What times are residential noise restrictions in place?

What times are residential noise restrictions in place?

The Protection of the Environment (Noise Control) Regulation 2008 covers neighbourhood noise laws. There are time restrictions on when noise from residential premises should not be heard inside a neighbour’s residence. An offence occurs if the noise continues after a warning has been given by the council or a police officer.

Time-of-day noise restrictions

During these times, noise should not be heard in a habitable room in a neighbour’s residence:

Who lives in apartments?

A recent study conducted by NSW Land Registry Services shows that in NSW alone 15% of the population live in an apartment. That’s 1,129,464 out of 7,564,945 people.

The following are some interesting insights into the report:

  • 40% of all people living in apartments in NSW were born in Australia, with 13% coming from either China or India and the remaining coming from other countries.
  • The main type of household in this category is a lone person at 31%, with couples that have no children making up 25%. 
  • Almost half (48%) of all people living in an apartment are aged between 20-39 years old. 

Take a look at the infographic below for more statistics, courtesy of SCA – National Strata Data Report:

national_strata_data_report_20-08

Get to know the Strata committee members roles and responsibilities.

!Being elected to a Strata Committee (SC) can be an actually life-changing decision so owners should ensure that they know and make sure that they become fully prepared for what’s involved.

Under the NSW Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 the chairperson, secretary and treasurer have certain functions, some of which are listed below:

Chairperson

  • Presides at all meetings (takes the helm)
  • Conducts meetings (keeps things moving along)
  • Decides on issues relating to voting and procedure
  • Does not have a deciding vote

What sort of person would make a good chairperson?

  • A born leader and/or good organiser
  • Experienced in management
  • Skilled in dealing with people
  • Diplomatic in nature
  • Able to keep things moving without appearing dismissive or abrupt
  • Has a relatively thick skin (to handle the odd bit of abuse that willcome)
  • Has a certain amount of self-confidence

Secretary

  • Convenes the Strata Committee meetings and General meetings (except for FAGM)
  • Prepares, takes and distributes minutes of all meetings
  • Gives notices for the owners corporation and the strata committee
  • Provides information to the treasurer for the S184 Strata Information Certificate
  • Attends to correspondence on behalf of the Owners Corporation
  • Maintains administrative and secretarial records of the Owners Corporation
  • Maintains the strata roll

What sort of person would make a good Secretary?

  • Good organiser and very methodical
  • Experienced in time management

Treasurer

  • Issues levy notices
  • Receives and banks monies on behalf of the owners corporation
  • Prepares section 184 strata information certificates
  • Prepares financial statements and other financial records
  • Maintains accounting records
  • Provides information to help determine what the levies will be
  • Helps to determine the scheme’s future expenditure for the capital works fund

What sort of person would make a good Treasurer?

  • Good organiser and very methodical
  • Good at maths and numeracy
  • Accounting knowledge would be advantageous but isn’t essential
  • Computing skills, although not essential, would be handy
  • Trustworthy

Strata Committee members

Being elected to a Strata Committee (SC) can be an actually life-changing decision so owners should ensure that they know and make sure that they become fully prepared for what’s involved.

It is the duty of each member of a strata committee of an owners corporation to carry out his or her functions for the benefit, so far as practicable, of the owners corporation and with due care and diligence in accordance with section 37 SSMA.

Being a member of the strata committee is no longer just turning up for an occasional meeting or just approval quotes.  It’s not a decision that can be made lightly especially if your scheme has chosen a raft of issues that it could be facing.  These days strata meetings take a vast amount of time, effort and responsibility considering the ‘highly-legislated’ days we live in and the amount of legislation and regulations that now pertain to an Owners Corporation.

For some owners corporation’s being an Strata Committee  member means fronting hostile meetings with screaming, constant verbal abuse or even threats of assault.   Members are there to make decisions that are for the benefit of the owners corporation and not individuals.  Thereby passing difficult motions like,  one of the Owners  needs to be sued as they are unable to pay their levies even though it WILL create even more financial hardship on that owner,  or that why dose it take so long to get things fixed ( its been 24 hours) .

