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YSP Podcast Episode 221. How to avoid a renovation disaster

This week, Reena and I cover: unusual renovations: how is the committee to know if an owner is complying with all legal requirements?how to stop residents using the visitor parkingwhen the new strata manager takes over a little too soon (before they are even appointed)your access to up-to-date strata data

YSP Podcast Episode 212. New strata laws finally commence in Western Australia

This week, I have the pleasure of Mark Atkinson’s company. The director of Atkinson Legal in Western Australia, Mark has been at the forefront of strata law reform in the state – a massive 24-year undertaking. Amendments to the Strata Titles Act 1985 (WA) commenced on 1 May 2020. Mark summarises the key changes for us and…

YSP Podcast Episode 208. Finally, an accreditation for fire safety practitioners

Rob Broadhead of 2020 Fire Protection joins me with an update on the accreditation scheme (almost) in place for fire safety practitioners. * To quote Rob, his industry is now moving from “ragtag bunch of tradies” to “accredited professionals”. When we’re dealing with fire safety, that is indeed a welcome change. We also discuss the impact…

YSP Podcast Episode 206. Resilience and leadership during a crisis

This week, I’m bringing you the conversation that I had with Heidi Dening over on our Facebook Page during last Friday’s “Happy Hour”. Heidi shared her top tips for building personal and organisational resilience during challenging times, including identifying those who will rise and thrive when the current crisis is over. As you’ll hear, we…

YSP Podcast Episode 195. Mouldy clothes | CMS changes | approval for solar panels

In our first co-hosted episode of 2020, Reena and I get stuck into these curly questions: whether an owners corporation should reimburse an owner $5,000 for ‘mouldy clothing’ arising from water ingress why you must move quickly when registering changes to a CMS how to deal with illegal installations on common property, and a controversial…

YSP Podcast Episode 194. The art of crisis management – with Daniel Holt

I’m chatting to Daniel Holt – strata lawyer turned strata manager – about how to stay calm in a crisis. And he would know: Daniel was the manager who received the phone call on Christmas Eve 2018, informing him that Opal Tower needed to be evacuated. In this wide-ranging conversation, we also cover: how to…

YSP Podcast Episode 191: All you need to know about strata remedial works, with MaxBuild

This week, Caroline McConnachie of MAX Build walks us through the essentials of remedial building works projects. This is vital listening for anyone involved in this kind of work – whether manager or resident. We discuss: why remedial projects often have a more significant impact than other types of construction workhow owners can take control…

YSP Podcast Episode 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…

YSP Podcast Episode 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…

YSP Podcast Episode 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 Statementswhat 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 corporationthe latest Tribunal case on the ‘nuisance’ of smoking

YSP Podcast Episode 183: 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 Statementswhat 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 corporationthe latest Tribunal case on the ‘nuisance’ of smoking

YSP Podcast Episode 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…

YSP Podcast Episode 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…

YSP Podcast Episode 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 rolewhy his office is partnering with the likes of QLD police to deliver the right messages to residentscreative responses to the increased demand for good informationlegislative reform in QLD…
Facebook Live videos

Happy Hour with Thomas Gibbons!

The trans-Tasman travel bubble is some way off, but we still managed to spend Happy Hour with Thomas Gibbons, one of our favourite NZ “unit titles” practitioners. We compare NZ’s level 4 lockdown to Melbourne’s and receive an update on important legislative reform happening across the ditch.

Happy Hour with Helen Kowal!

Expert building defects lawyer Helen Kowal updated us on the need-to-know of the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 and the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Bill 2020. Does your building now have a claim for original building defects that it did not have before?

Happy Hour with Rob Broadhead

Rob shared precisely where you can go to check that you are using an accredited fire safety professional to certify the fire safety measures in your building. We also talked fire door gaps, fire dampers, acronyms and wine.

Happy Hour with Megan Chatterton – City of Sydney Council

Happy Hour with Megan Chatterton – City of Sydney Council! Megan shares the simple steps your building can start taking TODAY to save money on utilities and move towards a more sustainable future. Amanda provides an update on new strata legislation currently before NSW parliament, which will make the installation of sustainability infrastructure easier and…

Happy Hour with Daniel Borin!

Our strata-tech evangelist, Daniel shares his tips for effective working from home connection in the time of social distancing how he’s still getting his boxing workout in and more. I also summarise the new regulations that have commenced in NSW, for smoother strata operations in the time of COVID .

Happy Hour with Amanda Farmer and Dr Nicole Johnston!

