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Houses crowded out in unit boom

24 Oct 2010
The house pictured here is the sole survivor in a Darling Point street consumed by apartments. The property, at 52 Mona Rd, is the last reminder of a time when homes in the street had sheds, rose gardens and Hills Hoists in the backyard.
Daily Telegraph
Vikki Campion

Calls for certifiers to get house in order

23 Oct 2010
QUESTIONS are being asked about problems with the system of private certification for new homes and apartments, with a private certifier under investigation for having allegedly signed off on a house in a luxury development that needed at least $118,000 worth of work to bring it up to the legal standard. Independent consultants have warned they are seeing increasing amounts of substandard construction approved by private certifiers hired by developers of multi-dwelling buildings.
Domain
KELSEY MUNRO

New city apartments to have balconies under Sydney Council's draft development control plan

20 Oct 2010
All new city apartments will have a balcony under Sydney Council’s draft development control plan, one of hundreds of regulations that appeal to residents but which developers have claimed could curb affordable housing supply and result in unattractive, uniform buildings.

VicUrban looks for a modular solution to housing issues

04 Oct 2010
COMING to a suburb near you - lots more apartments - straight out of the factory. New apartments are literally rolling off the production line at a Brooklyn factory as part of the state government's plans to house an additional 1800 Melbourne residents a week.
The Age
Jason Dowling

Car-free zone: no parking at units

04 Oct 2010
A Sydney developer has applied to build a block of 27 apartments with no parking for residents or visitors in a move he predicts will become increasingly common as the city's population expands. Oakstand Property Group has lodged a development application with Woollahra Council to build the studio apartments at Double Bay in Sydney's east because it believes increasing numbers of buyers think a car is not essential in suburbs near the city.
Sydney Morning Herald
Matthew Moore

Your knickers can save the planet

23 Sep 2010
It was a brilliant spring morning, a warm sun bathing the back balcony under one of those Bondi-blue skies streaked with the faintest filaments of cirrus cloud. I was pegging my partner’s knickers on the washing line, wondering what the hell I could write to meet that relentless weekend deadline. Then it hit me. My neighbours, bless their hearts, could SEE these knickers. It’s just one of those things. All my life, my neighbours had been able to see my knickers on the washing line, and I theirs.
AltMedia
Michael Gormly

Unit balcony battle

21 Sep 2010
THE lush ‘‘oasis’’ which looks like it is overtaking the balcony of a unit block is a familiar sight to anyone who drives along the Kingsway at Cronulla. But while some might marvel at the garden that has been created, the owners’ corporation is locked in a long-running battle with the unit dweller.

Keeping up appearances

18 Sep 2010
Thinking of selling your apartment? Whether you’re planning to put it on the market this spring or next, now is the time to decide how to maximise its value. For those considering selling now, there’s all the de-cluttering, painting, quick renovations and spring cleaning to do.
Domain
SUSAN WELLINGS

The "slumming" down of Strathfield

08 Sep 2010
Apartment residents who hang washing on the balcony will add to the “slumming down” of the area, according to Strathfield Council. The council had written to the Fair Trading Department over concerns about the new by-law allowing washing to be hung in apartment blocks.

'Off The Plan Apartments' Confuse Many Buyers

06 Sep 2010
With the current apartment boom and the trend to buy 'off the plan' many buyers may find the view they saw on the brochure may be vastly different to what they end up with after having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, Archicentre, the building advisory service of the Australian Institute of Architects said today.

High-density without high stress

21 Aug 2010
IT MIGHT be the sound of the giant plasma television your neighbour has installed on a common wall or the red Toyota that steals your carspace. Perhaps it's the clatter of high heels on the hardwood floor above. They are all little irritants that can, over time, make high-density living unbearable. Yet closer living is Sydney's future, and today's trivial disputes could be tomorrow's widespread social problem, new research warns. ''The government is focusing on urban consolidation but if that's going to be successful then quality of life and residential satisfaction in high-density properties needs to be taken seriously. It's a huge issue - it's about the future of Sydney,'' said the study's lead author, Hazel Easthope.
Sydney Morning Herald

7 deadly sins of apartment living

21 Aug 2010
The printed verison of the Sydney Morning Herald article High-density iving without high stress on 21st August 2010, also listed the perceived 7 deadly sins of apartment living: TVs bolted to non-soundproofed wall High heels on bare wooden floors Cooking smells on curry night in poorly ventilated blocks Clothes drying on the balcony Stealing someone else's carspace Not knowing your neighbours names Cigarette smoke drifting onto next door's balcony

The great strata hurdle

31 Jul 2010
Older-style commercial and residential buildings are being overlooked as development sites because of outdated strata laws, according to Colliers investment sales executive Tim Fox. ''The main reason we aren't seeing buildings recycled or consolidated is due to current laws, which prohibit compulsory acquisition of commercial strata,'' Fox says. ''Under current legislation, if you own 99 out of 100 strata units in a development, but don't own the last one, you can't do anything with that site.''
Sydney Morning Herald
Keeli Cambourne

