Podcast: Flood fears and by-laws to loathe and love

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Elsewhere in this post

One of the problems with preparing a fairly light-hearted podcast like the Flat Chat Wrap is that there are a lot of serious issues around that you just can’t ignore but you don’t want to trivialise.

Right now the Eastern states are dealing with the immediate problem of devastating floods or their aftermath.  What does this have to do with apartment living?

We hear about the smart thinking, fast-moving residents of one block who successfully prevented their two-storey underground car park becoming a watery grave for their cars.


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Then there’s the issue of what happens in multi-storey blocks when the power to the lifts is knocked out?

And we ask the question, should we even be allowing people to build houses in flood plains and if not, where can they live?  Are apartments the answer?

Lightening the tone, we have a chat about the by-laws we loath and those we wish we had.

And we even have something nice to say about Airbnb, in the context of that other major story dominating the news, Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.

If you enjoyed listening to this podcast (or reading the transcript), please share it with your friends using the social media buttons on this page.

TRANSCRIPT IN FULL

Jimmy  00:00

If there’s two stories we can’t avoid at the moment, it’s the floods and…

Sue  00:06

Shane Warne.

Jimmy  00:07

The third story is Shane Warne, yes. I was just reading; he used to have a nightclub in his basement.

Sue  00:15

Yes, I think his parties were quite legendary.

Jimmy  00:18

Look, he lived life to the full. It’s tragic that he’s gone, but we’re not going to be talking about him anymore, but we are going to be talking about floods; a tiny little story about Ukraine and we’re going to be talking about bylaws, and the bylaws you wish you didn’t have and you wish you did have. I’m Jimmy Thomson, I write the Flat Chat column for the Australian Financial Review.

Sue  00:44

And I’m Sue Williams, I write about property for Domain.

Jimmy  00:47

And this is the Flat Chat Wrap.

[MUSIC]

Jimmy

It looks like the whole of the eastern seaboard has been affected by floods in the past week. Absolutely horrendous, Biblical floods. While one is tempted to say “hey, do you believe in climate change now,” the fact is that ordinary people are suffering a lot and businesses are being destroyed.

Sue  01:27

Absolutely and many of them, have only just got over the floods of a few years ago and they’re now having to clean up again, from floods now, which must be absolutely heartbreaking.

Jimmy  01:36

There’s a couple of aspects of this that interest me from a strata point of view and one of them is, what happens to strata buildings, when the floods knock out electricity?

Sue  01:47

And also, in Brisbane (which is obviously, always badly affected by floods); did you hear about one apartment building in New Farm in Brisbane, where the residents all realised that the Brisbane River was about to break it’s banks, so they rushed down to the basement and managed to erect these makeshift barriers, to hold the water back, which actually saved the basement of the building, because they had two levels of underground car parking, which would have both been underwater, had they not all rushed to help? They did it within 30 minutes… Isn’t that clever?

Jimmy  02:23

Well, somebody should employ them now, to develop something for all the other buildings that might be affected. You think about some of those buildings there… When the electricity goes, of course, the lifts go. Now, in our building, it would mean people on the 19th floor would either be stuck there, or they’d have to climb those stairs up and down, to get in and out. Is my memory tricking me, but did we once live in a building that had a big diesel electric generator in the basement, to supply electricity for the building and in an emergency?

Sue  03:02

Yes, that rings a bell with me, as well. It was the backup generator.

Jimmy  03:06

I don’t think that this building has one.

Sue  03:08

No, I don’t think so.

Jimmy  03:09

So it must have been something…

Sue  03:11

Quite expensive to maintain, aren’t they?

Jimmy  03:13

 Yes.

Sue  03:14

And they take up a lot of space, as well.

Jimmy  03:16

I’d imagine when a lot of buildings move to solar power and batteries, then that won’t be so much an issue, because they’ll have the battery power to get them through, until the mains come back on. But, it does make you think; you think oh, people in apartments will be okay, but as you said,  if you’ve got two floors of underground parking, then that’s a potential swimming pool, basically.

