Roundup: Seven tricky questions for the strata experts


OK, we’ve only a few days to go until Strata Matters (aka Flat Chat Live) the OCN owners day so I thought I’d give you a taste of the questions that I will be asking our strata experts on Saturday (March 10).

It won’t be just these questions, of course – this will just be the opening salvo of what should be an interesting morning and afternoon.

And, yes, you’ll get a chance to ask some questions too, from the floor.

And you’ll get a chance to answer questions too – in our great strata quiz. The prize will be a signed copy of my new novel Perfect Criminals PLUS a copy of my other new book, John Cann, the Last Snake Man, for one winner (but just Perfect Criminals for the runners up … booo!)

You can still book seats at the seminar but they are going fast, so don’t hang around and go HERE to get yours.

To avoid confusion, Roundup’s usual tales of woe from the Flat Chat Forum are at the end of this post so, if you’ve already got your ticket to Saturday’s event, scroll on down there and see what’s driving everyone else in Strataland nuts.

Meanwhile, here’s a taste of the initial questions I’ll be asking on Saturday.


NSW Fair Trading

Mediation is an obligatory first step before taking most disputes to NCAT.  But does it have any value other than as a speed-bump?  And if so what?


Strata living is often confronting and complex and responses occasionally have to be nuanced. Do members tend to take a black letter approach to strata law or will they try to do what’s right rather than what’s correct?


The academic

Is Airbnb really such a big problem?  If so, how do we prevent Sydney’s tourist areas suffering renter-cleansing like has occurred in New York and Barcelona?

The campaigner

With all the conflicting advice about whether or not by-laws are valid, should we just wait for the new legislation? In the meantime how do we keep short-term holiday letting out so that it doesn’t become the norm?


The insurance company

Insurers are, fundamentally, calculators of risk – are we not in danger of allowing perfect to defeat good by looking at a worst-case scenario with flammable cladding, rather than likely possibilities.

The insurance broker

A newspaper story recently said apartment owners were now more afraid of insurance premiums than they were of fires in their apartments.  Is there some opportunism occurring in the insurance market?

The building engineer

With a two-year window for non-major defects and six years for major defects in new buildings, at what point should owners faced with a recalcitrant or potentially “phoenixing” developer just give up?


Here’s a selection of the best of the worst of your questions and answers on the Flat Chat Forum.

  • A neighbour wants permission for one of the top three dangerous dogs in Australia – and it’s already moved in. Click HERE.
  • Chair ruled by-law banning Airbnb invalid because of Fair Trading ruling. Guess who’s now letting her flat on Airbnb. Click HERE.
  • NCAT member wouldn’t listen to all our complaints over nightmare in two-lot strata. Click HERE.
  • Who pays for repairs to damage from leaky plumbing in the other unit in a duplex? Click HERE.
  • Owners corp passed a by-law allowing minor work – now they say I need a separate by-law for the awning for which they’ve already given permission. Click HERE.

There will be more post on the Forum by the time you read this – Check it out HERE.

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