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.

Illegal hard flooring, child safety nets, and a bathroom reno: inside a member call

I’m taking you inside a member call: an opportunity offered exclusively to members of the Your Strata Property Online Membership Community. In this call, I guide a new strata owner on the process of seeking retrospective approval for the hard flooring they have already installed. I also cover:

the installation of child-safety nets on a balcony;
a clever way to ‘sell’ the idea of a bathroom renovation
how to access the strata roll ahead of a general meeting

and more.

The Strategic Strata Litigator

During our time together, I’ve revealed the following:

the 5 most common mistakes self-represented strata owners are making with their NCAT applications,
the unique role that costs and insurance have to play in strata litigation and why they can direct the outcome of a case,
how best to avoid getting trapped in the litigation web altogether,

and more.

Effective Strata Committee Meetings Pro Webinar – Replay

The No. 1 Thing is…

A properly functioning strata committee. 

And properly functioning strata committees have regular and efficient…

…strata committee meetings.

I’ll be sharing how you can ensure transparent and fair strata committee decisions without conflict or confrontation, even if your committee (or those you work with) is inconsistent or unresponsive.

Strata Managers Giving Legal Advice: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

In this, our last podcast episode for the year, Reena and I discuss:
the building that can’t get public liability insurance for its heritage property
the dangers of strata managers actioning legal matters without instructions or legal advice
a few key principles for those managing Building Management Committees (BMCs).

I’ll be back with the first podcast episode of 2023 on 4 January.

I wish you a lovely, restful festive season. 

How detailed should the minutes of strata meetings be?

Reena joins me to discuss:
– surprises after settlement: what happens when a new owner wasn’t made aware of significant OC debts before they bought?
– the devil that’s in the detail of meeting minutes
– how to be a good witness before the Tribunal (and how Reena knows…)
– the new regulations making meetings easier, in more ways than one.

Member call no. 61: 4 Excellent Questions from Strata Manager Peter

 Peter, an experienced strata manager, confirms his understanding of the following items: privacy in the strata roll: is there any? the powers of proxy holders: can they issue instructions on behalf of an owner outside of a meeting? what is the meaning of “unfinancial”? how does an owners corporation recover expenses incurred due to the behaviour…

Friday LIVE with Amanda Farmer

Amanda was here LIVE for the wrap-up of the week in strata. She covered:

how strata communities may solve the problem of committee members who don’t seem to understand their legal duties
a sample “Code of Conduct” sent by one of our generous community members
the details of her next online event (spoiler: it’s all about BY-LAWS)
a template by-law for the disposal of abandoned goods on the common property
Alan’s question: what level of detail must an owner must provide before renovation works commence? 

How to use By-Laws to Restore Peace to your Strata Community

In our short time together, I covered:

the 4 mistakes communities are making when it comes to their by-laws
what makes a great by-law and what should be avoided when drafting new by-laws
the legal enforcement process
recent Tribunal and court cases dealing with by-laws

and much more.

How to Add Value to Your Strata Common Property Webinar

In our short time together, I covered how to:

legally convert unused or unloved common property into valuable spaces for enjoyment or sale
upgrade run-down areas including bin rooms and bin bays
successfully submit a development application to the local council
handle objections from owners and avoid disputes that end up in costly litigation,
and much more.

The Smooth Moves Webinar

During the webinar, I shared my guidance for how to effectively manage the move-in/out process in strata, plus some helpful resources you can implement in your communities right away. We also heard from NSW EPA representatives on how to reduce waste and prevent illegal dumping.

313. Navigating the strata remedial works minefield

In a first for the show, this week I have THREE guests: Peter Johnsson, Grahame Vile and Caroline McConnachie – each an expert in strata remedial works. We discuss:

why remedial works are so painful for apartment owners
the different fee structures used by contractors and consultants 
how to keep costs under control
how strata managers can best serve their clients during a remedial works project,

and more. 

