FLAT CHAT WRAP

FLAT CHAT WRAP

www.flat-chat.com.au
All about living in apartments (condos), from dealing with your committee to getting on with neighbours and - a dose of healthy skepticism about dubious developers.


Dardanelle Towers, Episode 3 - Sniffing Glue
Oct 8
Blame the bank holiday, the Rugby World Cup or the need for a break, but we thought we’d revisit our old friends at the fictional (or is it?) apartment block Dardanelle Towers, where suspicion of vandalism in the car park has fallen on an unlikely…
#43 - Airbnb under pump, pet ban lifted and free money
Oct 1
We cover a lot of ground in this week’s chat with journalist and author Sue Williams, including two old favourites – Airbnb and pet bans - and a brand new concept (to us at least) negative interest. Yes, you know all about negative gearing and you may…
#42 - Strata chatting, straight out of the box
Sep 24
For years I have been struck by the irony of the connection between communication and community falling asunder at the doors of apartment blocks. If there was anywhere that not only needed an internal communications system – and probably contained higher…
#41 - The future of apartments … bees vs locusts
Sep 17
We write and talk a lot about property developers in Flat Chat – not often in positive terms – but we rarely get the chance to hear their side of the story, at least, untainted by promotional spin for some new project or another. So it was a pleasure to…
#40 - the end of parking as we know it
Sep 10
This week the Flat Chat Wrap podders look at the ridiculous cost of parking spaces, the new forms of flat-sharing and we finish off our chat with Jane Hearn about the proposed short-term letting register – and why Airbnb hates it so much. First up, JimmyT…
#39 - Loopholes and pitfalls in new Airbnb regs
Sep 3 • 30 min
Just when you thought it was safe to dip your toe into the Airbnb discussion, it turns out the proposed new laws are not what they seem. The 180-day cap on whole-home lets can be extended by your local council, there’s a mysterious 21-night option that…
#38 - Mediation, revolution and crazy planning objections
Aug 27
This week the Flat Chat Wrap podcast is all about conflict and various forms of resolution … including revolution. First Sue Williams and I take a look at we take a look at mediation and what it actually means. In NSW and Queensland, mediation is an…
#37 - Defects loans, Airbnb rules and sex in the spa
Aug 20
It’s a real mixed bag in this week’s Flat Chat Wrap podcast – finance, Airbnb and sneaky sex. Sue Williams and I start our dissection of the week’s strata news by looking at the suggestion that people suffering under building defects might get…
#36 - From block parties to hijacked high-rises
Aug 13
It would be fair to say that Flat Chat’s approach to apartment living and strata law over the years has been robustly non-academic. We use often cite anonymous sources and unverified reports to build a picture of all that is wrong with strata living (and…
#35 - Apartments go to the movies … and see more than they should
Aug 6
If you live in apartments for long enough it’s almost impossible not to catch a glimpse into other people’s lives. Most of us look away, hoping that the same courtesy will be afforded to us by anyone inadvertently seeing more than they should. But…
#34 - Tall storeys: TV dramas set in apartment blocks
Jul 30
There’s so much doom and gloom around strata at the moment you feel you’re missing out if your apartment block isn’t on fire, falling down or both. So we’ve decided to lighten the load in this week’s podcast with a look at TV shows that were set in…
#33 - Commercial tenants, caretakers versus Airbnb, and wandering pot plants
Jul 23
How would you feel if you suddenly had 50 to 100 strangers walking through your lobby every day, clogging up the lifts just when you are trying to get to work or when you come home? These are the fears raised by residents of two neighbouring buildings on…
#32 - Time we had a star rating for the best and worst developers and builders
Jul 16
In this week’s Podcast, Jimmy Thomson and Sue Williams discuss why it is that we can get ratings and comparisons for just about everything we buy … except the largest purchase most of us will ever make. And they float the idea of people being given (and…