Sue  03:43

Also, it depends on the force of the water coming through as well, because if it does have real force, it could conceivably affect the foundations of the building.

Jimmy  03:54

Well, isn’t that what happened at the Enmore Theatre, the other day?

Sue  03:57

Yes, that’s right.

Jimmy  03:58

The pillars underneath the main floor of the auditorium moved and I think they said it was a six metre drop, or something like that.

Sue  04:08

Wow, underneath the carpet?

Jimmy  04:09

Yes.

Sue  04:11

So yes, that’s a big possibility as well, especially with some of the old blocks. We used to own an old apartment in Bondi and when we went down and looked at the foundations, we were horrified to discover that they were being held up by temporary pillars, that had been put there many years before.

Jimmy  04:29

It was a metal pole that is adjustable in length; sort of telescopic. There’s a name for them, which might come back to me. That was interesting, because there was a woman in that corner, who said at a strata meeting “my floor is slipping away; it’s tilting,” and we were going “really,” and we looked and we saw why. The reason it was going down was quite interesting, because the next door building had a drain pipe for rainwater from the roof, that went into a drain, and something happened with the drain, and they decided just to leave the drain blocked, and let the water just dissipate over the tarmac path in between the two buildings. What it was doing, was running across under our building and causing subsidence, but because the buildings had originally been owned by the same people, nobody ever did anything about it. I remember looking at that subsidence and at that point, somebody else in the building asked us if we’d be interested in selling our apartment. We basically thrust the pen in his hand, saying “sign here.”

Sue  04:57

He did know about the subsidence; I must point out! Yes, he was there too, but he could see the potential for fixing it. And, how much it would cost. There must be lots of old buildings (in areas where buildings have been done in the 60s), that are a little bit shaky and maybe, there’s not been much money being put into their renewal, so it becomes really quite dangerous, if there is going to be flooding in those areas.

Jimmy  06:19

Well, Bondi is built on sand…

Sue  06:21

Which shifts all the time.

Jimmy  06:22

Yes and it’s horrendous. If there’s an earthquake, they say it just becomes liquid. Getting back to the floods; I was just doing a little bit of research today and discovered that until 2012, there wasn’t a single definition of what constituted a flood, for insurance purposes. So, you’d get flood insurance, and you’d get flooded out and then the insurance company would come back and say “no, that wasn’t a flood; that was a high -tide.” Things like that were going on.

Sue  06:53

That’s changed now, hasn’t it?

Jimmy  06:55

They now have a definition of flood, which is ‘a covering of normally dry land by water, that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of any lake or river, creek or other natural watercourse, whether or not altered or modified or any reservoir, canal or dam.’ According to the website I went onto, it says “if a deluge of rain causes a river, lake, dam, or the like to overflow, and the rising of this escaped water causes damage to the property,’ this would trigger the flood definition in strata insurance policy, if the Owners Corporation has that.

Sue  07:39

Oh right, so that’s an extra insurance policy, really?

Jimmy  07:42

Yes, it doesn’t come as a normal part and it’s quite expensive, I think, especially if you’re in an area that’s prone to flooding, which sounds like basically, the eastern states of Australia.

Sue  07:56

It was heartbreaking. I was listening to the radio the other day, and there was a family who had flooded for the second time in just a few years. The first time, they’d lost their house and they’d lost their business and they’d just built a new house in the same position, so still in the floodplain and had rebuilt their business. They’ve been flooded again; been ruined again…They didn’t have insurance. They didn’t have insurance the first time and they didn’t have it the second time, but they just couldn’t afford insurance.  I mean, it’s easy for us to say “well, it’s ridiculous! You’re on a floodplain; you’ve got to have insurance,” but as you say, it’s expensive and some people are only just about managing to keep their heads up over water, so to speak. They just don’t have any extra money and you kind of think, well, if you were flooded a couple of years ago, it’s unlikely you’re going to be flooded again soon.

