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Strata law will make developers' lives easier

15 Mar 2010
Sydney is about to have an emotional legislative debate about property rights. This is because ageing strata developments are deemed by the development industry to be decaying time bombs. Strata title law has no easy mechanism to allow for their redevelopment, and developers have expressed their frustrations since the days of the former NSW premier Bob Carr.
Sydney Morning Herald
Jonathan Chancellor

Opposition slams 'objectionable' land acquisition plan

12 Mar 2010
The New South Wales Government is looking to create a new development authority to streamline planning processes for development along public transport corridors. The authority would have the power to compulsorily acquire land and on-sell to private developers.
ABC News

Apartment owners at risk of underinsurance

11 Mar 2010
Apartment owners in NSW are being reminded to check that their building insurance covers the total cost of rebuilding should a disaster occur. The Institute of Strata Title Management (ISTM) and CHU, Australia?s leading strata insurance company, warned that most policy holders won?t find out they are underinsured until it?s too late.

Landlord wins test case for lost rent of leaky unit

06 Mar 2010
The New South Wales Government is looking to create a new development authority to streamline planning processes for development along public transport corridors. The authority would have the power to compulsorily acquire land and on-sell to private developers.
The Australian
Bridget Carter

Metropolitan Development Authority Critical to Sydney’s Future: Developers

22 Feb 2010
In a media release today, the Urban Development Institute of Australia says “Sydney is facing some fundamental challenges in the near future with regard to population growth, housing, and transport. Challenges like strata reform will require strong leadership from both sides of parliament and a need to look beyond the short term election cycle."

Feuding high-rise neighbours fight with nappies, chairs

24 Jan 2010
Latest State Government figures show requests to the Department of Fair Trading for urgent mediation have increased by 10 per cent. Last year, there were 1405 calls for departmental intervention, compared with 1273 in 2008.Complaints ranged from the run-of-the mill to the bizarre.
The Daily Telegraph
Linda Silmalis

Strata title renewal essential for Sydney’s growth

23 Jan 2010
A lower threshold for renewing strata schemes is needed to lift the supply of new housing and office space needed for Sydney’s future growth, according to the Property Council of Australia. In a new paper released today, the Property Council has unveiled a Strata Title Renewal Plan Process to facilitate greater turnover of strata schemes in NSW. “Strata title is a popular form of property ownership – and close to a quarter of everyone in NSW owns, lives or works in a strata titled building,” NSW Acting Executive Director Glenn Byres said today. “Its common use places strata title renewal at the heart of Sydney’s inevitable future growth but we risk being caught in a strata title straightjacket. “Approval is needed from effectively 100 percent of owners to dissolve a strata scheme, making it virtually impossible to achieve change and renewal. “We need a simpler and fairer system that will allow ageing buildings to be replaced with new housing and office stock that meets the demands of our growing population. “The centrepiece of any reform needs to be movement on the threshold for terminating strata schemes. “Instead of just one person stalling sensible transformation, the threshold needs to be changed so that renewal can proceed if no more than 25 percent disagree.

Children fly screen warning

23 Oct 2009
Health authorities have warned parents to keep furniture away from windows after the second Sydney child this week fell through a closed fly screen. Ayden del Pozo, 6, is recovering in hospital after falling four metres onto a concrete driveway at his family's house in Prospect Place, Como, about 6.20pm yesterday.
Sydney Morning Herald
Georgina Robinson

Boy, 3, dies after fall from window

19 Oct 2009
A THREE-YEAR-OLD boy died after falling from the window of a third-floor flat in southern Sydney yesterday, in what police believe was an accident during a bedroom play session.

Beware the running costs

11 Jul 2009
Many buyers are looking for low strata levies rather than luxuries such as pools and gyms. It was once all about lifestyle: the best-equipped gym; the biggest, warmest pool; and the smartest, most obliging concierge. But with the economic downturn biting, apartment-buyers are today more aware of running costs than they've ever been and the need to factor those into often already-strained budgets.
Sydney Morning Herald
SUSAN WELLINGS

Gas Explosion Destroys Penthouses and Injures Two Workmen

The extraordinary response of staff to a gas explosion in a high-rise apartment building is a testament to the culture of a small strata management firm.

Bye-bye to bylaws

10 Apr 2009
What happens when complaints get trampled underfoot. When is a bylaw not a bylaw? When the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal decides it doesn't really matter, that's when. Evidence for this is contained in the CTTT's own annual report, where it proudly tells the story of a couple who bought an apartment then discovered one of their children had a carpet-induced allergy for which the only cure was to polish their floorboards.

Push to clamp illegal parkers

27 Feb 2009
RESIDENTS in flats and other strata buildings are demanding the State Government reintroduce clamping and towing of illegally parked cars to stop protracted legal and sometimes physical disputes they say are turning apartment car parks into battle grounds. Parking is the "biggest headache in strata living", the chairman of the Owners Corporation Network and strata lawyer, Stephen Goddard, wrote in a letter to the Minister for Fair Trading, Virginia Judge, this month, seeking to lift a ban on car clamping introduced a decade ago.
Sydney Morning Herald
Jimmy Thomson

Nude gardener splits body corporate

22 Feb 2009
Other disputes involve an owner breeding trout in an indoor pool and a man who was ordered to urinate on the side of a toilet bowl. Residents living in the unit below claimed they were being kept awake by the man making frequent visits to the bathroom.
The Daily Telegraph
Linda Silmalis

Rise of high-density living a new low for Sydney

14 Jan 2009
We are blessed with a sunny climate and enough space to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle that is the envy of many. But single-house communities are becoming a threatened species. Attractive suburbs with flowers and foliage are being overrun by concrete and bitumen. Bewildered long-time residents find themselves in the shadows of unit blocks. High density is a central feature of plans being developed for the land around stations on the future metro lines, but the supporting authorities are unable to prove that high density is better for society or the environment. There is evidence that it makes things worse, not better, in at least six ways
Sydney Morning Herald
Tony Recsei