#31 - Tip of the defects iceberg and why it’s such a massive problem
Jul 9
In this week’s episode of the Flat Chat Wrap we look at the revelation that the Opal and Mascot towers “disasters” are just the tip of a very large apartment block defects iceberg. Jimmy Thomson and Sue Williams have been writing about apartment block…
#30 - Three kinds of insurance and a few facts that will shock you
Jul 2
Jimmy Thomson investigates four different kinds of insurance (including Airbnb) and why telling one little white lie about whether or not you were allowed to have short-term letting in your apartment could invalidate your cover. He’s joined by Steve…
#29 - the great Mascot Tower giveaway … and what it means about cladding
Jun 25
Confronted by images of residents of Mascot Tower evacuating the building, the NSW government has moved relatively swiftlly to plug the accommodation gap with a loan to the Owners Corporation to cover the cost of emergency billets for the owners and…
#28 - Residents out on the street as another Faulty Tower crumbles
Jun 18
Residents of the 130-plus apartments in the Mascot Tower apartment block in Sydney’s South were evacuated over the weekend when cracks in walls and supporting beams suddenly widened. JimmyT and Sue Williams discuss what this means for the residents of…
#27 - Ghost towers, cladding costs and power games
Jun 12
This week, JimmyT and Sue Williams discuss the brand new empty flats that investors are “warehousing” - keeping them locked up and unlived in - until the property market improves. Then there’s the new report about the massive costs facing owners in…
#26 - From Russia with love and the $120k insulting email
May 28
Jimmy Thomson and Sue Williams discuss apartment living in the new Russia and the email exchange that cost a Manly tenant $120,000 in a defamation case.
#25 - Working out what to do and what you need in your gym
May 21
JimmyT and fitness trainer Shannon Cleary discuss what works and what doesn’t in apartment block gyms … and what to do if you don’t have one.
#24: Silly by-laws to orgies - a strata manager speaks
May 14
JimmyT talks to Tim Sara, a senior manager at one of Australia’s biggest strata management companies - and reveals both the light and dark side of a challenging career.
#23 - Airbnb code of conduct, developers go “crowd” and a horse in a townhouse (???)
May 7
Jimmy T and Sue Williams explore the latest developments in the strataverse … and come up with some very odd stories indeed.
#22 - New Vic laws, fire sprinklers, electric cars, greyhounds in flats and BBQs
Apr 30
There’s a revolution in strata law on the way in Victoria. Fire sprinkler systems are mandatory for mid-rise apartment blocks in NSW. And what’s the best way to charge electric cars in strata schemes? JimmyT and Sue Williams discuss the issues of the week…
#21: Property prices panic and the latest developer rort
Apr 24
With property prices plummeting across our major cities, JimmyT and Sue Williams identify where apartment values are plummeting, where they’re holding and where off-the-plan purchasers are being told they can’t walk away from new units that are worth less…
#20 - New minister, good and bad laws, and the pet loophole
Apr 9 • 26 min
JimmyT and Sue Williams ask the big questions about the new strata minister … like, who is he? Plus the best and worst of Australia’s strata laws and what makes an ordinary pet a “support animal”.
#19: Shoes in lobbies and snooping neighbours
Apr 2
Jimmy Thomson and Sue Williams take a wry - and slightly bruised - look at what’s attracting mail to the Flat Chat Forum.
#18 - the joys of apartment living (no, really!)
Mar 26
Jimmy Thomson talks to Sue Williams about why she loves apartment living and would never live in a house.
#17 - Promises, promises … what the pollies are offering the strata voters of NSW
Mar 19
Jimmy Thomson and Sue Williams discuss what the various parties are offering strata residents and owners in the run-up to the NSW state election.
#16 - Election fever mounts as the shadow minister speaks
Mar 12
Labor spokesperson for Better Regulations and Innovation (and Fair Trading) Yasmin Catley calls in on the Flat Chat podcast … and part two of the chat with OCN chair Phil Gall.
