OCN in the Media2020-10-05T23:21:13+11:00
30January, 2020

NSW plans ratings tool for developers, builder and certifiers

30 JANUARY 2020 Developers, builders and certifiers will be rated on their record of building failures, finances, complaints, insurance claims and other such factors under a new tool being developed by NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler and data company Equifax. "This will start to join up the players," Mr Chandler told The Australian Financial Review. "When you look into a project that is about to be developed, it’s useful to people [...]

23January, 2020

Unit buyers to pay for ratings check on dodgy apartments under reforms

23 January 2020 Having grappled for more than 12 months with the fallout from three evacuated buildings and abandoned apartments that have trashed confidence in the industry, the Berejiklian government announced on Monday new powers for the Building Commissioner to use the rating tool to select sites to audit and halt dodgy apartment projects. In a blog post last week, Building Commissioner David Chandler said: "By 2025, it should be [...]

21January, 2020

Risk rating system for builders proposed to prevent defective towers

21 January 2020 A risk-rating system for builders and new powers for the building regulator to stop suspect high-rise apartment towers are among measures the NSW government wants introduced to avoid further incidents like Sydney's cracked Opal and Mascot towers. The government used the release of the measures to renew pressure on Labor and the crossbench to pass its building reform legislation, which stalled in the NSW Upper House late [...]

13January, 2020

Cracked towers spark widespread safety fears about high rises: poll

13 JANUARY 2020 Eight in 10 Sydneysiders have safety concerns about the structural soundness of high-rise apartment buildings in the wake of the crisis sparked by the cracked Opal and Mascot towers. An Ipsos poll of residents for advocacy group the Committee for Sydney found the quality of construction and the structural integrity of towers were by far their biggest safety concerns, followed by fears of becoming trapped in [...]

30December, 2019

The Elephant in the Room – Top 10 Podcasts

30 DECEMBER 2020 > Listen to The Elephant In The Room Podcast - Episode 68 (How bad things can go with buying strata property) Karen Stiles > Listen to The Elephant in the Room Podcast - Episode 100 (Host favourites from the last 100 episodes) Veronica Morgan & Chris Bates

29December, 2019

Unit Dwellers Powerless to Stop Electricity Rip-Off

29 December 2019 People living in apartments are being treated as “second class citizens” by paying more for electricity after the state government abandoned plans for reforms which would have saved people thousands of dollars on power bills. The NSW government is being blasted for allowing developers and electricity providers to continue to run monopolies in new buildings. Owners Corporation Network's Karen Stiles said the government had let down unit [...]

18December, 2019

Taxpayers paid $200m last year to prop up government fund against dodgy builders

18 December 2019 Taxpayers forked out more than $200 million last year propping up a NSW government insurance fund that offers consumers protection against dodgy builders in an industry so broken that private insurers have fled the market. And in an effort to bring taxpayer liabilities that have topped $600 million under control, the Government has proposed that compulsory insurance premiums on some new homes and renovations will almost double [...]

18December, 2019

One year on, Opal Tower still a construction zone

18 December 2019 On Christmas Eve last year, Jenny (not her real name) carried her baby down to the ground floor after being told to evacuate Opal Tower, moments after she heard a loud bang while she was in her apartment. "They told us all to "back off, back off"," she said. "The police said the building was going to fall down and that we had to walk away from the [...]

16December, 2019

‘Six-year nightmare’: Shattered investors left with no one to sue for faulty units

16 December 2019 A "defective" business model that experts say has reached epidemic levels in the NSW building industry is leaving investors financially broken. Aidan Ellis, 75, was stunned when the developer and builder of his apartment block could "walk away scot-free" after his companies went into liquidation midway through a battle over defects estimated to be worth in excess of $2 million. The "six-year nightmare" has forced Mr Ellis [...]

1December, 2019

New laws to protect off-the-plan buyers

1 December 2019 NSW home buyers who purchase off-the-plan will be able to terminate contracts or claim compensation if they're materially impacted by changes made to their properties, under proposed changes announced by the state government. Property Minister Victor Dominello on Saturday announced the reforms aimed at creating stronger protections for off-the-plan buyers. "Buying off-the-plan has become increasingly popular. But there are risks involved, and buyers can't just rely on [...]

