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  • #53827

      I’ve downsized into Strata for the 2nd time in very many years and would like to create a sense of community within my complex of 87 apartments. I’ve tried approaching my Strata Committee (SC) but they are unhelpful. We have a disused website which is managed by one of the current SC members who also seems reticent to pass this over to me.

      What others of you live somewhere with some sense of community between you that hasn’t been created from the beginning as part of the development? What means have been used to bring about more connection between residents (both owners and renters)? I’m thinking opportunities to get together (like drinks in the ‘Clubhouse’ we’re very lucky to have or ???), using Facebook or our Website to sort out problems in the complex, give warning of dangers, offer goods to give away or sell or share, … What ‘roadblocks’ have you had in trying to bring a sense of community about? What methods work and don’t work in trying to create community in our world of frightened independence?


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    • #53832
      Sir Humphrey

        Our set of townhouses was built in the 1970s. Community facilities were intended but not much happened at the start. Over time, things were added. Early on a double clay tennis court then playground equipment. Later a wood BBQ (we have plenty of trees). Much more recently, the BBQ was not being used much and it had only a small picnic table adjacent. We added two much larger picnic tables, paved the surrounding area, added a picnic shelter (so you can plan an event even if the weather is looking dicey). The big hit was including a pizza oven in the picnic shelter – it cooks very quickly and is amenable to handling a larger group and diverse food preferences. People have their own BBQs since gas BBQs got relatively cheap but nobody has a pizza oven. It is easy to tell neighbours you are lighting the oven and they are welcome to join in. The pizza oven and BBQ and picnic shelter are next to our larger playground so kids can be supervised while adults have somewhere to sit and chat. Kids have something to do while dinner is being prepared etc.

        Most recently we converted one of the two tennis courts into a community garden with raised beds. One neighbour commented that he had met more of his neighbours since having a plot in the garden than in decades previously.


          First of all, I would get the email addresses of every other owner and tenant.  Your strata manager will possibly tell you that you aren’t entitled to see them as they are private.  This is not true and the email addresses will filter out people who are not active on the internet.

          Then you ask if anyone is interested in setting up a socially engaed web page for strata owners and tenants.

          You may not need any assistance to do this – it’s incredibly easy – but it’s better to get other people involved from the start.

          When you have enough people volunteering to help you set up a little management group completely separate from the strata committee and off you go.  Set up a website or Facebook page with an access password for residents only but make sure it’s a collective enterprise and not just one person’s “thing”.

          It doesn’t cost much to set up and run a WordPress or Facebook page but make it worth people reading, with reviews of local shops and restaurants (and maybe even discounts and special deals from them).

          Let people comment but moderate their remarks, initially at least, or it will turn into a forum for complaints and allegations, with the potential for claims of defamation.

          And once the Facebook page or website is up and running, you email all the owners and residents gain to invite them to join.

          It really is as easy as that, but don’t let it become a solo project because it will fall over as soon as that person leaves.

          Another option is to set up a Whatsapp group and you can hear the founder of a successful one talk about it on our podcast HERE.

          The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.

            Thanks Jimmy-T and Sir Humphrey.


              We set up a Slack forum, which is structured with a number of Channels (which are like Folders) to help organise the discussions.  We were hoping that this would provide a community library of useful documents and information as well as a social chat forum.  Sadly, Slack introduced a new business model and the free version now only shows items up to three months old.  As time flies (!) information that has been shared disappears quite quickly, and the community information source aspect is basically gone.

              The cost for ongoing viewing of all posts in the Slack forum is more than our Committee wants to consider (several thousand $$ pa).  We looked at a few alternatives, but they were also pricey.  We looked hard at WhatsApp but decided not to go that way either (one big reason is that someone entering the group new cannot see any previously shared documents, so the information library feature doesn’t quite work).

              Now we are looking at storing relatively less private and sensitive documents in Google Drive and sharing that link to all residents and owners. Critical, private and sensitive documents will still be held by the Secretary and our strata manager.


                Have you looked at our sponsors, Stratabox.  They may have what you are looking for with a bit more functionality.

                The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
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