Change in wind as balconies air dirty laundry

17 Jul 2010
Apartment balconies could become ”Hills Hoists on high” if the state government proceeds with environment-friendly strata regulations to allow residents to hang their washing outside. The Department of Fair Trading has proposed a change to strata by-laws which prohibit washing from being hung on anything except designated clotheslines without the permission of the owners’ corporation – a measure many believe has contributed to high use of greenhouse gas-producing clothes dryers.
Domain
Josephine Tovey and Jonathan Chancellor

Safety fears for apartment dwellers

16 Jul 2010
RESIDENTS of a Brighton-Le-Sands apartment block claim they are being refused access to information concerning fire safety and insurance for their building. Residents of the Oceanview Apartments, above Coles, Brighton-Le-Sands, are struggling to find out whether their building is fireproof.

What Members Say

"The whole strata community owes a huge debt of gratitude to you and the OCN executive. Much appreciated."

Robert, Darlinghurst

"I am very pleased with my membership of OCN, the discussions through sharing emails is very valuable in increasing my knowledge of strata living, the laws and EC responsibilities. I think I am better armed to tread the minefield of the managing agent responsibilities and the necessary action of the EC to monitor the contradictory interests of the agent."

Jim, Wollstonecraft

"I so appreciate being part of the OCN email forum. It provides a great opportunity for sharing ideas and learning"

Ingrid, Neutral Bay

"I must say that I have enjoyed and found consolation in the discussions that have been part of the email chain (forum). I did attend one general meeting and found that it was informative and the people "running the show" were knowledgeable and dedicated to the tasks that had taken on. In short, well done. You and the committee have and continue to support the Strata Community in a very professional manner."

Greg, Parramatta

"Nothing is easy in Strata World and we have been in building defects “mode” for some years – hopefully almost at an end but that process has been most demanding and difficult but again – greatly helped by the experience and wise counsel of other members of OCN."

Pat, St Leonards

"Keep up the good work, as many (if not most) strata schemes need your help, advice and representation at all levels of government."

Jann and John, St Ives

"I belong to OCN because of its professionalism.  I have found the meetings I have been to extremely well presented, to the point, and of course very topical and informative. Speakers on the whole certainly know their topic.  My role of Secretary last year was certainly assisted with the coverage regarding TPG & other subjects. Member newsletters are also of benefit as the topics are specific to strata matters."

Graham, East Balmain

I have enjoyed attending the quarterly OCN meetings and the exchange of emails between other Executive Committee Members and think OCN is playing an increasingly important role as a voice for strata dwellers and representing us at Government level. I wish the organisation continuing success in the future."

Pauline, Kings Cross

"The [forum] response to my question was amazing and really useful.  The OCN community is wonderful so thanks."

Jenny, Killara

"I would like to thank you all for the important effort that you are all putting in to look after apartment owners and tenants. It is so valuable and you are heroes. I would not have been able to deal with my duties as a strata chairman without your advice and assistance." 

Angela, Mascot

"The OCN is invaluable – many thanks."

Bill, Surry Hills

"OCN is proving invaluable"

Sue, Neutral Bay

"Thanks to all at OCN for your continuing efforts to keep us up to date with current strata information and advice...it has been very helpful to us"

Kate, Coogee

"When my wife & I first encountered a problematic Executive Committee I heard that OCN was a great help (from a Strata manager whom I knew) so we both joined and have gratefully used the on-line information sources. We continued to happily rely on OCN’s assistance when we progressed to Committee status & later as Chair & Secretary of our Committee. I still use OCN in my current role as Treasurer."

Peter, Chiswick

"Thanks to OCN for being such a rich resource of trustworthy information about strata matters."

Peter, Chiswick

"I wanted to extend my personal thanks for the very informative & interesting event today. The OCN team did an outstanding job in the organisation of this event & I enjoyed it thoroughly. The quality of speakers, the flow of conversation & interaction from the attendees - first class …& of course, the amazing Jimmy T - always a delight."

Sue, Epping

"OCN does a great job in providing a really valuable service to Strata owners."

Lois, Wollongong

"I am sure my appreciation of your good works is echoed by many in the Stratasphere. Keep up the good work."

John, Elizabeth Bay

"Once again, being able to discuss such things through this forum, helps clear the mind, puts things into perspective and helps one to understand their rights and to form a strategy if needs be. As a simple EC member trying to do what is in the best interests of lot owners, I truly value OCN and am grateful."

Pamela, Point Lookout

"The OCN is probably one of the best, most informed and most informative groups I have been involved with."

Alan, Maryville