#15 - Talking the politics of Airbnb and cladding fears with the OCN
Mar 6
JimmyT talks to OCN chair Phil Gall about how the Owners Corporation Network gets stuff done despite bring underfunded … and what their cladding seminar offers apartment owners
#14 - Three rants and why we’ll never get a Royal Commission
Feb 26
JimmyT rants about Airbnb, defects (and the Opal Tower report) and cladding … and explains why we’ll never get a Royal Commission into the apartment building industry.
#13 - On air with James Valentine and more from Alex Greenwich
Feb 19
Talking off-the-plan purchases and defects - plus your calls - with James Valentine. And why Sydney MP Alex Greenwich thinks Airbnb is bad for Sydney renters, and Mark Latham will be bad for the NSW parliament.
#12 - The ups and downs of apartment living with Sydney MP Alex Greenwich
Feb 12
Talking apartments, Airbnb, pets, the Opal, defects, cladding and all things apartment related with Sydney MP Alex Greenwich
#11 - Taking your calls on (very) early morning ABC radio
Feb 5
JimmyT gets up at 4am to talk to ABC Radio presenter Rod Quinn (and other insomniacs) about strata living in Australia.
#10 - Talking Opal on ABC radio & and the horrors of a dirty defects battle
Jan 31
Talking about Opal Tower residents being forced to move back on ABC radio. Plus part 2 of our podcast on an off-the-plan strata disaster: lies, spies and lawyers as the defects battle turns ugly.
#9 - How a pet ban led to the birth of Flat Chat
Jan 16
Jimmy and Sue look back at the first time they bought off the plan … and how it led to Flat Chat
#8 - The crumbling Opal Tower and the whole defects disaster
Jan 6
JimmyT and Sue Williams ask the questions everyone else is avoiding, and provide the answers people need to hear, about the Opal Tower in Sydney and the whole defects disaster in high-rise apartment blocks in Australia.
#7 - Are your levies too high
Dec 24, 2018
How to work out if your levies are too high, the sensible controls that have led Airbnb to threaten politicians’ votes and nominations for our Heroes and Villains of Strata.
#6 - Renovations and recalcitrant owners … with James Valentine
Dec 9, 2018
Permissions for minor renovations, one owner in four blocking changes and … of course … Airbnb come to the fore as Jimmy joins James Valentine on his afternoon show on ABC Radio
#5 - epic parking battle, trendy pet names & Airbnb hosting
Dec 1, 2018
A decades-long parking battle end up in the Appeals Court, trendy pet names, how to be a better Airbnb host, garage doors and more …
#4 - Homeless on common property & build-to-rent in the USA
Nov 22, 2018
Homeless people sleeping in common property and - a world away - what it’s like to live in a ‘build-to-rent’ apartment in the USA. The Flat Chat Wrap takes an international twist.
#3 - best and worst times to buy, bullied by by-laws & lawn parking
Nov 7, 2018
Is this the best time to buy an new apartment or just the worst time to sell? And what you should look out for in offers that seem to be too good to be true. Can bad by-laws be used to bully owners? And what happened to the common property lawn being…
#2 - Noise, electric cars, budget tourism and canning committee members
Oct 30, 2018
We’re back with another Flat Chat Wrap. Sue Williams joins Jimmy Thomson for a chat about noise, electric cars, shoestring tourism (and its affect on communities) and how to get rid of a nuisance committee member.
#1 - pet bans, bad by-laws, crazy neighbours and Airbnb laws
Oct 24, 2018
A chat about all the most interesting, strangest and most controversial items on on Flat Chat this week. In Episode 1, Jimmy discusses pet bans, undoing bad by-laws, crazy neighbours and Airbnb laws with author and journalist Sue Williams.
Floating floors and renos
Apr 12, 2018
Who’s responsible when a neighbour floods your timber floor - insurers can’t agree. And then there’s the vexed question of compensation for tenants during major renovations … and more on the latest Flat Chat spot on James Valentine’s Afternoons on ABC…
Talking Kings Cross on ABC radio Breakfast
Feb 17, 2018
With the first section of my crime novel Perfect Criminals set in Kings Cross, Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck asked me if the Cross was changing and if it was for the better or worse … with at least one Potts Pointer pitching in on the phone.