Jimmy  08:45

I would disagree with that.

Sue  08:46

Well, that’s right and I was talking to someone about one-in-100-year floods. I always assumed that meant that there’s going to be maybe, one flood in 1807, one flood in 1907, one flood in 2007….Apparently, it’s not. It just means that every year, there is a one in 100 chance that you will be flooded, so you could be easily flooded five times in five years and that’s still one in 100 years.

Jimmy  09:12

Okay, you lost me on the maths on that, but I get your point. Especially now, what with; they don’t call it global warming anymore, do they? They call it global heating?

Sue  09:24

Really? Oh, I wasn’t aware of that.

Jimmy  09:27

Because some people thought ‘warming’ sounded quite nice.

Sue  09:31

Right, okay. ‘Heating’ sounds a lot more dangerous?

Jimmy  09:36

But you’ve got climate change. You know, anybody who doesn’t believe that that is happening, just needs to stick their head out the window, right now and they can get the very real results of it. There is a difference between weather and climate, but when you get the same extreme weather happening when it didn’t used to happen, and it happens consistently, then that is climate change. What we’re seeing now on the eastern seaboard of Australia is climate change and this time next year, we’ll probably be worrying about bushfires. Because when it’s not raining too much, it’s getting too hot. We feel sorry for the people who have been flooded out…

Sue  10:19

Of course.

Jimmy  10:21

But we’re going to pick up on what you said about houses in the floodplains. And we’ll do that after this.

[MUSIC]

Jimmy

A very brave (I think he’s a National Party politician), in New South Wales has said councils have to stop letting people build houses in floodplains. You were talking about a family who, they had a house and a business; it wasn’t insured. It got wiped out in a flood a few years ago…They’ve rebuilt and they’ve been wiped out again and you feel sorry for them, but it’s a huge gamble, especially since they couldn’t afford insurance. That’s presumably because the insurers were looking at (as they will do)… We were talking about insurance before; you go to the insurer and say “I want flood insurance,” and they’ll come along and literally measure how far away you are from the nearest water, and how high the water goes in a flood and how often it gets flooded and estimate it on that basis. Yes, they’ll sell you insurance, but the premiums could be astronomical. So, this politician has said to councils “stop approving houses in floodplains.” You were telling me the other day, because you wrote that book about Mrs. Macquarie, ‘Elizabeth and Elizabeth;’ wasn’t Governor Macquarie active in helping people affected by floods, way back in 18-something?

Sue  12:00

1810. Yes, when he arrived, the Hawkesbury had flooded; the Hawkesbury was in a terrible state of chaos, because there were terrible floods and the man who became one of his closest friends (who was a former convict and had become a chief constable)…. He was quite a remarkable, man. He had spent all his time rescuing the villages in the Hawkesbury from the floods, and he’d become quite sick and he eventually died, so that was a huge blow to Lachlan Macquarie. So yes, the Hawkesbury has been flooding for many, many years, right from the start of settlers settling there, in the 1800s.

Jimmy  12:41

So, what have we not learned?

Sue  12:44

Well, I guess it’s in the interests of the New South Wales Government and the Queensland Government and the Victorian Government, to keep building homes, because they’re obviously getting stamp duty and they’re making money and of course, this kind of time when there are so few new homes being built… We talked about that last week. There’s fewer houses being built at the moment and apartment completions have nearly halved, from their peak a few years ago, so they’re kind of desperate to keep building. They want to keep housing the population, so when there is land available, then they’re going to kind of jump on it really, and floodplains; they can sort of say “well, other people have built here, so hopefully, it can’t be that bad.”

Jimmy  13:30

Yes, let’s say, councils in those areas said “okay, moratorium. No more new houses  or rebuilds of houses that have been destroyed in the flood;”  where are those people going to go? We are talking about tens of thousands of people that have been displaced by the floods in New South Wales, and in Queensland. Are they going to move into apartments? Because it strikes me, that the kind of people who will build an uninsured house in a floodplain, come hell or high water (literally); they’re going to live on a bit of land, with a few gum trees. Are they going to move into an apartment?

