OCN in the Media2020-10-05T23:21:13+11:00
15March, 2021

Developer of Sydney’s ‘worst’ tower ordered to fix faults

15 MARCH 2021 The developer of a 16-storey apartment tower in western Sydney, which has been singled out by NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler as one of the worst he has inspected, has been handed orders forcing it to fix serious defects. The tower at 93 Auburn Road in Auburn has joined a growing list of apartment buildings to have been slapped with orders in recent weeks as the commissioner steps [...]

9March, 2021

Latest NCAT decision on by-laws affecting the keeping of animals

9 MARCH 2021 - OCN Statement On 1 March 2021, NCAT senior member R C Titterton OAM handed down a decision in the matter of McGregor v The Owners – Strata Plan Nº 74896.   The building in which Mr McGregor and his partner live is part of a complex in Camperdown where each of the individual stratas is required to comply with the by-laws of the Community Management Statement [...]

24February, 2021

Sydney building commissioner raises standards, builds confidence in apartment industry

24 FEBRUARY 2021 The new building commissioner appointed to raise standards in NSW’s construction industry – and his willingness to use his unprecedented legal powers to do so – is having a major impact on the standard of projects around the state. Six months on from being given the right to enter and inspect construction sites, issue rectification and stop-work orders, and prevent settlement on sub-standard properties, industry watchers say [...]

18February, 2021

Developers forced to fix defects after commissioner wields new powers

18 FEBRUARY 2021 Developers have been slapped with orders to fix serious defects in apartment buildings and townhouses, as the NSW Building Commissioner signals he will not hesitate using his strongest powers to stamp out shoddy work in the construction industry. Almost six months after his powers came into force, commissioner David Chandler has issued prohibition orders in the past week to developers of four buildings in Sydney and Forster, [...]

15February, 2021

NSW to Start Removing Flammable Cladding This Year

15 FEBRUARY 2021 Construction on the first projects to start under a three-year program to remove combustible cladding from 225 high-risk apartment complexes in NSW will kick off around the middle of the year, the government in that state says. In an announcement last week, NSW Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson unveiled details of the state’s cladding rectification scheme which was announced in last October’s budget. Labelled Project Remediate, [...]

18November, 2020

NSW Stops Short of Paying for Cladding Rectification

18 NOVEMBER 2020 Owners of buildings with flammable cladding in NSW will still need to pay tens of thousands of dollars per apartment to rectify their complexes after the NSW Government refused to Victoria’s lead in paying for flammable cladding to be rectified. Whilst the preference would be for the government to pay for the cost of remediation, Karen Stiles, Executive Officer for OCN welcomed both the announcement of the [...]

9November, 2020

NSW building reforms to put strata managers under microscope

NOVEMBER 2020 The conspiracy of silence that surrounds apartment buildings and possible defects would be ended in the next round of landmark building reforms. In the wake of the Grenfell, Mascot and Opal tower disasters, Better Regulation Minister Kevin Anderson is proposing law changes forcing strata schemes to hand over basic maintenance information about their building. OCN executive Karen Stiles said the strata portal would only be the second in [...]

22October, 2020

Pets in Strata

13 OCTOBER 2020 Listen to a radio segment recording from ABC Radio Sydney including an interview with Karen Stiles, Executive Officer of OCN,  discussing pets in strata. ABC Radio Sydney, Breakfast with Robbie Buck & Wendy Harmer.

15October, 2020

Peak Body warns of unintended consequences of pet ban reversal

13 OCTOBER 2020 A legal challenge to overturn a ban on keeping pets in apartments in NSW will have unintended consequences, strata owner advocates warn. The NSW Court of Appeal ruled blanket bans on pets in apartments were unlawful. Owners Corporation Network executive officer Karen Stiles warned the ruling would have far-reaching implications. “Strata is one of the fastest growing forms of housing. “Australians don’t seem to understand that along [...]

15October, 2020

Pets Now Allowed in Sydney Apartments

13 OCTOBER 2020 This little doggie in the window’s big court win means pets are now allowed in Sydney apartments. Jo Cooper has won a four-and-a-half-year legal battle to keep her miniature schnauzer Angus in her Darlinghurst Horizon unit block. The pair overcame the building’s blanket pet ban after a unanimous ruling in the NSW Court of Appeal. The Court overturned blanket bans on pets being allowed in any apartment [...]

