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News

Swimming Pool & Spa Certification Required from 29 April 2014

From 29 April 2014 all strata properties that have a pool or spa, that are sold or leased, must be registered and have a valid Compliance Certificate. This includes any property with a pool or spa that is on the market for sale as at 29 April 2014. With over 300,000 backyard swimming pools in NSW, swimming pool safety is a vital issue that affects the whole community. Supervising young children in and around swimming pools and developing water confidence through water familiarisation programs can save lives. Effective pool barriers also help keep young children safe.

NSW Delays Strata Bill After Backlash

Stephen Goddard, chair of the Owners Corporation Network, said the changes were too big to be rushed as one in four Australians would be living in a strata-titled unit in the future.

Sydneysiders Aim High as Unit Sales Soar, Signalling the Shift from Houses to Apartment Living

Vertical living is not just the stuff of comic books with Sydney now staring down a high density future where life in the clouds is a reality. The dream of a home of a quarter-acre plot is being radically reshaped by an urbanised population seeking a central location, close to transport, shops and cafes and the buzz of city life.
The Daily Telegraph
Raylene Bliss

Changes to NSW Strata Laws Delayed After Stakeholders Demand More Time

NSW Fair Trading released a position paper on strata title law reform in November 2013. A final bill was expected to be introduced to Parliament in early 2014 but that has been extended until August following a recent meeting between NSW Minister for Fair Trading Stuart Ayres and key stakeholders. “There was concern among the stakeholders that the most significant social reforms in strata since 1961 could be placed in jeopardy by legislation that was prepared as part of an unrealistic timeframe,” Owners Corporation Network chair Stephen Goddard told Property Observer.
Property Observer
Zoe Fielding

Building a Housing Industry From the Relics of a Car Industry

Unless you have been living under a rock, you couldn’t help but hear the dying wail of manufacturing here in Australia. Car manufacturing and food manufacturing being the most recent victims. There’s no shortage of potential contributors: the high Australian dollar, the natural resources sector, the unions, cheap foreign imports, etc. Although it would seem that these types of manufacturing are bowing out from the Australian economy, there could be a good news story for manufacturing in the wings: the prefabricated building sector.
The Conversation
Jemma Green and Peter Newman

Danger Lurks in High-Rises

The recent fire that engulfed Grenfell Tower in London killing an estimated 79 people has raised the question — how safe are our high-rises? A reality check revealed that fire audit and fire safety compliance in the city’s high-rises have been moving at a snail’s pace.
Hindu Article
Staff Reporter

Home Warranties on Fire Safety & Waterproofing Spring a Leak

WARRANTIES for fire safety and waterproofing defects in thousands of new homes could be slashed from six years to two. Proposed new home building laws divide structural problems into “major defects” and “major elements” with fire and waterproofing subject to less warranty protection. The controversial changes in the Home Building Amendment Bill 2014 provide only two years under the warranty period to rectify fire safety or waterproofing faults in new buildings across NSW.
News
Bruce Mcdougall

Smart Blocks Update

In 2013, research showed that apartment owners, executive committees and building managers were actively searching for ways to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.  The Smart Blocks website, collateral and events were designed to assist, and a year later there are over 300 registered projects improving lighting, heating and cooling and pool management.   In 2013, research showed that apartment owners, executive committees and building managers were actively searching for ways to improve the energy efficiency of their apartment buildings.  The main blocker to introducing energy efficiency measures continues to be gaining commitment from the owners’ corporation and prioritising energy efficiency when there are many competing priorities.  This information served as a great base to build the Smart Blocks website, collateral and events. Smart Blocks has been designed and developed with the assistance of apartment owners, strata managers and facilities managers as part of the Sustainable Strata project. In 12 months Smart Blocks has travelled around the country and talked to hundreds of people who all agree that improving the energy efficiency of apartments is important and essential.  On top of that, there are over 300 registered Smart Blocks projects all working away at improving the lighting, heating, and cooling and pool management.  For more information contact: Tania Crosbie - Director – Sustainability at Work P:  0412 149624            E: tania@sustainabilityatwork.com.au More Information About Smart Blocks Smart Blocks is delivered in partnership between Strata Community Australia, City of Sydney, City of Melbourne, Green Strata and Owners Corporation Network of Australia. The program receives funding from the Department of Industry as part of the Energy Efficiency Information Grants Program.  For more information go to www.smartblocks.com.au Sarah Johnson - National Smart Blocks Coordinator P: 0439 640 306            E: sarah@smartblocks.com.au

New Condition Report for Residential Tenancies

The Entry condition report records the condition of the property, and any inclusions (e.g. furniture), at the start of the tenancy. Filling out this report properly will avoid future problems, especially with the bond refund process.
Residential Tenancies Authorities

Apartments: Packed to the Rafters in Problems

It’s a problem that starts with notes on lamp posts or online offering cheap rooms in ”luxury” inner-city apartments. It ends with young people living in conditions we would be reluctant to impose on the chickens that lay our eggs. Overcrowding in Sydney’s apartment blocks was brought into sharp focus this week with the Regis Towers swipe key stoush – where some tenants were locked out of their apartments for alleged breaches of the building’s security bylaws
Domain
Jimmy Thomson

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

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

Alan, Maryville

"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