Sue  14:10

You’d think not. No, because maybe, they’re making some money on their land holding. Maybe, they grow a few crops, or they keep a few animals and stuff. They can’t do that in an apartment.

Jimmy  14:22

So, what do they do?

Sue  14:24

If the government is going to give them land somewhere else instead, that land is going to be a long way away. It’s going to be nowhere near where their community comes from, where their families come from; the kind of areas that they know. You look around Sydney and you think “well, where’s the space for them?” Maybe, in southwest Sydney, but southwest Sydney is becoming really highly-densified as well, now.

Jimmy  14:49

If you build a house in a bushfire zone (like in the Blue Mountains), you now have to build a huge water tank into the ground, underneath the house, just in case there’s a bushfire, so there’s always a water supply to save the house. If you can’t afford to build the water tank under the house, they won’t let you build the house.

Sue  15:13

And, you have to build the house to certain standards as well, with certain materials. With design specifications, that becomes much more expensive. I mean, that was a problem after the bushfires, because people claimed on their insurance, but they couldn’t actually afford to replace their houses, because the replacements would be much more expensive than their original houses were worth.

Jimmy  15:33

But, you can’t just let them build another house the same as it was before; that’s the definition of madness, isn’t it? Just doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. How about if they said to people who want to rebuild in the floodplain “you’ve got to build on stilts; you’ve got to be higher than the highest level of the last flood, or we won’t let you build?”

Sue  15:58

Or, if we build apartments on stilts?

Jimmy  16:01

Well, we do. We’re kind of living in an apartment that’s built on stilts.

Sue  16:05

If we build more apartments on stilts in those kinds of floodplain areas, would that solve any problems?

Jimmy  16:11

Not according to you, because those people with their animals wouldn’t. They’d need big terraces.

Sue  16:20

You know, in the old days; my grandfather lived in London, and he was moved into an apartment building. They were awful apartment buildings in those days, the council ones. He had an allotment, which was his pride and joy, somewhere else, just a couple of miles away from his apartment. You kind of wonder if there’s going to be a lot more… For people who are used to having a bit of land; to woo them into an apartment lifestyle, maybe we do need a revival of allotments. If they’re in areas where there is a bit of spare ground, maybe that’s quite a nice thing. I mean,  I hate gardening, so I wouldn’t want to use my allotment, but I could give it to somebody else, who would like it. 

Jimmy  17:11

They used to call them ‘selections’ here; a piece of land that they could work and build a house on, even. But, they can’t build houses, because they’re on a floodplain. Well, I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of people who are flood-affected, wanting to move into apartments, but somebody has got to come up with some way that they can live where they want to live, without having to be rescued every three years, and lose everything that they own.

Sue  17:40

And the stress they must be under all the time, worrying that this is going to happen again.

Jimmy  17:45

And it will happen again, let’s not kid ourselves. I mean, this is a pattern that’s starting to form; you know, flood/fire, flood/fire, and I’d be astonished if we don’t have another major fire. I mean, what this flood will do, is increase (hugely), the litter on the floors of our forests and bush areas and when that dries out, it’s just a tinderbox.

Sue  18:11

Because it’s funny; when it’s raining so heavily, you kind of think this is going to take years to dry out, but in fact, it doesn’t take very long at all, does it?

Jimmy  18:21

When we come back, we’re going to talk about bylaws and the bylaws you love and hate.

[MUSIC]

Jimmy

I had an absolute avalanche of messages to the Flat Chat forum, last week. Lots of different things; lots and lots of different things. One of them was from somebody (I think they’re on the committee in an apartment block), and the former member of the committee has sold his apartment; no sorry, has leased his apartment, and he’s gone and bought somewhere else, but he insists on his right to come back and use the swimming pool.

