OCN in the Media2020-10-05T23:21:13+11:00
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 [...]

9August, 2020

60 Minutes – Buyer Beware Part 1

9 AUGUST 2020 Here's an incredible, not to mention shameful, statistic about Australia's building industry. 85% of new high-rise apartment towers are defective. The rate of shoddy workmanship has increased dramatically as governments around the country have encouraged more developers to build more high-density housing as a way of containing urban sprawl. As a result, many unsuspecting buyers, trying to put a roof over their heads, are learning a painful [...]

6August, 2020

Apartment owners win legal victory over combustible cladding

6 AUGUST 2020 A group of apartment owners battling to have combustible cladding replaced on their buildings have won a landmark legal victory – giving hope to the thousands more facing similar dangers. In an Australian first, a major building company which installed timber-PVC Biowood cladding on four multi-storey apartment blocks in Ryde has lost its appeal against being forced to rectify the work. Further, if it doesn’t reach an [...]

22July, 2020

Back to the future: unit owners hail return of public certifiers

22 JULY 2020 Unit owners have welcomed moves for the return of public certifiers to improve building quality in the ACT, but say architects and engineers also need to be involved in project delivery from start to finish. Owners Corporation Network ACT president Gary Petherbridge said Mr Ramsay was on the right track with public certifiers for multi-unit developments and developers having to be fit and proper persons to be [...]

13July, 2020

2GB – Calls for government to help pay for flammable cladding removal

13 JULY 2020 Michael McLaren, 2GB Overnight Program host, is joined by Karen Stiles, Executive Officer of the Owners Corporation Network, a not-for-profit body representing apartment owners, who claims the federal government’s $25,000 Home Builder grants would have been better spent fixing apartment buildings cloaked in flammable cladding which posed a risk to lives. > Full interview at 2GB.com Michael McLaren

13July, 2020

‘They should help’: Sydney cladding crisis leaves big bills for owners

13 JULY 2020 The large yellow cladding on the side of the 19-storey Distillery apartment tower in Pyrmont has made it one of the most recognisable residential high rises in the inner Sydney suburb. Yet the flammable nature of the cladding has also made it an expensive problem for its owners, who are finally nearing the end of a three-year saga to remove it that has cost them more than [...]

28June, 2020

The Office of Building Commissioner’s Director, Matt Press is now hiring a program manager and project officer

28 JUNE 2020 The Office of the Building Commissioner (OBC) has just finished the initial appointments to commence the Occupation Certificate Audits from 1 September 2020. The talent pool of applicants was very impressive. Experienced Designers, Contractors and Certifiers with 15-years experience will soon be in the field to work with the Building Commissioner. A powerful new tool is being built inside BRD to provide a single view of all [...]

15June, 2020

NSW opens door to thousands of defect claims

15 JUNE 2020 Thousands of apartment owners in NSW now have a way to launch claims over cladding, water proofing and fire safety defects after a new law created a duty of care for builders, consultants and developers to end users in the construction chain, even without a contractual relationship linking them. The Design & Building Practitioners Bill 2020, which came into effect last week, gives the state's apartment owners [...]

3June, 2020

Building watchdog warns he will clamp down on ‘shameful’ developers

3 JUNE 2020 The NSW Building Commissioner has warned unscrupulous builders and developers responsible for major defects in apartments that he will not hesitate to use his new powers to bring them to account, after key legislation to clean up the construction industry became law. Heralding it a "red-letter day", David Chandler said his immediate focus would be on developers, builders and certifiers "who have form" in turning out shoddy [...]

1June, 2020

Building watchdog’s powers to be bolstered in bid to clean up industry

1 JUNE 2020 The NSW building commissioner is set to gain strong powers to stop builders from forcing off-the-plan sales of apartments with defects after Labor signalled it would support a proposed shake-up of the construction industry. After abandoning attempts late last year to pass key legislation, the Berejiklian government will reintroduce an amended bill to the upper house on Tuesday, and introduce another to the lower house which will, [...]

27May, 2020

Sydney apartment buildings win the fight against pets on appeal

27 May 2020 Two of Sydney’s biggest apartment towers have won their battle to ban owners’ pets from their buildings in a verdict that will have far-reaching repercussions for NSW strata residents. The 260-apartment Horizon in Darlinghurst and the 280-unit Elan in Kings Cross had lost the right in previous cases before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to enforce their bylaws to keep their premises animal free. But, [...]

26May, 2020

Owners unite … by Zoom

26 MAY 2020 We talk to Karen Stiles, the energetic executive officer of the Owners Corporation Network about how that key organisation is coping with the challenge of building a community of communities when coronavirus is trying to keep us all at home. The answer lies in technology, she says, and to prove it, they had a very successful seminar on how to keep the short-term letting wolves from the [...]

24May, 2020

Debt crisis looms for renters and landlords

24 May 2020 An increasing number of renters are at risk of accruing high levels of debt to landlords if the ACT Government fails to implement a repayment framework for rental arrears, according to a parliamentary committee inquiring into the ACT Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pause on evictions is in place until 27 July and there is no framework or government-provided structure for how accrued rental debts [...]

13May, 2020

Get ready for the great Airbnb rebound

13 MAY 2020 There’s no doubt that Airbnb will make a comeback after the pandemic. So where are we at, as a nation, with holiday lets? The online holiday letting agency has apparently suffered an 85 per cent downturn in global business, knocking an estimated $30 billion off its value as it heads for a long-delayed float on the sharemarket. For those who bought or sub-let multiple properties to run [...]

8May, 2020

Charting a new course under lockdown in Sydney

8 MAY 2020 New data has offered a snapshot of life in lockdown revealing what isolating Sydneysiders are doing behind closed doors. In a little over six weeks, as public health orders and restrictions have taken hold, the habits of Sydneysiders have become largely unrecognisable. Everyday activities like going to the gym, movies, after-work drinks and the footy have all disappeared. And exclusive data can reveal those pastimes have given [...]

21April, 2020

‘We’ve never had it this busy’: Home isolation drives renovation boom

21 APRIL 2020 Builder Paul Rice is accustomed to constructing new houses and restoring old ones. But while some of his bigger projects have dried up due to the coronavirus crisis, demand for small jobs and maintenance - such as repairing dodgy door hinges - from homeowners in isolation has gone through the roof. "I've had a lot of people coming to me wanting to fix all the stuff that's been [...]

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