Are shipping containers the apartments of the future?
Natalee VenegasSeptember 28th, 2016
Housing affordability and environmental sustainability are two issues we hear a lot about in society today. A Danish architecture firm may have come up with a solution to both issues with its creative recycling of old steel shipping containers. Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) has ‘upcycled’ unsightly shipping containers to create a very […]
New off the plan provisions tested for the first time
Bianca BarryMarch 31st, 2016
In November I wrote about the Conveyancing Amendment (Sunset Clauses) Bill 2015 (“Sunset Clauses Bill”) which rid the Conveyancing Act 1919 (“Act”) of the sunset clause loophole. The new section 66ZL of the Act provides that a developer may rescind an off the plan contract under a sunset clause in circumstances where: The buyer consents […]
Asbestos in strata: a reminder of your obligations
Amanda FarmerAugust 31st, 2015
Since 1 January 2012, all strata buildings containing a common property workplace built before 1 January 2004 must comply with certain legislative requirements relating to asbestos. In summary, these requirements relate to (a) the identification of asbestos (b) the creation of an asbestos register and (c) the creation of an asbestos management plan. The relevant […]
Developer caretaker agreements and fiduciary duties
Bianca BarryApril 22nd, 2015
The NSW Supreme Court continues to consider the many and vexing issues between Meriton Apartments Pty Limited and The Owners Strata Plan No. 72381, with the Supreme Court’s most recent decision delivered last month. This case involves a dispute between the developer of the World Tower building in the centre of Sydney and the owners corporation of […]
Only in Texas….a creative response to a universal problem
Amanda FarmerFebruary 16th, 2015
Kirby Warnock, father of our very own Hallie, has come up with a creative and (apparently) very effective way to “stick it to the man,” as he puts it. Kirby is currently opposing the “spot zoning” of his hometown of Oak Cliff, Texas. A developer is proposing a subdivision which will result in 42 units […]
“Just claim on your contents insurance”
Amanda FarmerFebruary 16th, 2015
When a water leak emanating from common property damages a lot owner’s property, including furniture, managing agents will often advise lot owners to make a claim on their contents insurance. The explanation usually runs like this: “the building insurer won’t cover it because our policy doesn’t extend to lot owner’s property, so it’s up to […]
Home Building Amendment Act 2014 – commencement dates proclaimed
Amanda FarmerDecember 14th, 2014
On Wednesday 10 December 2014 the Governor proclaimed the commencement of the Home Building Amendment Act 2014. There are three relevant dates. In summary:- (a) the amendment that inserts a provision requiring disclosure about uninsured owner-builder work commences on 31 December 2014; (b) amendments relating to:- contracts to do residential building work or supply kit homes; […]
Home Building Act changes – now due to commence mid-January 2015
Amanda FarmerNovember 24th, 2014
NSW Fair Trading is now advising stakeholders that the Home Building Amendment Act 2014 and accompanying Regulation will commence together in mid-January 2015. This is a slight extension of the 1 December 2014 date many owners and their legal counsel have been working towards. Fair Trading is also advising that “some changes that require a […]
A win for builders, yet another blow for owners
Amanda FarmerOctober 9th, 2014
The High Court has found that there is no duty of care owed by a builder to an owners corporation in respect of pure economic loss flowing from latent defects in construction work.
Owners act reasonably in denying original builder the right to rectify defects
Amanda FarmerAugust 27th, 2014
The NSW Supreme Court has found that an Owners Corporation acted reasonably in refusing to allow the original builder to rectify its own defective work.
Major impact of amendments to Home Building Act NSW
Amanda FarmerJune 26th, 2014
On 5 June 2014, major amendments to the Home Building Act received assent. The new law will commence on a date to be proclaimed, which may not be until the end of 2014.
The impact for strata and community schemes is significant.
The importance of a clear engagement contract
Amanda FarmerMay 1st, 2014
A word of warning for both owners corporations and their suppliers: if the terms of the contract between you are unclear or ambiguous, you could both suffer.
The NSW Supreme Court has recently considered a case in which an owners corporation was sued by a consulting engineer in relation to the owners corporation’s alleged failure to pay in full for a building defects report prepared by the engineer: Demlakian Engineers Pty Ltd v The Owners of Strata Plan 80453  NSWSC 401 (8 April 2014)
Important changes to the Security of Payments Act
Amanda FarmerFebruary 17th, 2014
The Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (NSW) (the SOP Act) is changing, and strata schemes will be affected. The amendments are expected to commence in April 2014.