159. What does strata building insurance cover?

This week, Reena and I enjoy a wide-ranging discussion covering these essential topics: a lot owner instructs a strata manager to apply their payment to levies only and not to interest or expenses. Does that instruction have to be followed? what does strata building insurance cover and how do you know you’re covered for the […]

158. Your access to my latest live QandA

This week I’m bringing you part of my presentation delivered to strata residents for Waverley Council in Sydney a few weeks ago. You’ll get my LIVE answers to the following questions and more: how landlords can be made responsible for tenants’ by law breaches how to access the strata roll what constitutes a conflict of interest on […]

157. Fires, defects and short term lets: a building manager’s perspective

This week, I’m chatting to Chris Sargeant, the building manager at Whitehorse Towers – Melbourne’s tallest residential complex outside of the central CBD. Chris shares his experience helping very large new buildings through defects liability periods. We also cover his key takeaways from the Lacrosse building, where he was the BM at the time of […]

156. How strata managers can meet client expectations

This week, I’m chatting with Reena Van Aalst about: the personal liability of strata committee members who make decisions over email when owners can be held responsible for their tenant’s by-law breach the successful recovery of costs under a by-law how strata managers can better manage client expectations – especially the unreasonable ones! Links mentioned: Get the transcript here! 149. Why strata committees […]

155. The gamechanger that is Soho App

This week, I’m chatting to Trent Muffett: Head of Property at Soho Property Network. Soho is a social network for real estate. Dubbed the “LinkedIn for Property”, it is building the single largest network of buyers, renters, agents, real estate content and property listings in the world. Trent and I discuss how this exciting new […]

154. When you’re unhappy, go back to the contract terms

This week, Reena and I cover off: how NOT to deal with abandoned goods on the common property is there a right to privacy? how you get out of a contract that’s just not working successfully resolving a lot owner’s claim for damages And if you‘re not yet registered for The Better Buildings Webinar, get a wriggle on! […]

153. The No. 1 Thing That Dramatically Improves Apartment Living

In this solo episode, I’m sharing a big secret with you.  It’s the secret of the one thing.  If your building has this one thing in place, you’re enjoying a raft of benefits that others – who don’t have this one thing – are missing out on. It’s a short ep, and I don’t leave you in suspense for too long.  Plus, something […]

152. Practical waste management tips – plus a special opportunity

This week, I’m chatting to Beth Kasumovic – the Sustainable Waste Coordinator at Waverley Council in Sydney’s east. Beth shares her very actionable tips for improving waste management within our strata communities. Listen out for an announcement about a very special event which the Council and I are involved in on 20 March (which could […]

151. Is a secret ballot really secret?

This week, Reena shares a challenge about election ballot papers: does the law require owners corporations to disclose ballot papers, even if the owners who completed them thought that their vote would be kept a secret? We also discuss a surprising aspect of the mediation process, and re-cap one of our favourite topics: the role of the chairperson. Links mentioned: […]

149. Why strata committees should be meeting regularly

This week, Reena and I touch on the issue of insurance commissions once more. We also discuss the fact that some buildings never seem to have committee meetings, and why that’s a problem. Finally, if you ever lose an original certificate of title, this episode explains how to get a replacement! Links mentioned: Get the […]

148. How one building successfully lifted a pet ban

This week, I’m joined by Tony Scott, who is a committee member in a small Sydney strata scheme. Tony shares the step by step process taken by his building to replace a blanket ban on pets with a more reasonable by-law, permitting pets with the approval of the strata committee. Tony has some excellent, practical […]

147. Making lot owners responsible for common property in small schemes

This week, Reena and I discuss how the owners in a very small scheme (eg: two lots) may live “together but separately”, by taking on personal responsibility for the common property adjacent to their lot. We also explore the types of situations which may give rise to a strata lawyer having a conflict of interest, and I ask Reena whether strata […]

146. How to get the most out of your 2019 in strata, with Ash Roy

I’m chatting to productivity expert Ash Roy, who shares his tips for your most effective 2019 ever. From implementing systems to practising mindfulness, there is indeed a way to do less and achieve more. I have personally benefited from Ash‘s guidance over the past few years and recommend this episode to busy strata managers and overwhelmed committee members in particular. Links mentioned: Get the […]

145. How to replace an underperforming strata manager with an administrator

This week, Reena seeks my guidance on a particularly troubled building that wants the Tribunal to sack its current strata manager and appoint a new strata manager with all the powers of the Owners Corporation and committee. We also revisit the popular topic of insurance commissions: should an ‘outgoing’ strata manager retain the commission on a policy renewal? Also, listen closely […]

144. 5 highlights from 2018

Welcome to 2019! In this first episode for the year, I share with you my 5highlights from last year’s podcast episodes, including: how a NABERS rating can help your building save money why combustible cladding is still on the agenda and an important 2019 date for NSW buildings how you can sample apartment living for a […]