Sue  19:04

He can’t do that!

Jimmy  19:06

What’s going to stop him? They passed a bylaw, because they had a problem in the past, where residents, owners and tenants were bringing all their friends around to use the pool and it meant the number of visitors in the pool, actually outnumbered the number of residents in the pool. They brought in a bylaw that said you can only use the pool if you’re a resident, or close family of a resident; like, their grandchildren could come around and use the pool and that’s nice. You know, a good community thing, but you can’t bring 20 of your closest drunken mates around and that sounds perfectly reasonable. Now, you’ve got this guy who’s saying “well, I’ve got the right to use the pool, because I own the property and I own a share of common property and the pool is on common property and your bylaw, saying it can only be residents, can’t prevent me because I have my rights.”

Sue  20:05

Can’t they cancel his key, because he should have given his key to his tenants?

Jimmy  20:10

Well,  it depends what kind of keys they’ve got. If they’ve got metal keys, then that doesn’t make any difference. That was one of my suggestions, but this bloke sounds like; obviously, he’s just a bit on the selfish side… He’s double-dipping, no pun intended. You know, everybody knows their rights in strata and nobody knows their responsibilities. He thinks he’s got the right to use the pool. The fact that there’s one extra body in the swimming pool occasionally, isn’t going to make that much difference… There is a principle involved here and I can understand the committee getting really annoyed by this person. The question is, this guy is saying “this bylaw is illegal; it can’t possibly be valid, because it’s denying me my rights as an owner, to access common property.” They’re saying “well, the bylaw is there to stop people who shouldn’t be using the swimming pool from using it, and therefore it’s valid.” My point in my answer is, we don’t know for sure, whether bylaws are valid or not, until somebody tests them. For instance, the no-pets bylaws. For years and years and years, everybody thought they were rock-solid and valid, until Jo Cooper went to NCAT and then the Appeals Court and got them overturned. There’s been another bylaw overturned recently; the bylaw was about people who were not entitled to be on common property, because they weren’t residents of the building  (i.e. there was there was a bylaw, that banned short-term letting). It said that anybody who breached the bylaw, could have their keys cancelled, but then that got overturned (just on a technicality, really), because the wording made it sound like any owner in the building could have their keys cancelled for any breach of bylaws and you can’t do that. There’s a fundamental right for owners to access common property; i.e, the foyer to get to their flat. My view is, send the guy a notice to comply; when he turns up in his swimmers, take him to NCAT to have a fine imposed and then that’s when you find out, whether the bylaw is valid or not. People reading; you know, Googling the strata act and reading extraneous pieces of legislation… that doesn’t prove anything. It just proves that you know how to Google. The other way around is what you suggested, which is cancel their keys and let them take the committee to NCAT. That’s how you get it solved. I mean, it might not resolve the situation the way you want it to, but it will certainly let you know whether your bylaw is valid or not. Talking about bylaws; I’ve had a piece in the Financial Review over the weekend (and it’s on the website), about bylaws that you might wish you had. One of them was defining what a visitor is, in terms of visitor parking. Some buildings, find that for instance, somebody’s romantic partner will turn up on the weekend and park in visitors parking all weekend and say “well, they’re not a resident, and they’re not an owner, therefore, they must be a visitor; therefore they can use visitor parking.” What do you think about that?

Sue  23:57

That’s really hard, isn’t it? I think maybe, visitors should be allowed to spend one night, but that’s the maximum, because otherwise, two nights they’re kind of becoming almost a resident.

Jimmy  24:08

Semi-resident. How do you make that happen?

Sue  24:12

You define in the bylaw, a maximum period that you can actually park in visitor parking,

Jimmy  24:19

Right and different periods, depending on how the building is used. Let’s say it’s got a lot of older people in it, and they need different services and cleaners and doctors and whatever, coming; then you’d want to put a limit of say, two hours a day, on each vehicle. If they have plenty of parking, and there’s a lot of extended families, you might want to say “well, you can stay overnight; you can stay 12 hours.”

