Roundup – even from a distance, cladding plan looks thin


OK, some of these Saigon units are shops ... but some are flats. Look inside to see how it looks at night.

Greetings from Cambodia! OK, the picture above is from the centre of Saigon but we stopped off for a few days on our way to Angkor Wat. Anyway, how would you feel if your landlord whacked advertising on your balcony?

All of which is by way of explaining why the Flat Chat Wrap podcast is a little delayed this week.  There’s only so much a chap can do between flights, phos and fighting off cyclo drivers every time you step out of your hotel.

That said, I’ve managed to keep up with the news as well your questions and answers on the forum.

I see that our Fair Trading Minister has announced that the answer to the flammable cladding problem is a compulsory register of buildings with the high-fire-risk sheets all over them.

Right.  So you discover you have flammable cladding, you list your block on a register and watch your insurance premiums rocket while your owners have to chose between selling at a loss or borrowing money to fix it – because the law says you must.

Tell you what, Mr Kean, what about a rolling register of every builder and developer who has ever put dangerous cladding on a building, with a ban on them ever getting a building approval or government contract until they paid their customers the money needed to fix the problems that their greed caused in the first place?

It’s funny to hear about this new register.  We thought Keano was dead-set against them … or is he just opposed to registers that would HELP apartment residents – like one for holiday rental flats?

Back in the real world, your Forum questions have ranged from the arcane to the insane, via the mundane (but fascinating, all the same).

  • When is a strata owner “unfinancial” meaning they can’t vote or be nominated for election? Is it when they’ve received a levies notice and not paid it?  Or is it when the due date has run out? Opinions differ.  That’s HERE.
  • The owners corp created a problem that cause leaks in an apartment. NCAT ruled that they had to fix it but they just ignored the ruling.  What now?  That’s HERE.
  • How many fire audits a year are necessary? What’s the legal requirement – and is four a year three too many? That’s HERE.
  • How much information is a self-managed strata scheme expected to give a prospective purchaser – and who pays for the paperwork? That’s HERE.
  • My strata levies of $15K a year are killing me … how do I tell if I am paying too much? That’s HERE.

A week from today, Santa will have been (unless you’ve been naughty).  Rather than signalling a slump in Flat Chat readers, we usually get a boost from people who a) have more time on their hands and b) have remembered why their neighbours/committee/strata managers really annoy them.

I will still be in Indochina, but I’ll be keeping an eye on the Forum for more un-Christmassy fun and games. You should too.  Merry Christmas.


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