OCN in the Media2022-03-29T12:48:01+11:00
21May, 2022

Out of Court Settlement Reached Over Opal Towers

21 May 2021 According to Karen Stiles, executive director of apartment owners peak group Owners Corporation Network, the long-running case had exposed more than the cracks in the Opal Tower. “It was really the start of the turning point where the government had to admit we had a problem with rampant building defects in residential towers and actually had to do something to address it,” she said. Read more:> HERE

12May, 2022

Charger guide helps NSW buildings get electric vehicle ready

More electric vehicle drivers can soon charge up at home and work, with a step-by-step guide released by the NSW Government, and a pilot site providing proof of concept for EV-ready buildings. The EV Ready Buildings materials and webinar registration details are available on the Drive electric NSW EV ready buildings webinar webpage. Speakers at the webinar include the EV Council Head of Energy and Infrastructure, Ross de Rango, and Owners [...]

13April, 2022

Hundreds of buildings with cladding deemed low priority despite possible ‘unacceptable fire risk’

The state government taskforce into dangerous flammable cladding has deemed more than 500 buildings a low priority, despite their facades potentially posing unacceptable fire risks. NSW Auditor-General Margaret Crawford made the finding in a review of reforms targeting unsafe cladding since the material supercharged London’s deadly Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in 2017. Crawford said identification of buildings in the immediate aftermath was hampered by a lack of building records, but [...]

8February, 2022

Sydney Apartment Investors Fear Debt Trap As Levies Skyrocket

Investors from retirees to single mothers on low incomes fear losing their properties after their strata levies jumped from under $2000 per quarter to more than $10,000 for building repairs they had no say in approving. Bright and Duggan told the Herald it was appointed to do work that the owners’ corporation had “failed to undertake over many years with the highest priority of ensuring the building can be safely occupied”. Executive [...]

27January, 2022

Smoking on the balcony of an apartment declared a ‘hazard’

A Queensland regulator has banned a Surfers Paradise woman from smoking on her apartment balcony after a neighbour’s complaint, declaring it to be a “hazard” rather than a “nuisance”, in a move that could allow bodies corporate to outlaw smoking completely. “If you live with the urban myth that strata title is like a title to land, you are only encouraging ongoing conflict,” Mr Goddard, a spokesman for the Owners [...]

20January, 2022

Queensland unit dwellers could be barred from smoking on balconies after landmark decision

20 JANUARY 2022 OCN talks to Dee Dee at 3AW about the news that Queenslanders living in apartments could be prevented from smoking on their balconies after a "game changing" decision to ban one unit owner from doing so after a complaint from an upstairs neighbour. The Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management's adjudicator ordered that the eighth-floor owner must no longer smoke tobacco products on [...]

18December, 2021

Sydney Apartment Building Under Stop Work Order Due to Safety Concerns – Channel 7 News

18 December 2021 Owners of a landmark apartment block in Sydney’s eastern suburbs face a long wait before they can move in after the NSW building watchdog ordered an immediate halt to their almost complete $50 million redevelopment. The watchdog has handed the owners of Skye, which overlooks Tamarama Beach, a stop-work notice and an order preventing them from moving in because fire sprinklers were not installed in seven of [...]

23October, 2021

NSW apartments: New defects insurance scheme to protect off-the-plan buyers

23 October 2021 Dodgy developers and bad builders who construct shoddy apartment towers that can lead to heartbreak and financial ruin for home-buyers are set to be driven out of NSW with a ground-breaking new defects insurance scheme. The DLI advisory panel comprises insurance experts, developers, financiers, strata bodies and the apartments consumer representative, the Owners Corporation Network (OCN). OCN executive officer Karen Stiles said members were excited by the [...]

22October, 2021

NSW a trailblazer in ‘outing’ apartment defects

22 October 2021 You’d be forgiven for thinking high-rise apartment blocks are crumbling like soggy Tim Tams all over NSW while the rest of Australia’s unit blocks are pristine monuments to better building practises. But, bad as things are in Sydney, it may look worse there than anywhere else because issues have been exposed and are being addressed. In NSW, the Owners Corporation Network has plugged away on the defects front for [...]