Sue  24:47

I think people often do abuse it. You know, you have people whose kids come, with their cars, and they leave their cars there for a week at a time, when they’re going overseas, or kids come and stay in the apartment, when the owners are overseas, and they keep their car there, and that kind of stuff is just intolerable, really, because that takes up all the visitor parking for long periods of time and it’s just really not fair.

Jimmy  25:10

Yes, we had a case on the forum a while ago. A woman had gone off overseas for an extended holiday and she knew that if she left her car in visitor parking for too long, it would get pinged and possibly towed. She told her teenage son “can you just go down once a week and move the car to another spot, so that nothing bad happens?” He kind of did it once and then never got around to it, because he was a teenager and teenagers never get around to anything. I think she got her car towed, because it was considered to be abandoned, that’s what it was. They’d put notices on it and said ‘this car has been abandoned and blah, blah, blah and please remove it, or it will be taken to a safe place.’

Sue  26:05

One of the bylaws I dislike the most, is the one that says you can’t have washing on your balcony. I think these days, there’s no excuse for not being allowed to have washing on your balcony. You might have linen shirts; you don’t want them hanging around the house. You know, it’s just awful and they take up so much room; they take up so much space.

Jimmy  26:28

But, there’s that other thing, that using your tumble dryer…

Sue  26:31

Yes, it takes up so much energy!

Jimmy  26:32

Yes, whereas you put your clothes out on the balcony for an hour, and you’ve got that lovely sunshine and wind (I mean, not right now, obviously). I agree. I mean, that is one dumb bylaw. I think they should have a bylaw that says ‘you must recycle.’

Sue  26:53

Yes, sure.

Jimmy  26:54

We, in our building; we keep being told we’ve got one of the best recycling systems in the City of Sydney and we’ve got paper and glass…

Sue  27:06

 We’ve got a clothing bin.

Jimmy  27:09

We’ve got food… We’ve even got Nespresso capsule things.

Sue  27:12

Yes and we recycle old furniture.

Jimmy  27:15

But, we’ve got a big, big sign above the bins saying ‘please don’t put plastic bags in the recycling, because it stuffs up the machinery,’ and it does. I mean, the City of Sydney have got videos on their website, showing your soft plastic bags; they go into the machine, clogs them up and it takes them hours to pull them apart, but people still do it. Because, they’re lazy.

Sue  27:40

It’s ignorant, isn’t it?

Jimmy  27:41

Our recycling is on a request basis; I would make it compulsory.

Sue  27:48

Yes, why not? We’ve also got composting as well and I think that’s happening in more and more apartment buildings around Sydney, and probably, around Melbourne, as well. I think that’s a really valuable thing, too, because I think when you put food and stuff in landfill, it produces gases and it’s not very good. I don’t know why.

Jimmy  28:12

Methane.

Sue  28:12

Methane;  thank you! Another bylaw I’d like to see… I mean, I guess we’re seeing these more and more now, but electric vehicles. There are bylaws in some buildings, because they’re introducing charging stations, but there are some buildings where there are no charging stations for electric vehicles and they refuse to allow people to use the regular plugs in the walls that they may have in the carpark… They refuse to allow them to use those, to charge up their cars. You’ve got this ridiculous situation of people living in apartment buildings, having to go to petrol stations or charging stations outside their buildings; leave their car there for half an hour to charge up and then driving back home, rather than being allowed to just plug their car into a socket in the wall, that exists there, anyway. Many of these people were actually saying to strata committees “look, we’re very happy to pay for our electricity use; just charg us! Put it on a metre or we’re happy to give you a contribution every week.” These strata commuters are saying “no, this is this is our electricity… We’re not allowing you people, with your newfangled electric vehicles to use our electricity,” which is bizarre. I’d like to see bylaws coming in to preserve the right of people with electric vehicles, to use electricity.

Jimmy  29:37

I think you need a change of committee, rather than a change of bylaws there!

