189. Strata managers as facilitators not decision makers, with Natalie Fitzgerald

This week, Natalie Fitzgerald and I are talking about a few things that don’t often get talked about in the context of strata living, including how residents might help a neighbour who is the victim of family violence exercising discretion when it comes to the enforcement of by-laws and dealing more compassionately with those suffering […]

188. Can a strata manager propose their own reappointment?

This week, Reena and I are answering these questions:  can a strata manager propose their own motion for reappointment at a general meeting?  do committee office bearers need to be appointed within a particular time after the committee election?  We also celebrate a win which involved putting a mediation application ‘on hold’ while owners found a […]

187. Why buildings must pay more attention to their books and records

One of the most common complaints I hear from owners is that they cannot access their building’s books and records (properly, or at all). This week, I’m talking to professional records inspector Michael Ferrier about this problem, which he says has serious ramifications for apartment purchasers, vendors and owners generally. Michael shares with us the substandard […]

186. Dealing with damage caused by lot owner + compulsory appointment success

In this episode, Reena and I are tackling these tough questions: does the owners corporation have to respond to a claim for damages when a leak from one lot has damaged another, but there has been no common property failure? how to stand up to a strata manager who double-charges for records inspections… what does […]

185. Isolation valves | leases vs by-laws | access to strata records

In this ‘mixed bag’ episode I’m sharing my answers to these 3 questions, recently asked inside our member-Forum: who is responsible for replacing water isolation valves (stop valves) at a lot? is it better to use a lease or a by-law when granting exclusive use of common property? why is my strata manager refusing to […]

184. The curious case of the disappearing by-law

In this particularly packed episode, Reena and I cover: the practical problems with completing Annual Fire Safety Statements what happens when a by-law is accidentally left out of the consolidated (and registered) by-law bundle? a reminder that the strata manager is not the owners corporation the latest Tribunal case on the ‘nuisance’ of smoking   Links mentioned: Get the […]

183. The micro-politics of apartment living, with Hazel Easthope

This week, Associate Professor Hazel Easthope is on the show, sharing insights from her new book The Politics and Practices of Apartment Living. Hazel shares why she thinks the Aussie system of strata regulation is pretty good, though we fall down when it comes to compliance and enforcement. We also discuss how purchasers can make better buying […]

182. The 5 By-Laws for Strata Managers to Recommend

This week, I’m coming to you all the way from Paris, France (actually, from inside a wardrobe in Paris, but you’ll have to tune in to find out more about that one…) I’m giving you the TOP FIVE by-laws I recommend all buildings have in place. These are the by-laws that quality strata managers are recommending […]

180. It’s strata QandA time: LIVE from Town Hall House

This week, I’m bringing you the recording of the LIVE QandA session, held at the end of my July presentation for City of Sydney Council. I give my answers to audience questions such as: are we responsible for relocating residents when the lifts are out of action? why does my strata manager say we don’t […]

179. How to properly calculate meeting notice periods

This week, Reena shares both a win and a challenge around her recent dealings with insurance brokers; I clarify the rules around general meeting notice periods, including the legislation you need to refer to for the ‘7 clear days notice’ rule (hint: it’s not the strata legislation). Plus, we discuss the very first collective sale […]

178. How to find a competent fire safety professional

This week, we have our first “fire guy” on the show – Rob Broadhead of 2020 Fire Protection. I ask Rob to demystify the fire protection game for us, including letting us know what kind of qualifications a ‘competent fire safety professional’ is supposed to have (apparently, ‘breathing’ is about as high as the bar […]

176. The question all strata managers must ask their clients – with Cat Carmichael

This week, I’m chatting to Cat Carmichael, the current president of the Community Associations Institute in the U.S. We discuss an important paradigm shift in strata management, and why managers can no longer focus on achieving a series of tasks but instead must look to the outcomes desired by their clients.  Cat shares the single most […]

175. Parking mix up: why is my car space marked for disability parking?

This week, Reena shares an unusual challenge: what happens when the developer sets aside your car space for disability parking in order to meet a DA condition? I question the meaning of “financial year” in the strata context, and we both celebrate client wins relevant to successful insurance claims.       Links mentioned: Get […]

174. The unique role of the commissioner’s office – with Chris Irons

This week, I’m joined by Chris Irons: Queensland’s Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management. In a wide-ranging discussion, we cover:   the unique nature of his role why his office is partnering with the likes of QLD police to deliver the right messages to residents creative responses to the increased demand for good information […]

