Monthly Archives: February 2014

Pay Up Pay Often and Know What Your Spending is For

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The accounts to which we pay money in strata is a matter of confusion. Like a Catholic church, in strata management there are two collections.

The Catholics cannily worked out long ago two collections are better than one. Giving in smaller more frequent parcels apparently doesn’t hurt as much and as a result we are inclined to give more in overall terms. The first collection for the Catholics is for the administration of the parish and the second is for the priests of the diocese (or is it the other way around?).

Apart from being good at collecting money, Catholics are also good at property. Look at the top of the best hill in any town or city and you will be sure to see a Catholic school, church or hospital. Those in strata could learn a thing or two from the Catholics about money and property; pay up, pay often and be clear about what the money is for and how it’s going to be spent.

New Kid on the Block

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Awkward might describe the way we act when we move into an apartment block from the relative seclusion of our detached four bedroom home with the quintessential turn of the millennium renovation.

Awkward might describe the way we act when we move into an apartment block from the relative seclusion of our detached four bedroom home with the quintessential turn of the millennium renovation. What do you say when you meet a same floor dweller at the elevators for the first time? ‘Was my music too loud last night? Can you hear what we say and do? We don’t seem to hear you. Well not often anyway.’ As they ponder the very same question your mind turns to your new, close but not in a good way, neighbour. ‘I bet it was him that over filled the recycling bins last week? They should learn to use the right bins. I hope their visitors don’t park in my space?’

Australia Leads the Charge in Strata Law

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In 1961, the first Australian strata title laws were passed. These laws made it possible to subdivide airspace by reference to walls, floors and ceilings.

Under this ingenious legal concept you could individually hold the title deed to your apartment, evidencing your separate ownership of this space and share the common supports, infrastructure, services and facilities with the other owners in the block by membership of what were initially called bodies corporate and later became known as owners corporations.

Problem solved. No more pesky interfering co-owners to thwart the freedom of the individual when it comes to dealing with their homes even if they were just flats or home units as they became known at this time. Banks could lend to individual owners who, under this system, could charge their asset as they pleased. It also meant owners could pass their title to others without the consent of the company and rent the apartments for as long or as short a period as they liked, to whomever they liked.

Five decades on, the Australian strata title system has evolved to be one of the most sophisticated systems of its type in the world. Our laws have become the model for many other countries and allow us flexibility to develop the built environment to meet the ever-changing needs and wants of our society.

Monoliths or Monstrosities

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Monolithic apartment buildings will be monstrosities to some and things of beauty to others. Fans will see them as a modern response to the way we live.

Some become icons. Others become trophies. Architects become pop stars. Developers become legends. But most medium to high-density developments just dot the landscape in quite an unassuming way providing us with places to live or work or rest and play.

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