403. Strata Management’s Future: Reena Weighs In

In a week during which the media continues to wage war against strata managers, Reena Van Aalst joins me to provide her point of view. We discuss: - models of remuneration for strata managers, and what Reena says needs to change - the role of Strata Community Association - the murky arrangements between other strata "professionals" and service providers, overdue for investigation, and more.

402. “Does it pass the pub test?” Tyrone Shandiman on insurance commissions and broker fees

Recorded before last week's ABC news story broke, in this interview Tyrone Shandiman of the Australian Consumers Insurance Lobby explains: - how a lack of informed consent around insurance broker appointments may be harming strata owners, - the commercial advantage that strata managers accepting commissions have over those who don't, - how unfair industry "standard" contracts are feeding the problem, - why we need more voices willing to speak up and share their stories, and more. If you've experienced a practice that doesn't pass the pub test, you're invited to fill in ACIL's survey here.

401. From one to many: how Allume has unlocked solar for apartments

Allume Energy's Australian-made, world-first technology is expanding the benefits of solar power, past a building's common areas and into the homes of its occupants. Will Antsee of Allume joins me to explain how millions of apartment residents can reduce their energy bills, at a time when savings have never been more important.

400. Can an owner force their building to make an insurance claim?

Reena joins me to discuss: - who is responsible for paying the insurance excess on a claim arising from an owner’s burst flexi-hose, - meeting minutes: do our minute-takers have sufficient training? - another Tribunal win for a self-represented litigant and member of our online community.

399. Meeting minutes: how detailed should they be?

Effective meetings are at the heart of well-functioning strata communities. Today, I’m taking a closer look at how we record the minutes of meetings, including sharing some insights on the subject drawn from my recent visit to the United States.

398. Open Books: Unpacking the Privacy Myth in Strata

I’m taking you inside last Friday’s CPD Education Day, for a quick listen to part of my session on the topic of “privacy” in strata. Just as important for owners as they are for managers, the lessons of this session may surprise you. Also, get the diary out, because I’m announcing the date for our 2025 CPD Education Day. Yep! We’re an organised bunch here at YSP. 

397. Insurers are demanding more from ageing buildings

Reena Van Aalst joins me to discuss: - why insurers are now asking whether your building has been "re-wired" or "re-plumbed" - committees that are breaching their spending restrictions - how our strata law is failing owners when it comes to privacy - the community leveraging a little-used part of the NSW legislation to ensure all levies are paid on time.

395. The Clever Mapping Helping to Electrify Strata – With Wattblock

Brent Clark of Wattblock joins me to share how forward-thinking strata buildings (and savvy purchasers) can ensure they’re “keeping up with the Joneses” when it comes to sustainability infrastructure, all while avoiding the net-zero conversation AND enjoying a 12% uplift in the value of their property.

394. Another Win in the Battle Against Nuisance Smoke Drift

Sydney strata owner Amanda Reitzin joins me to share her recent experience in the NSW Tribunal battling nuisance smoke drift from her neighbour's balcony. Amanda shares how she made the difficult decision to litigate, including the lessons she learned along the way. You'll hear: - Amanda's realisation that the law is on your side, but it's up to you to do the hard work - how staying polite and professional at all times is key - why litigation is not about winning - how Amanda's life has changed since the Tribunal's orders. This is a must-listen for anyone involved in or considering legal proceedings.

393. How to Easily Reduce Strata Energy Costs

Strata Energy Services has been leveraging the power of the collective since 2018, using "bulk buying power" to get strata buildings a better deal on their energy costs. Sally Pollard joins me to share how it all works and how you can find savings in even the most difficult financial times.

392. The Top 5 of 2023

In our first podcast episode for the year, I’m sharing the 5 most popular episodes of 2023 – in case you missed them, need a recap, or are looking for a great place to start if you’re new to our world.

391. Access for AFSS sign-off, damaged blinds and…a strata wedding!

In this final podcast episode for 2023, Reena and I cover: an owner’s refusal to permit access to their lot, leaving the Annual Fire Safety Statement (“AFSS”) in jeopardy whether an owner with damaged blinds should call their committee’s bluff and sue over a few hundred dollars the year’s happy endings, including a surprise special event in my own building’s backyard. The pod will be back in the second week of the new year.

390. How Nikki Jovicic of LookUpStrata is Empowering Owners

Nikki Jovicic of LookUpStrata joins me to share our common passion for empowering owners through strata knowledge. I answer a couple of curly questions for Nikki's website and we discuss the ripple effect of strata managers having access to quality education.

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.