Podcast: Renos, pets and kids in uncrowded houses


It’s another big week on the podcast front with a lot of serious – and not so serious – issues to discuss.

First up we look at this story about how the radical renovation of unused storage space in a Bondi block has allowed the owners to upgrade the whole 1930s building with new electrics, plumbing, roof, balconies and terraces.

This, we learn, is what the other side of the “forced sale” laws allowed – a majority of owners to make the most of their collective assets and give their 90-year-old building a whole new lease of life.

Ban the pet ban

Then we chat to UNSW Associate Professor Dr Cathy Sherry – one of our eminent thinkers in the realm of strata law – about why she wrote an op-ed in the Sydney Morning Herald recently, supporting moves to ban by-laws that ban pets.

It’s a wide-ranging discussion that goes from the fundamentals of liberal democracy to negative gearing, via Feudalism, Utilitarianism, assistance animals, company title, build-to-rent and Airbnb.

Cathy argues that despite the serious health and religious issues that genuinely affect some apartment residents, we can’t legally prevent assistance animals from being resident in apartment blocks so the idea that we can ban companion animals is based on a fallacy.

What it comes down to is that people don’t have an inviolable right to live in apartments, so their rights are not being impinged by laws that say apartment blocks don’t have the right to ban animals. Or something like that …

It’s not as simple as that – it never is in strata – but we discuss the possibility that, if no-pets by-laws are banned,  there could soon be an upsurge in interest in company title buildings where the “board” can set its own rules that are not affected by strata law.

Moving on from pets, Cathy explains why she is dead-set against build-to-rent apartments, even the really nice ones, saying we need to get rid of negative gearing so that “mum and dad” property investors aren’t competing against their kids, pushing the price of homes out of their reach.

Lonely kids

And finally in our Hey Marthas, Sue has found a story that says families that move into big houses where every kid has their own room – even their own bathroom – could be missing the point. 

Economics researcher Michael Dockery says kids in large family houses with their own rooms could be suffering social isolation and even loneliness.

Learning to share and tolerate others’ foibles is an important social skill that our kids are less likely to acquire if they are allowed to lock themselves away in their rooms, playing their own computer games and going God-knows-where on the Internet.

Just another reason why apartment living is good for kids.

Meanwhile Jimmy takes a look at the building in Sydney’s Haymarket locked in a six-way stand-off over flammable cladding.

You can read all about it here and listen to our thoughts on all these issues just by scrolling down this page.

Listen here

If you haven’t already tried listening to a podcast, and you have speakers attached to your computer or earbuds attached to your smartphone, all you have to do is click on the link near the top of these show notes.

And if you like what you hear, you can subscribe to this podcast, absolutely free, on Apple podcastsGoogle podcastsSpotifyStitcher or your favourite podcatcher.

If the links provided don’t take you straight there, just search for Flat Chat Wrap, click on subscribe, and you’ll get this podcast every week without even trying.

It’s free: no hooks, catches or sign-ups. Enjoy.

Leave a Reply

scroll to top