News | Owners Corporation Network

News

It's easier being green

03 Jul 2010
The supply of eco-friendly developments is blooming, writes Jane Burton Taylor. The demand for green apartments is growing and looks set to rocket. Government initiatives are fuelling the trend but so too are people who have already experienced living in sustainable houses.

Off-plan contract changes help buyer

01 Jul 2010
People who buy properties off the plan will have greater protection from developers who wish to make last-minute changes to homes such as switching the light fittings or reducing precious floor space. Property lawyers say new legislation about unfair contract terms could leave some developers exposed to contract terminations if they neglect to review their purchase agreements.
Sydney Morning Herald
Melissa Singer

Investor tips for units

29 Jun 2010
Many people invest in apartments because they often have a cheaper buy-in price than houses and are also thought to be a lot easier to maintain without gardens to worry about, and with the costs of building maintenance shared across other owners. But what makes a good investment unit?

Forward thinking

19 Jun 2010
Interest in off-the-plan apartments is expected to heat up thanks to a state government sweetener that could sway more investors into new developments. The government has handed buyers of apartments and houses a potential saving of $22,490 by cutting stamp duty for off-the-plan properties costing less than $600,000.

Little safety in balcony numbers

19 Jun 2010
After a wooden balcony packed with young people gave way during a party at a house in Lane Cove last week, building advisory service Archicentre said 6 per cent of Australian homes have a timber balcony or deck and about 8000 of them are unsafe. The problem in strata is that a building may have 100 balconies and, although they are much less likely to be wooden, do we know they are solid enough to withstand the numbers that, for instance, crowd on to them to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks?
Domain
Jimmy Thomson

Make sure your balcony is safe

15 Jun 2010
People buying properties with large decks, or high balconies, especially in coastal areas, should request a copy of the building permit for the structure and an independent current assessment of its safety by a registered inspector from a reputable organisation. There is a need for people to continually inspect their decks and balconies for rotting timbers and rusty corroding steel fittings which could lead to life threatening balcony collapses.

Snap review of city planning

11 Jun 2010
DEVELOPERS have welcomed a snap review of the City of Sydney's planning powers as an opportunity for more high-density development in the city council area. Yesterday the Planning Minister, Tony Kelly, announced a review of the ''role, functions and operations'' of the Central Sydney Planning Committee, a body which for 22 years has assessed most big developments in the City of Sydney.
Sydney Morning Herald
KELSEY MUNRO

Historic residential tenancies law passes NSW Parliament

10 Jun 2010
New laws for residential tenancies unanimously agreed by the NSW Parliament today will deliver important protections for tenants and property investors, Fair Trading Minister Virginia Judge said.

Demolish my apartment building?

05 Jun 2010
The question of what to do about old, crumbling apartment blocks standing where new, larger and more efficient apartment blocks might be built is an increasingly urgent issue. Demand on inner-city living space is increasing and small blocks well past their use-by dates are very much in the sights of developers. But you need a 100 per cent vote of all owners before a strata title can be “extinguished” and something bigger and better can be erected in its place.
Domain
Jimmy Thomson

Apartment blocks the missing link in sustainability

03 Jun 2010
Favourites – 3 June 2010 High rise apartment blocks, it turns out, are the biggest energy guzzlers in the residential market. But they are falling through the cracks when it comes to energy and water efficiency incentive schemes. It is something that local councils are acutely aware of while state and federal government appear to be turning a blind eye. According to a NSW Energy Australia study, a highrise apartment uses 30 per cent more power than a typical detached house. Much of this is in the common areas such as foyers and car parks where lights are often inefficient and are left on night and day.
The Fifth Estate
Lynne Blundell

My Green Apartment - North Sydney Council

25 May 2010
How green is your block? Does it need a 'green makeover'? Nominations are sought for the 'My Green Apartment' project aimed at residents of apartment blocks within the North Sydney LGA. One apartment block will be selected to undergo a 'green makeover' recieving: *FREE energy, waste & water assessments *FREE installation of inhome displays to monitor energy use *FREE workshops on sustainable living issues of your choice *up to $10,000 in dollar for dollar funding for sustainable technologies in common area.

Pets, kids, noisy neighbours

22 May 2010
There’s no avoiding it: apartment living is the way of the future. And while most people who live in apartments love them, house-dwellers seem only to hear the downsides of living up in the air. So what are the 10 most irritating things about living in apartments – and how do flat-lovers overcome them?
Domain
Jimmy Thompson

What to do with rising damp

22 May 2010
Rising damp is one of those phrases every home owner dreads. What do you do about it in strata units?

Strata is popular but neglected in green initiatives

19 May 2010
In 1961, Australia became the first country in the world to introduce strata title as a form of property ownership when, under the Conveyancing (Strata Titles) Act, Strata Plan 1 was applied to a property in Enfield, an inner western suburb of Sydney. Similar legislation was subsequently enacted in other states but, in typical federalist fashion, strata law varies in each jurisdiction. Today in the Sydney local government area 60 per cent of current residents live in 54,000 high density strata title buildings and 80 per cent of those buildings are expected to be standing in 2050. Across the country, increases in population, especially in our major urban centres, will result in a growth in strata title dwellings. across the country. Planning for an environmentally sustainable future requires recognition of the special challenges posed by strata titled dwellings.
The Fifth Estate
Boris Kelly

More space? Lose a bedroom

15 May 2010
It’s the perfect apartment in an ideal location but there are too many bedrooms and too little living space. Or it has two bedrooms and you wanted three. Or you’d really like to sacrifice part of that lounge area for a study …Once upon a time, we made do with the apartment we bought and made the best of the space it had to offer. These days we’re taking both a long, hard look at the interior and then the plunge into changing the number of rooms and reconfiguring the layout for a far better personal fit.
Domain
SUSAN WELLINGS