At the very least the meetings may be quite lengthy, there may be many controversial decisions, there’s no pay for the untold hours you’ve spent in the job not to mention the odd uncomfortable moment when you cross paths with someone who detests having to pay the capital works fund levies or with the owner who hates the colour the building was painted.  In an instant you, as a committee member, can become the target for everything that owners don’t like.

A vast amount of the owners corporation’s duties can only be undertaken either by the Strata Committee or the Strata Managing Agent – See section 13 of SSMA 2015.

The Owners Corporation must elect a strata committee, if no nominations are made or if no owners are elected then the only alternative is that the Strata Manager is a appointed in accordance with section 237 of SSMA 2015 and under an Order from the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal ( NCAT).

If a strata managing agent is appointed by the Tribunal, or by an owners corporation on an order of the Tribunal, to exercise a function, the function cannot, while the strata managing agent holds office, be exercised by any other person.

 

Strata management survey results

Over 1,000 owners in strata were asked if to their knowledge have any of the above defects ever been present in their strata scheme
More and more city-dwellers choose to live in apartments so they can live in more accessible locations. In the order of three and a half million Australians now live in multi unit housing. A quarter of Sydney people now live in what is virtually a fourth tier of government as strata dwellings set laws and impose taxes on residents. A further 800,000 are forecast to live in them by 2036.

More than a quarter of Sydneysiders already live in strata title developments and this will inevitably rise. One estimate puts the proportion at 45% by 2030.
Residents were also uncertain about who was responsible for funding major repairs to buildings, with 39 per cent of the 1550 people surveyed and interviewed saying they had problems regarding the management of their scheme.

About 75 per cent of the more than 400 strata-title executive committee members surveyed for the report said they would be interested in further training,
They found a high incidence of building defects, a lack of engagement by owners in the running of their strata schemes and inadequate financial planning for repairs and maintenance in a lot of buildings. Many strata owners do not understand their responsibilities and rights and resolving differences can be a bitter and unhappy process.

The most striking finding is 72% of owners say their building has had one or more defects. The figure rises to 85% when only buildings completed since 2000 are considered.

It can be argued there’ll inevitably be issues with any building project, so that’s not necessarily a big deal. However what’s shocking is three quarters of those 85% report one or more defects have never been fixed.

The three most commonly cited defects are water entering the interior of the building from outside, water leaking within the building, and internal and external cracks (see above).

Just as alarming is the finding that many owners have problems identifying the boundary between their property and common property! It’s got to be hard to define rights and responsibilities when an owner and the committee can’t be sure where properties begin and end!
Reaching agreement over matters of collective interest like maintenance seems very fraught. A large proportion (39%) of the committee members interviewed said there had been problems in reaching agreement.

The most common issues resulting in disagreements were those relating to major expenditures, including major repairs. The most common explanations given for these disagreements related to personality clashes and the competing interests of individuals in a scheme.

Disputes are accordingly a major issue. People disagree over parking, pets, noise and a host of other issues. New terms like “smoking drift” and “hotbedding” indicate there are new challenges with collective forms of tenure. The competence of strata managers is also a perennial concern.
When owners were asked about disputes, 51% said there had been disputes in the time since they’d purchased their unit, mostly about parking, noise and breaking by-laws. In 40% of disputes, formal measures were taken in an effort to resolve the issue.

strata-anagement-survey

Residential noise restrictions

What times are residential noise restrictions in place?

The Protection of the Environment (Noise Control) Regulation 2008 covers neighbourhood noise laws. There are time restrictions on when noise from residential premises should not be heard inside a neighbour’s residence. An offence occurs if the noise continues after a warning has been given by a council or police officer.