The Nuances of Notices to Comply Pro Webinar – Replay

On yesterday’s Pro Member Webinar, I walked members through my step-by-step process for completing a valid Notice to Comply with a by-law and demonstrated how to craft a winning penalty application before the NSW Tribunal, including:

why you should be worried if an owner ‘goes quiet’ after being served with a Notice to Comply
how my lot-owner client forced their owners corporation into an embarrassing position
a surprising aspect of the by-law compliance process for community schemes
what it means to “begin with the end in mind”,

and so much more, including your very own Webinar Workbook.

Bulletproof Books and Records Pro Webinar – Replay

In this webinar, Amanda covers: the 3 biggest mistakes strata managers are making when it comes to record-keeping for their clients the pitfalls lurking in our strata legislation that make proper records management such a difficult task the building that had to pay $10,000 to resolve a dispute about records – and what you can…

Member call no. 48: Subdivisions, DAs, Dividing Fences and more In this call with strata manager Donovan, I cover: penalty applications in the Tribunal: is mediation necessary? can the local council prevent short term letting in a strata building? what kind of approval is needed for a strata plan of subdivision? is the owners corporation responsible for ensuring that an owner’s reno has council…

296. Overwhelmed already? How to reset for a calmer 2022

  In our first chat for 2022, Reena and I cover: the current pressure on short-staffed building and strata managers our tips for dealing with “communication overwhelm” why walking away from a client is sometimes the best option the new service helping you find the perfect strata lawyer to suit your needs. Links mentioned: Get…

283. Common property only for the vaxxed? Dr Cathy Sherry answers

Dr Cathy Sherry and I answer your questions about NSW’s new public health order, including:

whether common property facilities can be restricted to vaccinated people only
what to do about in-person meetings over the next 8 weeks
what are the new rules about trades and construction work on occupied premises
how short stay accommodation is being regulated

and more.

This is an edited version of our LIVE video chat. You can watch the whole shebang over on the Facebook page (link in the show notes).

Better Buildings Webinar (Members Only) Learn how a properly functioning strata committee can dramatically improve your experience of apartment living. In this webinar, we’ll cover: Proper election procedures for strata committees The duties of the committee and its office holders Correct committee meeting procedure Transparent and legal committee decision making Effective communication between the committee, owners and the strata…

Shared Space: Reena Van Aalst and Gordon Streight – The Smart Way to Add Value   In this session, Reena shares: how to avoid common renovation works pitfalls why it’s up to YOU to impress the strata manager you want to work with how to answer the emotional arguments put forward by owners who don’t want to invest in improving the common property…   In this session, Gordon shares:…

Member call No. 16: 7 excellent questions from strata manager Donovan Assistant strata manager Donovan had been saving up all the ‘hard’ questions for just this call! The call is jam-packed with practical information for strata managers and committee members alike, including my answers to Donovan’s questions about by-law enforcement, committee meetings, defects warranty periods, subdividing common property and more.

Member call no. 20: Demystifying BMCs with strata manager Andrew   In this call, I answer strata manager Andrew’s excellent questions about: whether NSW community associations can impose blanket bans on the keeping of animals how building management committees and strata management statements work what avenues NSW buildings have if they have an underperforming strata manager.   This is a very ‘hands on’ call…

246. Tree roots | insurance valuations | fence dispute win

No strangers to difficult times, Reena and I hit the ground running with this episode. We’re covering:

the rights of a tenant when tree roots damage a sewer and cause flooding from that most undesirable of sources: the toilet
the building with a diminishing valuation and a novel offer from a valuer
why compulsory appointments won’t give you what you wish for, and
the self-represented owner who took on her building over a fence and won at NCAT.

264. A strata manager’s guide to engaging a strata lawyer

In answer to a listener question, Reena shares her best practice tips for owners corporations engaging strata lawyers, including how to ensure expectations are set and met and owners are not overcharged. Plus I share a recent client win in a ‘pets case’, one which should have arrived much earlier than it did.

265. 4 steps to a successful strata mediation

Mediation is something most owners, committee members and managers are likely to experience at some point in their strata journey. In this episode, I share my tips for a successful mediation, including:

how to find out if you need to mediate at all
why I don’t file supporting documents with a mediation application
who should attend the mediation session

and more.