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Kings Cross residents attack NBN ‘brush off’ as disconnection looms

When Kings Cross resident John Flanagan returned home from two-months working interstate, he was stunned to see a letter from Telstra warning him he would soon be disconnected from the internet. After a long-running struggle with the national broadband network, he had thought the building's high-speed connection to the internet was safe for apartment owners in the prestigious 276-unit Elan building in Kings Cross.    
Sydney Morning Herald
Jennifer Duke

Cladding stand-off: Brisbane AutoHaus held up in debate over fire testing

A dispute over fire-testing between a cladding fabricator and the supplier of the country's market-leading aluminium panel has triggered a stalemate in the construction of the country's largest Mercedes-Benz dealership in Brisbane.
The Australian Financial Review
Michael Bleby

The unexpected costs of living the luxury apartment high life

Shocked luxury apartment buyers are discovering they are liable for thousands of dollars in additional annual maintenance fees on top of steep owners' corporation costs, according to industry specialists.
The Australian Financial Review
Duncan Hughes

Award-winning Landmark building at Charlestown has some problems

THEY call it the Landmark – a $24 million commercial and residential building on a look-at-me location at Charlestown that won a NSW Master Builders Association excellence in construction award in 2009. But nearly 10 years later the Landmark is in trouble as the NSW Government is criticised for doing too little, too late to protect unit owners, while supporting a unit development boom across the state.
Newcastle Herald
Joanne McCarthy

The Conspiracy of Silence

Social planners refer to an intractable issue as a 'wicked problem' - an issue that is difficult or impossible to solve. It is estimated that by 2024 51% of Sydney residents will live in higher density units and townhouses.  The wicked problem is that, at the current rate, most of these buildings will be built with major defects inherent i their design and construction. Exhibit A, your honor, the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.  this beautiful building won three major design Awards for its architects in 2009.  The builder won the prestigious Master Builders "Project of the Year" Award, with the judges saying 'it displays a level of quality which far exceeds accepted industry standards'.  It won the 2009 Concrete Institute of Australia Medal of Excellence Award. A few weeks ago it was announced that the Gallery would be closed for 6 months to fix extensive leaks to the podium and car park.  Such defects affect thousands of units. Will the awards be withdrawn?  Unlikely.  Perhaps a public holding of those accountable to account?  Nothing to see here.  Silence maintained. A wicked problem indeed.  
The Sydney Morning Herald
Ross Taylor

Wynne’s Game of Russian Roulette: Playing With People’s Lives

A recent ruling by the Supreme Court should send shockwaves throughout the Victorian community.
Sourceable
Anne Paten

Wynne’s Game of Russian Roulette: Playing With People’s Lives

A recent ruling by the Supreme Court should send shockwaves throughout the Victorian community.
Sourceable
Anne Paten

What Airbnb Did to New York City

There are two kinds of horror stories about Airbnb. When the home-sharing platform first appeared, the initial cautionary tales tended to emphasize extreme guest (and occasionally host) misbehavior. But as the now decade-old service matured and the number of rental properties proliferated dramatically, a second genre emerged, one that focused on what the service was doing to the larger community: Airbnb was raising rents and taking housing off the rental market. It was supercharging gentrification while discriminating against guestsand hosts of color. And as commercial operators took over, it was transforming from a way to help homeowners occasionally rent out an extra room into a purveyor of creepy, makeshift hotels.
Citylab
ALASTAIR BOONE

City of Sydney now in favour of apartment buildings making their own decision on allowing Airbnb

The City of Sydney has changed its original stance on Airbnb and is now in favour of owners having the final say on whether short-term lets should be allowed in their apartment buildings.
Domain
Sue Williams

Australian researchers to investigate Airbnb’s effect on housing affordability

Airbnb has raised the hackles of strata owners who say the platform has filled their buildings with unfamiliar faces and parties. It has also been named a key component of anti-tourist sentiment sweeping across Europe. But whether it has had an effect on housing affordability is still an ongoing debate. Now new research being conducted by the University of NSW and Swinburne University is hoping to better clarify the relationship between short-term letting and housing affordability.
The Fifth Estate
Cameron Jewell

How Canberra developer Ivan Bulum allegedly left apartment owners with a $20 million bill

It's any investor's nightmare: A life's worth of savings locked up in an apartment you just cannot sell. But after six years of negotiation and legal drama, that is exactly the problem faced by David Allen, who bought into Canberra's Elara Apartments in 2012.
ABC News
James Fettes

NSW Defect Bond Scheme is Beset with Problems

Many agree that the concept of developer bonds is sound. Certainly, it is better than the previous situation which afforded apartment owners little if any protection. Nonetheless, concerns about the scheme are growing. Banjo Stanton, Principal of Stanton Lawyers says “One cannot reasonably expert that a builder, who did defective work in the first place and is not a specialist remedial builder, or an independent consultant with extensive defect consulting experience, is able to identify and execute proper repairs without the guidance of a scope of works from a suitably qualified independent inspector,”.
Sourceable
Andrew Heaton

Airbnb in Australia: Entire homes, commercial listings 'surge' amid growing concerns

Airbnb has always maintained it's about mums and dads renting out space in their homes for a modest profit.
ABC News
Sarah Farnsworth

Homes are Hotels

New York-based activist Murray Cox has investigated the Airbnb industry worldwide through his online platform Inside Airbnb. He is concerned that people are being displaced from housing due to the high number of entire homes listed on the website.
Mosman Daily
Andrea McCullagh

Strata stakeholders in turmoil over cladding crisis

Strata owners corporations are facing insurance premium rises of 300 per cent in response to the flammable cladding crisis, while one Sydney owner we spoke to is facing serious financial hardship from replacement costs. There’s an urgent need for accountability but little action.
The Fifth Estate
Willow Aliento