Time-of-day noise restrictions

During these times, noise should not be heard in a habitable room in a neighbour’s residence.

sydney-strata-management

Self Managed Buildings

Self Managed Buildings can cause many headaches, which we discuss below. There are many property owners that are unaware of their responsibilities or their rights when their property is a body corporate-managed building or an owners corporation building. Lack of concern from the lot owners is a leading factor that contributes to many issues, damage and more.

Due to this fact there are many mistakes made by both the owners corporation and body corporate. Most of which cost a lot of time and money. More importantly it can severely affect the overall quality and upkeep of the building.

Colleagues holding question mark signs in front of their faces

Here are some of the most common:

  1. Right’s and responsibilities and unpaid fee’s to the owners corporation or body corporate.

To be able to conduct regular maintenance on the building and facilities payments need to be up to date so that the owners corporation or body corporate can carry out important work on the property. Many buildings in Sydney are ageing and need constant upkeep and attention to keep the building as an attractive prospect for tenants. Many owners simply don’t know their responsibilities or rights, which leads to costly mistakes by the owners corporation or body corporate, it can also affect the overall building quality.

As a building gets older and becomes rundown due to improper maintenance the safety of the property becomes a concern adding further to the attractiveness of the property and less likely to find tenants and lowering it’s resale value.

  1. Contractor payments

Many owners don’t realise the importance of paying contractors on a timely fashion. Many have incentives for on time or early payments and when these are not paid on time it can cost a lot more money and also disgruntle a preferred contractor or service provider.

  1. Enforcement of by-laws and building laws

These standards and by-laws may incorporate what proprietors and occupants can have on their balconies/outdoor areas, what pets are permitted, how facilities are to be used, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Neglecting to adhere to these can bring about a messy building, damage and create less appeal towards renters and buyers. It can likewise end up hard to authorize different standards and by-laws, since part proprietors won’t welcome the irregularity.

  1. Neglecting to employ a professional strata service

Numerous proprietors partnerships and bodies corporate choose to self-oversee which can have a few advantages as long as everything is functioning admirably. In any case, if an issue emerges, self-guided proprietors enterprise and bodies corporate are off guard. It’s harder to determine issues, oversee authoritative prerequisites, look after progression, and convey a first-rate benefit for good-natured volunteers. What’s more, when a proprietors company or body corporate ends up overwhelmed by an intense identity, which frequently happens, things can see issues get out of control quickly.

These are just a few things that makes us a leader in Sydney Strata management.

To learn more contact SYDNEY STRATA SPECIALISTS today.

Trends to expect in 2018

The property market in Sydney in 2017 saw Sydney’s median house price rise by over $530,000. The following is a snapshot of the trends to expect in 2018:

 

  1. Financial markets predict the Reserve Bank will lift the official cash rate off the record low 1.5 percent level late in 2018.
  2. Cooling of property prices. The following shows the forecast for metropolitan areas: 

Source: ANZ Research

3. The Return of first home buyers

Source: ANZ Research

4. The stamp duty taxes on property transfers are seeing people upgrade or renovate their existing dwelling. The following is a graph showing the meteoric rise adjusted for inflation:

sydney-strata-management-stamp-duty-17-pm

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Parties and loud noise

When it comes to noise complaints, parties and strata management, it is against the law to affect the sleep of others. Please check your building or states laws, as they may differ:

Take a look here. 

best-strata-managerIf you or your tenant wish to lodge a complaint about the noise of a neighbour, calling the police should be your last resort.  This creates conflict and, at times, an uncomfortable living environment moving forward. We advise that you do your research regarding your specific situation, especially on the laws and policy, before escalating further. If you have a relationship with the neighbour in question, try and resolve in a reasonable and friendly manner.

Alternatively, the owner’s corporation can be used to issue your neighbour with a compliance notice if all else fails.

Please keep in mind that if you are planning an event or party of your own, you should advise your neighbours prior to the event. Not only does this show respect to those in close proximity to you, they will appreciate the thought and gesture.

