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YSP Podcast Episode 174: The unique role of the commissioner’s office – with Chris Irons

This week, I’m joined by Chris Irons: Queensland’s Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management. In a wide-ranging discussion, we cover: the unique nature of his rolewhy his office is partnering with the likes of QLD police to deliver the right messages to residentscreative responses to the increased demand for good informationlegislative reform in QLD…

YSP Podcast Episode 173: Beware the motion to discuss “general business”

This week, Reena raises an interesting provision in our NSW legislation which apparently means a chairperson need not be financial in order to chair a meeting, but a substitute chairperson must be financial. I provide some important guidance around motions to consider ‘general business’ and we celebrate an unusually amicable parting of ways between a…

YSP Podcast Episode 169: Restricted matters at AGM | when does chair vacate | rooftop purchase

This week, Reena and I cover:  how to explain the “restricted matters” statutory motion to a disbelieving ownerwhen, precisely, the strata committee members vacate their positions at the AGMthe by-law template that just didn’t cut it, andthe clever owner purchasing the common property rooftop  Plus, here’s the link to the free City of Sydney Council event I…

YSP Podcast Episode 164. Improving communication between residents with Stratabox

This week I’m joined by Paul Chevrot, the co-founder of Stratabox: the online platform enabling committee members (in particular) to more effectively manage communications within a scheme. Paul explains how his technology is empowering both owners and residents who want to engage more deeply in their community, and why that’s important.

YSP Podcast Episode 163: Can’t get access to install window locks?

This week, Reena and I cover off: what to do about lots that have not yet installed compliant window safety devices: is it necessary to apply to the Tribunal for an order? is the secretary allowed access to the strata roll, free of charge? when giving a little can get you a lot, plus listen…

YSP Podcast Episode 161. When is it ok to delay repairs and maintenance?

This week, Reena and I discuss: – how a building in the middle of a defects claim against the original builder should deal with claims from lot owners who are losing rent – whether you can change the ‘financial year’ of a building – what happens when Tribunal applicants get their forms wrong.

YSP Podcast Episode 159. What does strata building insurance cover?

This week, Reena and I enjoy a wide-ranging discussion covering these essential topics: – a lot owner instructs a strata manager to apply their payment to levies only and not to interest or expenses. Does that instruction have to be followed? – what does strata building insurance cover and how do you know you’re covered…

YSP Podcast Episode 156. How strata managers can meet client expectations

I’m chatting with Reena Van Aalst about: – the personal liability of strata committee members who make decisions over email – when owners can be held responsible for their tenant’s by-law breach – the successful recovery of costs under a by-law – how strata managers can better manage client expectations – especially the unreasonable ones!

YSP Podcast Episode 155. The gamechanger that is Soho App

This week, I’m chatting to Trent Muffett: Head of Property at Soho Property Network. Soho is a social network for real estate. Dubbed the “LinkedIn for Property”, it is building the single largest network of buyers, renters, agents, real estate content and property listings in the world. Trent and I discuss how this exciting new…

YSP Podcast Episode 152. Practical waste management tips – plus a special opportunity

This week, I’m chatting to Beth Kasumovic – the Sustainable Waste Coordinator at Waverley Council in Sydney’s east. Beth shares her very actionable tips for improving waste management within our strata communities. Listen out for an announcement about a very special event which the Council and I are involved in on 20 March (which could…

YSP Podcast Episode 151. Is a secret ballot really secret?

This week, Reena shares a challenge about election ballot papers: does the law require owners corporations to disclose ballot papers, even if the owners who completed them thought that their vote would be kept a secret? We also discuss a surprising aspect of the mediation process, and re-cap one of our favourite topics: the role…

YSP Podcast Episode 149. Why strata committees should be meeting regularly

This week, Reena and I touch on the issue of insurance commissions once more. We also discuss the fact that some buildings never seem to have committee meetings, and why that’s a problem. Finally, if you ever lose an original certificate of title, this episode explains how to get a replacement!

YSP Podcast Episode 148. How one building successfully lifted a pet ban

This week, I’m joined by Tony Scott, who is a committee member in a small Sydney strata scheme. Tony shares the step by step process taken by his building to replace a blanket ban on pets with a more reasonable by-law, permitting pets with the approval of the strata committee. Tony has some excellent, practical tips to win over even the most “pet-unfriendly” owners. Vital listening for anyone questioning the legitimacy of their own building’s pet-ban.

YSP Podcast Episode 147. Making lot owners responsible for common property in small schemes

This week, Reena and I discuss how the owners in a very small scheme (eg: two lots) may live “together but separately”, by taking on personal responsibility for the common property adjacent to their lot. We also explore the types of situations which may give rise to a strata lawyer having a conflict of interest, and I ask Reena whether strata managers can be appointed for a term that is “until the next AGM”.