Sue  29:40

That’s true too!

Jimmy  29:42

Get rid of the fogies, I say!

Sue  29:47

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve become a really passionate E-scooter, because you bought me an E-scooter for Christmas and I just absolutely love it. I just wondered if there should be some bylaws about providing some space in the building…

Jimmy  30:04

Safe parking and charging?

Sue  30:06

 Yes, absolutely, for things like E-scooters, because they’re fantastic; they take very little power. They’re incredibly clean; they’re quiet, even though they’re illegal in New South Wales. We haven’t quite mentioned that yet, but you can ride them in Melbourne, you can ride them in Brisbane, but it’s just New South Wales…

Jimmy  30:23

South Australia.

Sue  30:24

Yes, South Australia too;  just New South Wales is a bit behind, in working out  where they should be legalised. I’d like to see people being encouraged to use things like E-scooters.

Jimmy  30:36

We are not allowed to park it, in our parking space. \

Sue  30:40

No, because it’s not…

Jimmy  30:41

It’s not a motorised, roadworthy vehicle. Even though it is both of those things, legally, it doesn’t exist.

Sue  30:51

We have to see bylaws catching up with this new technology, I think.

Jimmy  30:54

I think I’d like to see a bylaw that stopped people from playing music on Bluetooth speakers, down by the swimming pool.

Sue  31:01

Do people do that?

Jimmy  31:02

Yes, they do.

Sue  31:03

Oh, no!

Jimmy  31:04

I mean, look, if they were playing the kind of music I like, that would be fine. The chances of that?

Sue  31:12

Well, I did a story the other day, about retirement communities. There’s lots of apartments now being built, for people who want to retire. They’re called over-50s (not even over-55 now), communities. They have some amazing facilities and I was talking to one woman who’s just bought into one of these fabulous new apartments and she said, “it’s great, because I occasionally hear my neighbours play music, but it’s always music I like, because it’s the same generation.” That’s kind of fun, really. Maybe you should go into an old person’s place, Jimmy?

[Music]

Jimmy  32:00

I did promise you a little snippet of news about Ukraine, which is more related to Flat Chat than it is directly to apartments, because obviously, a lot of people around the world are really concerned about what’s happening to people in Ukraine.

Sue  32:17

Sure, I mean, some of those pictures of apartment buildings which have been bombed have been really, really shocking.

Jimmy  32:24

I mean, they’re just such easy targets for psychopaths, like Putin. I don’t have much time for the American politician, Lindsey Graham (who’s a big supporter of Trump’s), but he’s come out and said “isn’t it time somebody assassinated this guy?”  I’m thinking “yeah, absolutely!” Where are all these superheroes, that we keep seeing on TV? Where is Jason Bourne, and Jack Reacher when you need them? Anyway, getting back to my point… Apparently, people are renting Airbnb apartments in Ukraine, with no intention of ever going there, but it means that the people who who live there are getting income from overseas.

Sue  33:13

That’s nice.

Jimmy  33:16

This money turns up, but the tourists (obviously), never do and I think that’s really smart and clever.

Sue  33:22

That’s fantastic!

Jimmy  33:24

It makes me (almost) forgive Airbnb, for all the deceptions and disruption that they’ve caused, all around the world; almost, but not quite! On that note, we’ve done floods. we’ve done bylaws, we’ve done Ukraine, and it is a shame, about Shane Warne.

Sue  33:42

It’s very sad.

Jimmy  33:43

Yes. Thank you very much, Sue, for chatting with us and thank you for listening. We’ll talk to you all again soon. Bye. Thanks for listening to the Flat Chat Wrap podcast. You’ll find links to the stories and other references on our website flatchat.com.au And if you haven’t already done so, you can subscribe to this podcast completely free on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your favourite pod-catcher. Just search for Flat Chat Wrap with a W, click on subscribe, and you’ll get this podcast every week without even trying. Thanks again. Talk to you again next week.

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