2019 Strata Year In Review

January 6, 2020

Welcome to our first update for 2020 as we recap the highlights of our 2019 year of strata newsletters. We are sincerely thankful and humbled by your support shown throughout the past year with a total of 355,316 newsletter reads by Smart Strata’s now in excess of 30,000 subscribers! This keen interest inspires us to keep working hard to source and provide the content you want and need to assist with navigating your day to day life in strata.

Counting down our top 12 newsletters, you will be provided with some statistics and commentary on the issues that keep surfacing to the top as the most read topics in strata. You will also find a links to each of the highest read newsletters in case you missed that week’s release or would like to recap. If you enjoy reading these articles, please share them with your fellow strata stakeholders that will also benefit from the knowledge they provide.


Coming in at 12th place for the year was our newsletter covering “Strata Law Reform – Regulation Changes Released! | Commissioners Corner – Layered Schemes Fact Sheets” with 7,357 reads! Law reform has been supported for many years now and well overdue with many of the currently proposed reforms administrative based to update the regulations with current practices such as email of notices. Layered schemes were covered by the ever-popular contributions from Commissioner Chris Irons highlighting the differences for these types of usually large-scale properties that are thankfully also included in the proposed law reform.

In 11th place was “Commissioners Corner – For Sale Signs and Open Homes | Strata Law Reform Seminars – Gold Coast this Month!” with 7,380 reads contributed again by Commissioner Chris Irons who has a knack for seeking out areas of growing conflict in the industry and proactively educating stakeholders with his regular contributions. We also commenced publication of our in-demand strata community education seminars which started on the Gold Coast in September 2019 and always draws a high level of interest.


The top 10 started with “Cladding Compliance Deadline – 29 March 19 | Commissioners Corner – AGM Top Tips!” with 7,523 reads. Contributed by Andrew Staehr of Archers the Strata Professionals, this new legislation was introduced by the QLD Government with little consultation that resulted in some very tight deadlines and at times unworkable compliance requirements for Bodies Corporate. Commissioner Chris Irons again contributed some very helpful tips to run your AGM more effectively.


At number 9 we had “Committee Guide to Managing Defects | Strata Law Reform Seminars – Sunshine Coast Next Week!” with 7,553 reads led by another popular contributor to our newsletter in Frank Higginson of Hynes Legal. Again, very topical with Mascot Towers in Sydney making headlines for all the wrong reasons! The strata law reform education seminar series also took place in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast drawing many locals wanting to learn about the legislative changes coming for 2020.


In 8th place running with the same defects theme was “QBCC Defects Insurance Explained | Backflow Prevention Device Compliance” attracting 7,650 reads. Mario Esera of HWL Ebsworth Lawyers provided the facts on this topic assisting lot owners to decide the best avenue to pursue if in the unfortunate situation of dealing with building defects. Rex Barnes of Barnes Backflow Testing and Solutions also went into the details needed to make sure your backflow device is compliant to protect the water supply.


7th place saw “AGM’s – The Tricky Stuff | Conflict Management” receiving 7,704 reads confirming we can all do with a refresher on the not so common items that come up at your Annual General Meeting which I also presented to my peers at the Strata Community Association (QLD) annual conference. Conflict management contributed by our American correspondent Julie Adamen of Adamen Inc reinforced that Australia is not alone in the strata community struggles we face and provided some great tips that were very well received.


The top 6 was rounded out by “Contractor Engagements and the QBCC | Commissioners Corner – Debt Recovery FAQ’s” attracting 7,819 reads. Jason Carlson of Grace Lawyers provided his expertise in this area to assist with governance in strata when it comes to arm’s length engagement of contractors and  QBCC requirements to consider.  Another helpful contribution from Commissioner Chris Irons also proved popular again with the topic of debt recovery that can be tricky if not handled in the right way from the start.


At number 5 we had another Commissioner Chris Irons contribution with “Commissioners Corner – Towing Orders | Approving Owner Improvements” gaining 7,864 reads.  Published at the beginning of the year, Chris gave some case examples to assist in deciding on the best course of action to deal with persistent parking issues. Approving improvements was also covered in detail by Peter James of Archers the Strata Professionals with this installment being popular for owner improvements following part 1 contributed by Denise Bretherton covering Body Corporate improvements, highlighting the definitions and varying approval thresholds.


4th on the list was “Separating Strata Facts from Fiction | Common Noise Complaints” with 7,973 reads dispelling many common myths about the obligations and authority of different strata stakeholders contributed by Jason Carlson of Grace Lawyers appearing for a second time in our top 12 list. Tim Burns of Archers the Strata Professionals gave his top tips on dealing with the various categories of noise issues to assist with maintaining harmony within strata community living.


Coming in as our 3rd most popular article with 8,053 reads was of little surprised given the importance of fire safety “Smoke Alarm Compliance – Time to Act | That Guy – The one with a complaint or comment about everything!”. Another of my own contributions on the topic of smoke alarm compliance which gained lots of interest and has spurred on many to now take a proactive approach to this issue. “That Guy” contribute again by Julie Adamen of Adamen Inc was a little controversial as Julie doesn’t pull any punches with lots of comments both positive and negative, so no doubt relatable to many.


2nd on the list was a topic that resonates with many stakeholders as it can often be the subject of heated debate. “Caretaking Agreements – Statutory Reviews Explained” contributed by Todd Garsden of Hynes Legal with 8,830 reads tells us that there is a need for greater understanding of this process, particularly with so many new strata schemes coming out of the ground in the last few years.


I was a little surprised when I saw the statistic of 10,489 reads for our most popular newsletter for 2019, thinking it would be about one of the 4 “P’s” in strata: Pets, Parties, Parking & Passive Smoking. It seems that many readers have a little more time at the start of the working year as our “Welcome to 2019 – Efficiency Tips and more!” newsletter topped the list!

The list is still relevant today so please hop over to either Archers the Strata Professionals or Smart Strata website to find out more.


We hope you enjoyed the content we provided throughout the year and look forward to keeping it relevant to you. If you have read this far, no doubt you have a keen interest in the topics we publish. Please let us know what you would like to hear more about in the comments below and we will seek a contributor. Finally and most importantly, a big thanks to all of our article contributors who dedicate their time and expertise helping us stay relevant to your strata education needs.


This article was contributed by Grant Mifsud – Partner, Archers the Strata Professionals & Chief editor, Smart Strata.


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