YSP Podcast Episode 146. How to get the most out of your 2019 in strata, with Ash Roy

After an unexpected hiatus, this week’s podcast episode has been released (and the tech gremlins finally conquered). I’m chatting to productivity expert Ash Roy, who shares his tips to ensure 2019 is your best year yet. From implementing systems to practising mindfulness, there is indeed a way to do less and achieve more. I have personally benefited from Ash’s guidance over the past few years and recommend this episode to busy strata managers and overwhelmed committee members in particular.

YSP Podcast Episode 143 When are records privileged? Plus, a flooring case

This week, Reena identifies a trap for inexperienced players when it comes to company nominees, including corporate lot owners appointing proxy holders. We answer a listener question: ‘how do I identify privileged documents in strata books and records?’ Reena shares a win in relation to a common property rights by-law and I cover off an important case impacting the installation of hard flooring. A jam packed episode for the end of the year.

YSP Podcast Episode 139. How to fund upgrades that only benefit some owners

This week, Reena and I consider a creative way for buildings to manage upgrade works – especially where the upgrade will benefit one group of owners but not others. How can costs be fairly shared? We answer a listener question about fire doors and celebrate the building that wants to donate to charity.

YSP Podcast Episode 138. The shocking truth about broker commissions and fees

This week, Heather Lander of Strata Advise not only explains the role of the strata insurance broker, but lifts the lid on broker commissions and fees. You’ll be shocked to hear what brokers don’t have to disclose to their clients. Heather arms us with some excellent questions to ask your broker when renewal time comes around.

Facebook Live short videos

Naughty boys running amok in your apartment building?

A reminder of the power of model by-law no. 6! As I say in this vid, use this one for the ‘naughty boys’. Girls too of course, should you have any 😉 For new schemes, or schemes that have adopted the new schedule 3 model by-laws from the 2016 Regulation, it’s model by-law no. 7…

Why I recommend by-laws dealing with renovation works

Our strata legislation in NSW is a little complex when it comes to different types of renovation works and the different approval thresholds for each. I recommend each building adopts a by-law which clearly sets out which type of work requires which level of approval (if any). This way, owners are not left wondering and…

The secret of the ONE THING (FB Live)

Do you know what THE ONE THING is yet? There is one thing that will dramatically improve your experience of apartment living, and I’m sharing it with you now… Find out more here:

A strata commissioner for NSW? (FB Live)

A strata commissioner for NSW? The NSW Labor party has promised to install a “strata commissioner” if elected on 23 March. What is a ‘strata commissioner’ and do we need one?

Got a troublemaker in your apartment building? (FB Live)

Join me on Wednesday 20th March, 7pm at Waverley Library where I’ll share how you can use BY-LAWS to deal with trouble makers and restore PEACE to your strata community ✌️ Register for FREE here:…

Member call videos

Member call No. 11 Henry gets help with difficult tenants, and more

Henry comes to us from Victoria with a few challenges relating to tenants who fail to comply with the by-laws. I arm him with strategies to combat the bad behaviour, including methods for communicating effectively with the property manager/leasing agent. We also discuss CCTV and how the installation of CCTV sits comfortably with a ‘right…

Member call no. 10: Bruce wants to overhaul a ‘rusted on’ committee

Bruce is an owner and committee member in a NSW scheme that is functioning reasonably well, but is ready for some revitalising after 17 years. This includes bringing fresh ideas to the strata committee. In this call, I give Bruce some strategies for how he might assist an ‘ok’ strata committee transition to a ‘great’…

Member call no. 8: Natalie proceeds to NCAT after 4 years of water penetration

In this call, I consider Natalie’s proposal to seek NCAT orders requiring her owners corporation to repair and maintain the common property. The building’s failure to do so for almost 4 years has resulted in water penetration to Natalie’s two bedrooms. We discuss the relevant sections of the NSW legislation and my recommendations for what…

Member call no. 7: Greg discovers the superpower held by a committee secretary

In this call, I help Greg – an owner and committee secretary – who is having trouble getting various initiatives past his fellow committee members. I point out to him a very handy section of the NSW legislation which grants considerable power to a committee secretary. We also discuss the terms of a “diplomatic” campaign…

Member call no. 5: strata manager Sean asks the hard questions about proxies, co-owners and special levies

In this jam-packed call, I help Sean – a strata owner turned strata manager – navigate the tricky areas of proxies, co-owner voting rights, AGM notices and special levies. This is an excellent call to tune in to if you’re the secretary of a self-managed scheme or a strata manager at any level. We refresh on the important basics but also get into some technical areas that even the most experienced of us need to stop and consider from time to time.

Member call no. 2: Elizabeth and repairs to common property

In this call, I give Elizabeth a step by step guide to dealing with a difficult strata committee that does not want to repair her broken windows. I explain the path she needs to lay to ensure her Tribunal application has the best chance of success. .

Member call no. 1: Marissa and common property rights by-laws

In this call, I walk Marissa through the process of amending a common property rights by-law, so that she can enclose the outdoor seating area for her restaurant. We also discuss the need for council approval, and what to do about installing a sign.