Strata Managing Agents - Tips on Managing Risk

Ever more is expected of strata managing agents, in terms of the broad range of issues they are required to deal with and in terms of the high standards expected of them. This can make strata management a risky undertaking, as confirmed by several recent cases, in which large damages awards were made against agents.

When Do You Need Approval to Remove or Prune a Tree?

Tree preservation orders are in practice made by local councils as orders pursuant to powers under the Local Government Act 1993. There can be significant differences between tree preservation orders for specific councils and any proposal to remove or prune a tree should be considered in light of the requirements of the tree preservation order applicable to the relevant local government area.

Unreasonable Unit Entitlements - They Can Be Changed - s183

Unit entitlements are a very important issue for owners of strata lots. They impact on levy contributions, voting rights, common property interests, distribution of surplus moneys and entitlements on termination of a scheme.They also impact on council rates and land tax.

Emergency Management Plan Checklist

This checklist sets out some of the steps and procedures that managing agents may consider adopting prior to, during and after the occurrence of an emergency such as a fire, storm or catastrophic event.

What Do I Own and What is Common Property?

For any lot owner and for an owners corporation, the really important question of who owns what needs to be established as the answer will dictate how a strata scheme is correctly managed and who is responsible for what parts of a strata scheme.

Unauthorised Parking - What Can Owners Corporations Do?

Owners corporations and their strata managing agents have been struggling for years to find effective solutions to this issue. While this is a difficult area, there are some options.

Disability Access - Adjustments May Be Required

Issues often arise in strata buildings in relation to improvements requested by lot owners and others for the purpose of improving access for persons with special needs. Such issues can result in personal animosities building up over time and if not approached sensibly from the outset, can disrupt harmony within the building and result in considerable expense for all concerned.

The NBN and Strata Buildings

Considerable confusion remains about what is going to happen and when and this is not assisted by some of the announcements made in relation to the NBN.

Some support the NBN, on the basis that it is a government business enterprise and more likely to provide an equitable solution for all users than a commercial enterprise. Others remain sceptical about the NBN and are considering other options. There is doubt about how metropolitan connections can be priced equitably if there is significant leakage to the mobile and TPG fibre networks. The cap on funding announced in the 2014 Budget increases these doubts.

Update - Changes to Swimming Pool Laws

A previous article addressed amendments to the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (“the Act”). There have been some developments, in which owners of properties with pools may be interested. This includes owners of lots in strata schemes which have a pool. In particular:

Child Safety – Window Barrier Laws Commence

The Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Child Window Safety Devices) Act 2013 (“Act”) and Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Child Window Safety Devices) Regulation 2013 (“Regulation”) came into force on 11 December 2013.

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