14November, 2019

Apartment buyers holding out for a hero, says MP

13 NOVEMBER 2019 The job of fixing the construction industry is too big for  just one person and NSW needs a standalone building commission, not just a single commissioner, to fix the state’s construction industry Greens MP David Shoebridge. And apartment owners have called on the goverment to close the loopholes that allow the developers of sub-standard buildings to shut up shop before they have to repair defects, and even [...]

9November, 2019

Trust issues: Can platforms like Airbnb regulate themselves?

9 NOVEMBER 2019 Australian residents' groups have rejected Airbnb's promise to overhaul verification procedures and prevent unauthorised parties at properties booked through the site, saying community trust issues caused by the rise of short-term rentals can only be fixed by independent regulation. "We would like to see a strong, effective public record of everyone participating [in the space]. To let your property, you'd need to be registered," chair of the [...]

24October, 2019

NSW building reforms ‘step one of 100’ to restore confidence in sector

24 OCTOBER 2019 The government's latest plan to lift construction standards across NSW is a step in the right direction, but will fail to address a lack of transparency and enforcement in the sector, lawyers say. Amid rising pressure to implement large-scale reform in the home building industry, the government this week introduced the first tranche of its construction sector reforms to Parliament. Owners Corporation Network executive officer Karen Stiles [...]

23October, 2019

‘Lifting the standards’: NSW government unveils reforms to construction industry

23 OCTOBER 2019 Homeowners who buy defective apartments will have an easier path to pursue damages under the Berejiklian government's response to widespread problems in high-rise residential buildings. The long-anticipated building reforms, released on Wednesday, will also create a new registration system for the industry, while developers will be forced to comply with "declared" building designs. But the reforms will only apply to buildings yet to be constructed. The Owners [...]

20October, 2019

Territory apartment owners demand time limits on building caretaker contracts

20 OCTOBER 2019 Laws that allow property developers to appoint their relatives to long-term building caretaker contracts should be changed to better protect unit owners in the NT, the Owners Corporation Network says. It comes after residents in a Darwin apartment complex raised concerns that a company owned by the wife of the building's developer was contracted to oversee cleaning, maintenance and repairs for $120,000 per year for 25 years. [...]

15October, 2019

Tenants lured with big bucks to sub-let properties on Airbnb

15 OCTOBER 2019 The prospect of six-figure earnings is being used to lure rent-investors into sub-letting multiple residential properties through holiday letting websites like Airbnb – without owning any of the homes or even, possibly, the knowledge of the property owners. “How we make a six-figure income on Airbnb using other people’s properties… and how you can too!” announces a website featuring Nicole and Aaron Byerlee, the property power couple [...]

12October, 2019

Airbnb moguls spruik how to get around the rules

12 OCTOBER 2019 The prospect of six-figure earnings is being used to lure tenants and investors into subletting properties via websites such as Airbnb – without owning any of the homes or, in some cases, the knowledge of the property owners. The potential profits are very real. Research into Airbnb’s online listings has uncovered several “hosts” each with hundreds of properties under their management, with even greater numbers listed on [...]

21September, 2019

Greens say ACT government should audit privately-owned buildings for flammable cladding

21 SEPTEMBER 2019 The ACT Greens say the government should consider auditing Canberra's apartment buildings for potentially dangerous flammable cladding. The government launched an audit of territory-owned buildings in July 2017, weeks after the deadly Grenfell Tower fire in London put the global spotlight on the use of aluminum and polyethylene cladding. But the ACT government isn't inspecting privately-owned buildings, relying instead on insurance companies to pass on information about [...]

3September, 2019

Combustible cladding will ‘test the owners corporation model’

3 SEPTEMBER 2019 Fixing combustible cladding will require technical skills and understanding beyond some owners corporations – especially in smaller buildings – and could prompt a rethink about the best way to manage housing stock, Victoria's cladding tsar Dan O'Brien says. 40 per cent of the 406 structures deemed "high risk" to date were three storeys or below, Mr O'Brien told a property industry audience last week. The lack of sophistication [...]

3September, 2019

Number of Airbnb listings in NSW could be slashed by proposed new fire safety rules, expert warns

3 SEPTEMBER 2019 The number of properties offered on Airbnb could be slashed thanks to a NSW government proposal to impose stringent new fire safety rules on homes being let short-term. To bring their homes up to the required level, owners and lead tenants could face bills of thousands of dollars to fit integrated smoke alarms in bedrooms and corridors, as well as heat sensors in kitchens, fire extinguishers, fire [...]

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