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

6April, 2020

Airbnbs declared ‘illegal’ as NSW government cracks down on holidaymakers

6 April 2020 It is now illegal for anyone in NSW to stay in an Airbnb or similar short-term letting agency accommodation, a government spokesman has declared. Under the new coronavirus regulations, no one should be staying anywhere other than their own permanent home, and they could be fined or imprisoned if they were found to be breaking emergency rules. “There’s zero reason for someone to stay in an Airbnb,” [...]

6April, 2020

Disrupting the disruptors: how COVID-19 will shake up Airbnb

6 April 2020 Airbnb was built on the premise of bringing the world closer together. Tourists could travel like locals, while locals could cash in on their desirable neighbourhood properties by letting those visitors in. Last year the company was estimated to be worth more than US$30bn. It is scheduled to go public in 2020. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. Stephen Colman, who was an Airbnb host and ran [...]

4April, 2020

Bad news for Airbnb could be blessed relief for renters

4 APRIL 2020 It seems oddly appropriate, if not ironic, that a business that effectively grew virally on the internet should have suffered more than most because of COVID-19. Those who watched with dismay while short-term holiday lets moved into apartment blocks where they weren’t welcome or, in some cases, legally permitted, may have witnessed the current collapse of the holiday-letting industry with a certain grim satisfaction. These days the [...]

20March, 2020

Airbnb packages risk creating viral hot-spots in apartments

20 MARCH 2020 Apartment residents across Australia are angry that their buildings could be turned into high-risk viral hot-spots, as Airbnb hosts offer self-isolation packages to returned overseas travellers. Airbnb hosts globally are reeling after a dramatic downturn in visitors due to travel restrictions and an Airbnb decision to waive cancellation fees for stays booked up to April 14 and possibly beyond. As a result, some hosts are compensating by offering [...]

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 [...]



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