practices within condo communities before lending to purchasers, why governments wanting to impose more responsibility on strata owners need to step up with more support, the courageous owners who call their OCs to account, and more.

364. Evacuation Diagrams and Emergency Management Plans

Michael Barnes of Credwell Fire & Risk estimates that owners in up to 40% of residential strata buildings aren’t properly maintaining essential services, putting property and lives at risk. In this chat, we talk about emergency management plans – including evacuation diagrams – and the high cost of failing to have a comprehensive plan in place.

362. Subdivision snafu | approving budgets | motions “to discuss”

Reena and I cover: the strata subdivision that left an owners corporation with a $70,000 debt, a reminder that strata managers advise, owners decide: especially when it comes to the motions on general meeting agendas, a thwarted adjournment application, and how to handle “general business” discussions at AGMs.

361. Why you should be paying attention to “Project Intervene”

My THREE guests this week are Yolande Nyss, Elizabeth Stewart and Bruce McKenzie, each helping to explain "Project Intervene": a NSW government initiative for newer residential buildings with original building defects.  We discuss: why litigation about building defects does not produce desirable outcomes for owners why Project Intervene is good for developers too Project Intervene's focus on correct solutions, supervised repair and independent oversight how eligible buildings can get involved in the project and why that needs to happen NOW.

360. New CPD requirements for strata professionals

The annual CPD requirements for NSW strata managers have changed. Sasha Boe of Real Estate Training Solutions joins me to explain: - why CPD hours have been reduced - the importance of a training plan - a deadline for assistant agents and more.