The always gracious Dr J shared her views on how well (or not) we’re tackling the nation’s building defects crisis; what’s next on her research agenda – including VIRTUAL “Strata Concepts” sessions, and why she went searching in vain for the research of “Dr Nicholas Johnston”. I also summarised the impact of this week’s NCAT…

Happy Hour with Amanda Farmer and Reena Van Aalst!

We covered: the easing of COVID restrictions in NSWnew strata law for NSW, permitting the making of regulations that will enable electronic meetings etc waiving interest on levies poll voting special resolutions the enviable social lives of “child-free” couples AND MORE!

Friday Happy Hour with Amanda Farmer and Jimmy Thomson!

And what a rollicking Happy Hour it was. In addition to discussing the current Japanese gin drought in Australia, we covered: pets in strata, the new NSW Fair Trading COVID guidance for strata schemes, cladding and fire safety generally…and all without mentioning short-term letting! Ok, maybe just once.

Happy Hour with Allison Benson

Two strata lawyers for the price of one! In this week’s Happy Hour, Allison and I covered: the loosening of restrictions around the countrywhat’s happening on the COVID-legislative front in NSW, including specific relief for our strata schemes ongoing repair and maintenance of the common propertyelectronic strata committee elections- the COVID APP and much more

Happy Hour with Veronica Morgan

It’s Happy Hour! My special guest this week is Veronica Morgan. We cover: the future of the property market, particularly when it comes to apartments; why strata records inspections and so important and what you should be looking for; some new legislation impacting NSW strata buildings; and much more, including your LIMITED TIME ONLY opportunity…

Happy Hour with Chris Duggan

It’s Happy Hour!! My special guest this week is SCA (NSW) President Chris Duggan. Chris shares the inside scoop on what our strata buildings can expect from NSW government + together we answer the week’s COVID questions

Friday Happy Hour with Amanda Farmer & Natalie Fitzgerald

It’s Happy Hour! This week we’re talking about SHORT TERM LETTING : which new law started in NSW today? And as always, we’re covering the latest strata-COVID questions: should contracted works cease? Can we still pursue levy arrears? Should we be dobbing in visitors? All this and more.

Happy Hour with Amanda Farmer and Chris Irons

Happy Hour has rolled around again! This week, I’m chatting with Chris Irons of Hynes Legal about closing pools and gyms, restricting deliveries and acting REASONABLY!! Happy weekend everyone.

The week that was – it’s the Happy Hour Wrap Up

Join me and Reena for Friday Happy Hour: we answer the week’s (long!) list of questions about COVID-19 in strata and manage to have a few laughs along the way. Links mentioned: Strata Community Association (SCA) Apartment Living & COVID-19 Best Practice Guideline for Building ManagersStrata Community Association (SCA) Apartment Living & COVID-19 Best Practice…

Friday Happy Hour with Heidi Dening – Your Isolation Education!

It’s Happy Hour! Heidi Dening shares her tips for building resilience and confidently stepping into a leadership role during these extraordinary times. Amanda covers off the current state of the law in QLD, NSW, VIC and WA when it comes to strata meetings in person. Can we meet online instead?

Naughty boys running amok in your apartment building?

A reminder of the power of model by-law no. 6! As I say in this vid, use this one for the ‘naughty boys’. Girls too of course, should you have any 😉 For new schemes, or schemes that have adopted the new schedule 3 model by-laws from the 2016 Regulation, it’s model by-law no. 7…

Why I recommend by-laws dealing with renovation works

Our strata legislation in NSW is a little complex when it comes to different types of renovation works and the different approval thresholds for each. I recommend each building adopts a by-law which clearly sets out which type of work requires which level of approval (if any). This way, owners are not left wondering and…

The secret of the ONE THING (FB Live)

Do you know what THE ONE THING is yet? There is one thing that will dramatically improve your experience of apartment living, and I’m sharing it with you now… Find out more here:
Member call videos

Member call no. 26: When major renovation works are carried out without insurance

In this call, Bernadette shares the rather unorthodox management structure for her converted warehouse building. She has discovered that facade works carried out by an owner, but funded by the owners corporation, were not insured. We talk through the fallout, with particular reference to the relevant provisions of the Home Building Act NSW. We also…

Member call no. 25: A win for Heather and her greyhound

Heather’s building prevents occupiers keeping pets without the approval of the Owners Corporation and Heather’s request to keep a greyhound has been unreasonably refused. I walk Heather through how she might prove “unreasonableness” under section 157 of the NSW law, including the practical steps she can take immediately to fast track her success.  I am…

Member call no. 24: Penalty applications and cost orders in the Tribunal

In this call, I assist Mary to defend a (seemingly) spurious penalty application for breach of a by-law: in Mary’s case, the “behaviour” by-law (model by-law 6, NSW). We also discuss her options for pursuing a cost order after an earlier application was withdrawn by her owners corporation.