17October, 2021

Building defects in strata units robbing buyer’s future

17 October 2021 Stephen Goddard, spokesperson for the Owners Corporation Network, discuss his recent SMH opinion piece about the dangers of building defects in residential strata schemes with Michael McLaren on Overnight with Michael McLaren. Mr Goddard wrote, ‘For some time now it has been a self-evident truth that new residential strata schemes can be plagued with building defects which are left for a new owners’ corporation to fix.’ ‘The [...]

15October, 2021

Building defects in strata units: unstoppable force meets immovable object

15 October 2021 An owner in a new apartment tower at Canterbury said yesterday: “We took a risk buying into a new apartment, but we didn’t realise it would be this kind of risk.” The alleged risk in question is the possible need to evacuate due to structural instability. For some time now it has been a self-evident truth that new residential strata schemes can be plagued with building defects [...]

11October, 2021

Four in 10 new apartment buildings have major defects: NSW Building Commissioner

11 October 2021 Almost four in 10 new apartment buildings in NSW have serious defects, costing an average $331,829 per building to fix, a new survey has found, although resolutions are rare. The Owners Corporation Network, which represents apartment owners, welcomed the survey results. “As the peak body for residential strata owners, the Owners Corporation Network strongly supports research into the incidence and impacts of serious defects,” said chief executive [...]

5October, 2021

Star Ratings System to Shine a Light on Dodgy Developers

5 August 2021 It has a whiff of narcissism about it – “go on, tell me how great I am” – but NSW is about to introduce a voluntary star rating system for new apartment building projects. It’s a slow-burn strategy to eventually freeze the worst players out of the market, but it has been welcomed by owner advocates such as Karen Stiles, executive officer at the Owners Corporation Network (OCN), who [...]

24September, 2021

Meet the man on a mission to restore buyers’ trust in off-the-plan homes

24 September 2021 To some, he’s a knight in shining armour. To others, he’s the devil incarnate. But wherever anyone stands on the rampaging NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler, cleaning up the mess of shoddy apartment construction breaking buyers’ hearts and their bank balances, absolutely no one is indifferent. .. At the peak body of apartment-owners, the Owners Corporation Network (OCN), executive officer Karen Stiles says nipping these problems in [...]

19September, 2021

COVID secrecy could spell disaster for apartment residents

19 September 2021 The coronavirus pandemic is revealing just how deadly the NSW government’s attitude towards high-density apartment communities could be. It is a simple fact that strata living presents a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission than in freestanding homes. Yet, despite calls from independent experts and building managers for pandemic planning and clear rules, the strata sector has not only been ignored, worse, it is being resisted. This is [...]

7September, 2021

Strata owners wrestle with vax-passes for gyms

7 September 2021 Should strata facilities like gyms and swimming pools be restricted to vaccinated residents? Would “vax-passes” for apartment block communal areas be reasonable, especially if state and federal Governments ever introduce vaccine passports for overseas travel or even to restrict access to bars and restaurants? These are questions currently confronting strata schemes across NSW and Victoria, especially, as those states come to terms with the high probability that [...]

7September, 2021

NSW Government has power to lock down entire unit blocks with one positive case

7 September 2021 Apartment residents could be hit by the most draconian COVID-19 laws ever produced by the NSW Government, which is able to lock down entire unit blocks when just one person tests positive to the virus.  The police also now have new powers to patrol buildings, quiz everyone living in – and visiting – apartments for their names and phone numbers, and order them all to take COVID [...]

27August, 2021

Developer Loses Unit Defect Fight

27 August 2021 Residents of a prestigious Strathfield apartment block built by companies associated with husband and wife developers Antoine and Georgette Bechara are the latest unit owners fighting to fix defects including in waterproofing and flammable cladding. NSW Supreme Court documents show the Becharas’ companies tried to pass the blame onto the designers, the architects and the private certifiers Essential Certifiers, whose owner Bernard Cohen had 28 disciplinary findings [...]

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