2017 review & Sydney Strata Management

2017 review and the state of Sydney Strata Management.

Sydney Strata Management

In 2017 Sydney and NSW has seen growth in housing and unit prices and demand. Sydney remains one of the worlds most expensive places in regards to property prices. Sydney Strata Management is changing along with the market trends and changes. Here is some interesting information on the market and how it will affect your investments and strata management.

The following is an overview:

  • House and unit prices in close proximity to Sydney CBD now exceed $1m. The median house price has passed $1.3m.
  • Buyers and owners will find it difficult to find a house under 1m with-in 25km from the CBD. Discounts on Stamp Duty for first home buyers (Properties up to 880k) are affecting growth as they normally do in this area.
  • Newcastle, Central Coast and Wollongong have risen and becoming growth corridors in NSW.
  • The recent and improved light rail construction in Sydney has seen many properties in close vicinity to the new network flooded with investors and interest.
  • Trends towards property purchases in the inner city of Sydney remain the top draw for buyers. See our post about the Top 10 most desirable suburbs here.
  • The affordability of properties and availability of high-quality amenities are also pushing the apartment market forward in the Northern Beaches and eastern regions.
  • Housing shortages are contributing and keeping demand high in inner Sydney as the population grows.
  • Low-rise suburban apartments near activity centres remain a profitable option for investors.

If you would like to talk to one of our experts about how the above effects you and how Sydney Strata Specialists can help manage your property, call us today for an obligation free review of your current Strata plan. Contact us via the website or the following if you want to ensure your property is in the most capable hands:

CONTACT US

PO Box 7421
BONDI BEACH NSW 2026

info@sydneystrataspecialists.com.au
02 8005 3850

Repair v Redevelop? What you need to know

At Sydney Strata Specialist we are asked about the new changes in legislation regarding the 75% rule in selling / redeveloping the strata scheme.

The strata scheme may be facing repairs either immediately or in the near future –  these could mean that current owners raising tens of thousands of dollars each or even more.  There are vast amounts of buildings in the eastern suburbs that have concrete cancer or fire upgrades that have cost each owner $60,000 each.

The above is an example of Concrete Cancer

Meeting these levies can place an enormous financial burden on owners who are on fixed incomes.  In a lot of cases some owners voted NO or blocked the vote to the repairs as they simply could not afford to have the repairs undertaken.

The Government has recognised that a number of owners have blocked the sale/redevelopment and hence changed the laws to meet the ever-changing world of strata living.

Regardless if the owner’s corporation is looking to ether spending money on repairs or taking advantage of the growth. The majority of the owner’s corporation can now take advantage of the new laws.

Selling off the strata plan could be the way to go.  This use to be very difficult as it requires ALL (100%) owners to agree and sign off on the proposal.   Now the law is changing.

Now it is what is the most financial benefit that suits the majority –  Now that the consent of only a 75% majority of strata unit owners in a block will be required to consent to its demolition. This is in stark contrast to the current laws, which require agreement by 100% of strata unit owners for a block to be sold to a developer for demolition.

With many strata blocks within New South Wales becoming quite dated, ongoing maintenance and renovation is, without doubt, an extremely costly process, with the preferred option being to simply demolish the building.

Some of Sydney’s trendiest eastern suburbs are host to some of its oldest, and least sustainable, buildings.   A large number of buildings constructed in the 1970 had a life expectancy of 40 years.   We have now come to the end of the term.   Buildings that are on the coast are more susceptible to concrete cancer and if your building has not already had repairs due to this then it is only a matter of time.

sydney-strata-manager-old-apartments

Apartment block for sale in Cronulla

Allowing for redevelopment rather than expensive maintenance, offering potential increases in tenancy numbers and far more energy efficient buildings. Some local councils have already increased the height restrictions.

Some developers are offering apartment owners options such as ‘first option to buy deals’ and assistance with temporary or permanent relocation.

Talk to us today and see why we are the best strata managers in Sydney.