Member call no. 23: Achieving common property repairs in a 2-lot scheme

Sandra is an owner in an unusual 2-lot scheme: her unit entitlement is 35 and her neighbour’s is 65. As you can imagine, this is causing some problems, particularly when it comes to the repair and maintenance of common property. In this call, I arm Sandra with the tools she needs to resolve moisture ingress…

Member call no. 22: Terry challenges excessive levies in the Tribunal

In this call, I’m helping Terry with what is (in my experience) an unusual application: for an order varying levies on the grounds that they are excessive. Terry’s building recently resolved a 48% increase in levies and Terry believes the increase should have been half that. I give Terry my tips for ensuring his application…

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 animalshow building management committees and strata management statements workwhat avenues NSW buildings have if they have an underperforming strata manager This is a very ‘hands on’ call filled with practical guidance for…

Member call no. 18: Supporting Isabella to be the ‘squeaky wheel’

Isabella is an owner coming out the other side of years of neglected repair work at her townhouse property. I answer her questions about the potential removal of the strata committee and managing agent, claiming her losses (“is it worth it?”), getting the right trades on the job and ‘training’ the committee to make better…

Member call no. 17: Helping James to navigate life in a 2-lot scheme

In this call, I assist James with a number of problems currently facing him in his 2-lot scheme, including: life after compulsory managementhis neighbour’s refusal to agree to adequate leviesthe illegal installation of a fence on the common propertythe installation of a surveillance camerareimbursement for costs expended on behalf of the Owners Corporation. Here are…

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. Here are the links to the…

Member call no. 15: Helping Carol to ‘painlessly’ tender for new strata management

In this call, I arm Carol with the tools, resources and contacts that will help her successfully put her building’s strata management contract out to tender. As an owner in a small Western Australian strata scheme, Carol is also concerned to understand the correct legal procedure for council (committee) meetings. We talk about the specific…

Member call no. 14: Dean deals with wheel clamping in his WA building

Dean is an owner in a Western Australian strata scheme. His strata council has taken to wheel clamping visitors parked in the designated visitor-parking area, should they overstay their welcome. Dean asks: does the strata company need a by-law to be able to do this? (they don’t have one). Is it legal for the strata…

Member call No. 11 Henry gets help with difficult tenants, and more

Henry comes to us from Victoria with a few challenges relating to tenants who fail to comply with the by-laws. I arm him with strategies to combat the bad behaviour, including methods for communicating effectively with the property manager/leasing agent. We also discuss CCTV and how the installation of CCTV sits comfortably with a ‘right…

Member call no. 10: Bruce wants to overhaul a ‘rusted on’ committee

Bruce is an owner and committee member in a NSW scheme that is functioning reasonably well, but is ready for some revitalising after 17 years. This includes bringing fresh ideas to the strata committee. In this call, I give Bruce some strategies for how he might assist an ‘ok’ strata committee transition to a ‘great’…

Member call no. 8: Natalie proceeds to NCAT after 4 years of water penetration

In this call, I consider Natalie’s proposal to seek NCAT orders requiring her owners corporation to repair and maintain the common property. The building’s failure to do so for almost 4 years has resulted in water penetration to Natalie’s two bedrooms. We discuss the relevant sections of the NSW legislation and my recommendations for what…

Member call no. 7: Greg discovers the superpower held by a committee secretary

In this call, I help Greg – an owner and committee secretary – who is having trouble getting various initiatives past his fellow committee members. I point out to him a very handy section of the NSW legislation which grants considerable power to a committee secretary. We also discuss the terms of a “diplomatic” campaign…

Member call no. 5: strata manager Sean asks the hard questions about proxies, co-owners and special levies

In this jam-packed call, I help Sean – a strata owner turned strata manager – navigate the tricky areas of proxies, co-owner voting rights, AGM notices and special levies. This is an excellent call to tune in to if you’re the secretary of a self-managed scheme or a strata manager at any level. We refresh on the important basics but also get into some technical areas that even the most experienced of us need to stop and consider from time to time.

Member call no. 2: Elizabeth and repairs to common property

In this call, I give Elizabeth a step by step guide to dealing with a difficult strata committee that does not want to repair her broken windows. I explain the path she needs to lay to ensure her Tribunal application has the best chance of success. .

Member call no. 1: Marissa and common property rights by-laws

In this call, I walk Marissa through the process of amending a common property rights by-law, so that she can enclose the outdoor seating area for her restaurant. We also discuss the need for council approval, and what to do about installing a sign.