143. When are records privileged? Plus, a flooring case

This week, Reena identifies a trap for inexperienced players when it comes to company nominees, including corporate lot owners appointing proxy holders. We answer a listener question: ‘how do I identify privilegeddocuments in strata books and records?’ Reena shares a win in relation to a common property rights by-law and I cover off an important case impacting the installation […]

142. Your access to my latest live QandA

This week, I’m bringing you exclusive audio from a recent live event, which I attended as guest expert for Good Deeds Property Buyers. I’m bringing you my answers to audience questions such as: “how do we deal with owner apathy?” and “what’s the current situation with by-laws banning short term letting?” Links mentioned: Get the transcript here! Good Deeds […]

141. Perennial Parking Problems – plus pets!

This week, Reena and I answer a listener question about how to solve parking problems at your building. I share a case law update about pets, and Reena reminds us of a handy motion you might like to consider when approving works under a DA. Links mentioned: Get the transcript here! Section 125 – Strata Schemes Management Act of […]

140. The technology that protects your building from short term letting

This week, I chat with Reuben Schwarz, co-founder of bnbguard.com.au. Reuben’s company alerts strata schemes to illegal online short term rental listings, helping owners, strata managers and building managers counter the negative impacts of short term lets. There are some great practical tips here for buildings looking to control the practice from within. Links mentioned: Get the transcript here! BnB Guard […]

139. How to fund upgrades that only benefit some owners

This week, Reena and I consider a creative way for buildings to manage upgrade works – especially where the upgrade will benefit one group of owners but not others. How can costs be fairly shared? We answer a listener question about fire doors and celebrate the building that wants to donate to charity. Links mentioned: Get the transcript here! […]

138. The shocking truth about broker commissions and fees

This week, Heather Lander of Strata Advise not only explains the role of the strata insurance broker but lifts the lid on broker commissions and fees. You’ll be shocked to hear what brokers don’t have to disclose to their clients. Heather also arms us with some excellent questions to ask your broker when renewal time comes around. Links mentioned: Get the transcript here! Strata Advise […]

137. 5 steps to take when challenging a lawyer’s bill

In a rare solo episode, this week I cover off what to do if you (or your building) receive a bill from a lawyer that you’re just not comfortable with. From reading the fine print to applying for costs assessment, this episode summarises the essential steps in the review process. Links mentioned: Get the transcript here! Supreme Court NSW costs […]

136. Upgrading the common property to cater for disability

This week, I chat with one of Victoria’s most experienced strata lawyers – Tim Graham, partner, HWL Ebsworth – about a recent Supreme Court case which has left buildings questioning whether they can be forced to upgrade their common property to cater for residents with a disability. Tim shares his insights and predictions for the future. ​ Links mentioned: Get the transcript […]

135. Reena delivers the truth about strata living

This week, I’m bringing you Reena’s interview with Veronica Morgan and Chris Bates from their podcast: The Elephant in the Room. Similar to Episode 132, this is a no holds barred examination of the good, bad and ugly of strata living, from Reena’s varied and colourful years of management. Enjoy. Links mentioned: Get the transcript here! The Elephant in the […]

134. The question you must ask your energy provider

This week, I chat to Marcus Walker of Strata EnergyServices, a company bringing strata buildings together to get better rates from their energy providers. Marcus talks us through the surprisingly simple process, including how your building can get started by asking just one question…​ Links mentioned: Get the transcript here! Strata Energy Services Website Strata Energy Services Phone Number: 1-300-060-111 Book […]

133. When the former strata manager won’t hand over records

This week, Reena seeks guidance on how best to deal with a former managing agent who refuses to hand overall of the books and records for a scheme she has just taken on. I also share a win for a lot owner who received a non-compliant meeting notice. Links mentioned: Get the transcript here! Division 3 – Section 188 of Strata Schemes Management […]

132. Meet my Elephant

This week I’m bringing you my OWN interview, conducted by Veronica Morgan and Chris Bates, for The Elephant in the Room Property Podcast: the podcast focused on finding out “what’s really going on in the world of real estate.” Veronica and Chris invited me on their show to talk all things strata, but we ended up getting a little […]

131. Can Renovation Works Proceed before a By Law is Approved and Registered?

Reena and I debate the question – is it ever ok to allow work to commence under the terms of a by-law before the by-law has been registered? We also celebrate a joint win, having recently settled a lot owner’s claim for damages prior to incurring the expense and stress of court litigation. We share our insights with you […]

130. How to deal with strata bullies

This week I chat to Natalie Fitzgerald, strata manager, about the difficulties faced by some owners when it comes to having their view heard above the ‘loud voices’ that prevail within their building and on their strata committee. Natalie and I each share our tips for owners who feel overwhelmed by the democratic process and discuss […]