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. 

Where do our cost recovery by-laws stand now? Allison Benson guides us

I’m joined by fellow strata lawyer, Allison Benson. Allison recently appeared in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal on behalf of an owners corporation seeking to enforce its cost recovery by-laws. In this chat, we discuss the Tribunal’s decision, how that decision may impact future attempts by OCs to recover costs from lot owners, and the prospect of legislative reform to better protect buildings troubled by serial by-law breachers.

Wrangling strata records – with Michael Ferrier

Michael Ferrier of Eyeon Property Inspections shares his assessment of the quality of strata books and records, explaining how transparent record keeping adds to property values. He encourages owners to take responsibility for their own records, and he’s even got a system to help us do precisely that.

303. Can an owner dictate the method for common property repair?

Reena asks whether a lot owner has any say in the method by which an owners corporation chooses to repair its common property. We also discuss lot owner DAs for change of use and the importance of understanding the mandatory legal requirements for the issue of a Notice to Comply.

304. The 3 Ways Strata Managers are Getting Notices to Comply Wrong

Having recently helped a client avoid penalty proceedings in the Tribunal, this week I’m sharing some common mistakes I see managers and committees making when issuing a notice to comply with a by-law. I’m also giving our members the opportunity to access my next exclusive Pro Member Webinar where we’ll go deep on this important topic (heads up: it’s TOMORROW!)

286. Strata Committees: 3 Popular Questions Answered

    I’m answering 3 top questions about NSW strata committees: Must committees hold meetings? How are conflicts of interest determined? What happens when a committee member sells? Links mentioned: Get the transcript here! The Number One Thing that Dramatically Improves Apartment Living FREE eBook Episode 149. Why strata committees should be meeting regularly Schedule…

288. Unsigned Contracts | Pet Bonds | New Community Schemes Law

    This week, Reena and I cover: unsigned building management agreements: are they binding? the problem with “pet bonds” upcoming changes to the NSW community schemes legislation. Links mentioned: Get the transcript here! Section 67 – Appointment of building managers – Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) Premium Building Management Pty Ltd v The…

289. Evacuation Diagrams and Emergency Management Plans

  Michael Barnes of Credwell 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. Links…

294. Mandatory Annual Reporting for NSW Strata

    You may have missed it in the end-of-year rush, but in December 2021 a new regulation was made in NSW making it mandatory for all strata schemes to submit an annual report to Fair Trading. In this episode, I’m walking you through the new regulation and encouraging you to start thinking about how…

295. WHS Basics for Residential Owners Corporations – with Bill Kritharas

Lawyer Bill Kritharas joins me to explain an owners corporation’s work health and safety obligations, including: how the WHS law applies differently to residential, commercial and mixed use buildings his problem with work health and safety reports the important role of the strata manager in guiding their clients, and more. Links mentioned: Get the transcript…

282. Successful Strata Records Inspections: My 4 Step Process

A source of frustration for many owners, records inspections is one of the subjects I am most frequently asked about. I’m sharing my 4 steps to a successful strata records inspection, including what to do when particular records are withheld for ‘privacy’ or ‘legal’ reasons.

279. Secure your Compliance with Extraordinary New Public Health Orders (NSW)

NSW (finally) has a set of public health orders specific to apartment buildings.

But…they’re not quite what we were asking for.

I outline the new and rather onerous obligations on strata managers and others ‘managing’ residential buildings that are forced into hard lockdown.

I’m also giving you access to my new resource, helping you help your buildings through the challenging months ahead.

Amanda Farmer: Are we dysfunctional? How to Fix a Broken Community   In this session, Amanda shares: what it takes to prove to the Tribunal that your community is dysfunctional why the appointment of a compulsory manager is not necessarily the outcome you should be seeking the no 1 thing that dramatically improves apartment living…   Links and resources mentioned: Receive your invitation to…

220. The immense power held by strata owners – with Cathy Sherry

This week, a blast from the past. Way back in September 2016 I spoke to Cathy Sherry about the surprisingly unfettered power strata owners have to regulate the private lives of their neighbours. At a time when this power has been tested and found to be stronger than ever (our NSW “pet” cases), I thought it opportune to revisit this popular episode.

222. Your Guide to Compulsory Appointments

This solo episode is devoted to exploring that most Draconian of interventions: the appointment of a compulsory managing agent. How do you get such an appointment? Do you really need one? And a question many owners are left asking after the event: is it really such a good idea?

249. Asbestos in fire door | hard flooring discrimination | unreasonable refusal

In this packed episode, Reena and I cover:

– what can be done when an owner won’t agree to their front fire door being tested for asbestos
– why anti-discrimination legislation is increasingly relevant to strata
– the owners who successfully proved the unreasonable refusal of their renovation application
– why we need more access to unreported cases from our Tribunals
– why I’m getting up at 3am this week!

261. Handover of hard copy files | beware the work email address

Reena’s attempts to put together a complete file for her new client are frustrated when she receives only hard copy records from the former managing agent. We discuss the legal requirements for the handover of strata books and records. I issue a warning to committee members sending emails from a work email address and we both look forward to catching up with friends and colleagues at a unique event in a few weeks’ time.

270. Adjourning meetings without quorum

This week, Reena and I cover:

– access to CCTV footage: often controversial in our strata schemes, but what about when the footage belongs to a BMC?
– a refresher on the quorum rule, including when a chair must proceed in the absence of a quorum

and more.

272. Does an “in meeting” vote trump a “pre meeting” vote?

Reena and I cover:

– the indecisive voter: what happens when an owner votes one way via pre-meeting voting, then changes their mind and wants to vote the other way at the meeting?
– lessons from Miami and a warning to communities ignoring their repair and maintenance obligations
– the deep clean that went just right and
– the benefits of a QR Code and how to get one for your building.

*Note: this conversation was recorded a couple of weeks ago and the situation with NSW lockdown is rapidly changing. Make sure you stay up to date via NSW Health and access the latest public health orders.

275. Electronic meeting ballots and agendas: a legal quandary

Reena and I cover:

– how to complete a ballot paper “in writing” during an electronic meeting
– the surprising item missing from our strata legislation
– the insurer who capitulated second time around
– a creative solution to a long-standing noise dispute