173. Beware the motion to discuss “general business”

This week, Reena raises an interesting provision in our NSW legislation which apparently means a chairperson need not be financial in order to chair a meeting, but a substitute chairperson must be financial. I provide some important guidance around motions to consider ‘general business’ and we celebrate an unusually amicable parting of ways between a building […]

172. Exposing Australia’s Building Defects Crisis, with Dr Nicole Johnston

This week, I’m speaking with Dr Nicole Johnston, the lead researcher on the June 2019 report: An Examination of Building Defects in Multi-Owned Properties. Published the week of the Mascot Towers evacuation, this report has formed the basis of many discussions since about how we might fix this current crisis – which has finally been recognised as […]

171. Who pays contents insurance excess | adjourned meetings | pre-1974 lot boundaries

This week, Reena and I are tackling some tricky topics:   whether an owners corporation is responsible for paying the excess on a resident’s contents insurance claim can motions resolved at a meeting that is later adjourned be actioned? the interpretation of a strata management statement and how to determine the lot boundaries in pre-1974 […]

170. Do NZ unit owners have stronger property rights? With Thomas Gibbons

This week, we have our first New Zealand practitioner on the show: Thomas Gibbons of McCaw Lewis Lawyers. Thomas shares with us the issues currently troubling those living in NZ “unit titles” schemes, and explains why he thinks the NZ courts have been getting a few things wrong lately. Even if you’re not in NZ […]

169. Restricted matters at AGM | when does chair vacate | rooftop purchase

This week, Reena and I cover:   how to explain the “restricted matters” statutory motion to a disbelieving owner when, precisely, the strata committee members vacate their positions at the AGM the by-law template that just didn’t cut it, and the clever owner purchasing the common property rooftop   Plus, here’s the link to the free City […]

168. Why good strata managers educate owners – with Tim Sara

This week, I’m joined by Tim Sara, a licensed senior strata manager at Strata Choice in Sydney. Tim is well known for his clever ‘hacks’ to ensure he gets the most out of every working day, and he’s sharing them with us in this episode. We cover: – why you need to ‘set and forget’ […]

167. Defamatory emails | renovation approvals | expiry of agency agreements

This week, Reena and I cover:   best practice for renovation works by-laws what happens to the budget when AGMs are held 18 months apart the notice requirement for agency agreements reaching expiry, and THAT defamation case: when one email costs you $130,000… Links mentioned: Get the transcript here! Section 50 – Strata Schemes Management […]

166. Your essential guide to Community Schemes

This week, I’m flying solo, answering one of the more ‘frequently asked questions’ in recent times: what are the must-know items when it comes to community schemes? How are they different to strata schemes and where are the traps for inexperienced players?  I cover: the purpose of community plans who are the ‘members’ of a […]

165. Levies unpaid for 18 months | insurance runaround | lost rent claims

This week, Reena and I discuss: the building where no one has paid levies for 18 months a lot owner is given the run around with an insurance claim what it takes to get access to a lot to repair common property an investor-owner losing rent because of a leaking ceiling. Links mentioned: Get the […]

164. Improving communication between residents with Stratabox

This week I’m joined by Paul Chevrot, the co-founder of Stratabox: the online platform enabling committee members (in particular) to more effectively manage communications within a scheme. Paul explains how his technology is empowering both owners and residents who want to engage more deeply in their community, and why that’s important.  Links mentioned: Get the […]

163. Can’t get access to install window locks?

  This week, Reena and I cover off:   what to do about lots that have not yet installed compliant window safety devices: is it necessary to apply to the Tribunal for an order?  is the secretary allowed access to the strata roll, free of charge? when giving a little can get you a lot, […]

162. Replacing combustible cladding? The class action you need to know about

This week, I’m talking to Gavin Beardsell of IMF Bentham, the litigation funder behind the combustible cladding class action. Gavin talks us through the Federal Court proceedings that have been commenced against the manufacturers of combustible cladding and – vitally – explains how strata buildings across Australia can register to ensure they are first in […]

161. When is it ok to delay repairs and maintenance?

This week, Reena and I discuss: how a building in the middle of a defects claim against the original builder should deal with claims from lot owners who are losing rent whether you can change the ‘financial year’ of a building what happens when Tribunal applicants get their forms wrong. Links mentioned: Get the transcript […]