29September, 2020

FlatChat Podcast: Olympics, Emails, Wheel Clamps

29 SEPTEMBER 2020 Karen Stiles, Executive Officer of the Owners Corporation Network, joins Flat Chat Wrap Podcast 93 – Olympics, Emails, Wheel Clamps They discuss the push to keep apartment owners’ email addresses secret, and demands for a return of wheel clamping for rogue parkers. Karen talks to Jimmy Thomson from 12 mins 30 secs into recording. > Listen Here

17September, 2020

‘In limbo land’: Apartment owners in bind over flammable cladding fix

17 SEPTEMBER 2020 A drawn out saga over replacing flammable cladding has soured relations between owners of a southern Sydney apartment building and imposed a large financial burden on them. Yet almost 18 months after their local council ordered cladding to be removed, some owners of the Quattro Apartments at Gymea fear the material they plan to use to replace it won't comply in future because the state government is [...]

15September, 2020

FlatChat Podcast: Crackdown on dud developers hits home

15 SEPTEMBER 2020 Karen Stiles, Executive Officer of the Owners Corporation Network, joins Jimmy Thomson on Flat Chat Wrap Podcast 91 'First there is the redoubtable Karen Stiles who is the Executive Officer at the Owners Corporation Network (OCN) and, as such, has a seat at the table for some of the most critical discussions being made about NSW strata in decades. Karen has come on to the podcast to [...]

13September, 2020

‘Nail in the coffin of democracy’: It’s D-day for Sydney’s prize dog fight

13 SEPTEMBER 2020 It's the dog fight that has captivated Sydney - or at least a small part of it - and this month it will command the attention of the state's peak lawmaking bodies: the Parliament and the Supreme Court. For five years, musician Jo Cooper has battled the strata committee of her apartment block, the Horizon, which stands tall among the terraces of inner-city Darlinghurst. Her quest: to [...]

2September, 2020

NSW puts first four developers on notice

2 SEPTEMBER 2020 NSW building commissioner David Chandler has put a first group of four developers on notice under sweeping new powers, telling them his office will audit their apartment projects to make sure they conform with the approved plans and will not allow them to settle if they do not comply. The first audits, to be followed by another six next month, follow passing of new laws in June [...]

26August, 2020

Sydney pet owners get shock win in the battle against apartment pet bans

26 AUGUST 2020 It could soon be near-impossible for any apartment building to vote to keep pets out after a last-minute amendment to an unrelated bill scored a shock win in the NSW Legislative Council just before 10pm on Tuesday night. The move by the Animal Justice Party (AJP) means that, if the bill is passed by the Lower House in September, no strata scheme will be allowed to have [...]

24August, 2020

‘Signatures for sale’ days are over, warns Sydney’s new building commissioner

24 AUGUST 2020 A week before his new powers come into force, NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler has issued a blunt warning to certifiers of buildings that the days of a small group of them choosing to act as "signatures for sale" are over. Mr Chandler will have the power from September 1 to enter and inspect building sites, prevent the issuing of occupation certificates, call for documents and order [...]

22August, 2020

Puddle sets off epic dog fight

22 AUGUST 2020 The day her miniature schnauzer urinated in the lobby of her luxury Sydney apartment block is one of the most traumatic of Jo Cooper’s 30-plus years. There is never a good time for a dog to wee in a lavish foyer, although Cooper insists it’s not much different to the coffee and salad spillages she has witnessed over five years of living in the award-winning, officially pet-free [...]

16August, 2020

Making a Building “Trustworthy” And How to Deliver One

16 AUGUST 2020 “Trustworthy buildings” are a goal the entire construction industry needs to achieve, according to NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler. There are several aspects to this, and major payoffs to be had in terms of productivity, accountability and building your own reputation. Awards, online product reviews and your own marketing might not be the best way to assure buyers you build trustworthy buildings. According to Karen Stiles, Executive [...]

13August, 2020

Why some strata services are essentially a rip-off

13 AUGUST 2020 With all the horror stories of what goes wrong when an apartment catches fire, you would never want to skimp on safety. But what if you were paying over the odds for safety inspections that were followed by upgrades that you didn’t really need but were recommended by the same people who did the inspection? Oh, and the inspection was compulsory. A year ago this column exposed [...]

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