In the Media

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Good News for Compulsory Strata Managers

16 October, 2019 Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW)

Warwick van Ede, Lawyer, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers said that “Strata Managers often receive a request to put their name forward to be appointed as a compulsory strata manager, in circumstances where there is a dysfunctional owners corporation. There may be one or more lot owners agitating for various things to occur, such as remedial building works.  It can be a difficult decision to make, as to whether to agree to put yourself forward.”

Read the full Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) article here. 

Helen_Amanatiadis_Strata_Lawyer_Major_Building_Defects

How to Establish a Major Building Defect

24 July 2019, Property Observer 

On 15 January 2015, the Home Building Amendment Act 2014 changed the terminology and definitions for building defects from structural to “major” and from minor to “in any other case” i.e. non-major.

In this article Helen Amanatiadis, Lawyer, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers shares 2 recent NCAT cases and provides a useful guide on what is now considered a major defect according to the legislative changes. 

Read the full Property Observer article here. 

Strata Emails and Defamation

Taming Keyboard Warriors: Dealing with Strata Communications

 11 June 2019, Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW)

A recent NSW District Court defamation case highlights the potential dangers lurking in communications (especially emails) between strata managers, owners corporations and residents. Carlo Fini, Lawyer, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers said “to reduce the risk of these situations strata managers can encourage owners corporations to establish by-laws that state what constitutes proper and unreasonable communication.”

Read the full Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) article here. 

Security Cameras and Strata

All Eyes on You: Security Cameras and Strata

03 June 2019, Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) News

Every owners corporation will or should have a by-law or by-laws preventing lot owners from installing surveillance cameras on common property without consent.  Warwick van Ede, Lawyer, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers said “if owners corporations install security cameras themselves, they risk committing an offence under the Surveillance Devices Act .” 

 Read the full Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) article here.

Combustible Cladding By-laws

Does your Strata Scheme have Combustible Cladding? Top 3 Items to Review Now!

29 April 2019, Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) News

Many strata buildings constructed since 1990 contain some form of external cladding. It’s a popular choice given its appeal, sound and thermal properties and ease of application. However, recent fire disasters arising from the use of  poor external combustible cladding materials has raised serious concerns. Daniela Terruso, Lawyer, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers suggests the top 3 items to help prevent these disasters?

 Read the full Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) article here.

Neighbourhood Strata Disputes

Love Thy Neighbours: The Number One Cause of Disputes Between Neighbours

21 March 2019, Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) Domain

According to official bodies, fences, noise-related, trees and retaining walls are the top disputes between neighbours. Adrian Mueller, partner, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers says, “the most difficult, dispute among neighbours are retaining walls due to the lack of legislation and expense to fix, neighbours can spend a long time in court trying to come to an amicable resolution.” 

Read the full Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) Domain article here.

NSW Building Defects and the Opal Tower

The (High) Rise of Building Defects

12 March 2019, Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) News

Adrian Mueller, partner, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers says, “under NSW law residential buildings less than six years old are covered by a statutory warranty scheme for major defects.”  

“Major defects claims can be made up to six years and any non-major defects can be claimed for up to two years,” says Adrian.

Read the full Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) article here.

Short Term Rentals + Airbnb

Short Term Letting and Airbnb Adrian Mueller Talks Live with News Corp Australia’s ‘Your Money’

16 March 2019, News Corp Australia, ‘Your Money’

Adrian Mueller, partner, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers, talks short term letting and Airbnb. Adrian discusses the approval process, dealing with short term letting in your strata building, by-laws and other expert tips. 

Read the full associated article here Changes to the Laws Regulating Short Term Accommodation

Dealing with adjoining owners

Up, Down and All Around: Dealing with Adjoining Owners

08 March 2019, Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) News

As a strata manager, you not only interact with your owners corporation, but also with owners of adjacent and adjoining buildings. While you’re responsible for your strata scheme, a variety of issues can arise in relation to other buildings. Warwick van Ede, Lawyer,  JS Mueller & Co Lawyers says, “there are many issues that can arise from your ‘neighbours’ and here’s the low down on how to deal with them”.

Read the full Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) article here.  

Opal Tower Building Defects Interview Adrian Mueller Strata Lawyer

Opal Tower Final Report and Building Defects Adrian Mueller Talks Live with News Corp Australia’s ‘Your Money’

23 February 2019, News Corp Australia, ‘Your Money’

Adrian Mueller, partner, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers talks building defects explaining how wide-spread the problem is and discusses the Opal Tower final report highlighting the seriousness of the defects that have left owners’ lives turned upside down.

Read the full associated article here Does your Scheme have Combustible Cladding? Top 3 Items to Review

Strata Owners Lose Parking Battle

Sydney Apartment Owners Lose Final Bid to Kick Non-residents out of Car Park

1 December 2018, Sydney Morning Herald (SMH)

Adrian Mueller, partner, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers, said, “the case stemmed from a letter from the City of Sydney and as a result of that letter, the strata committee introduced a by-law. Ultimately, I think the case is an example of what can happen when the local council issues a development consent in unclear terms.”

Read the full Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) article here.

Sydney CBD Laneway Easement

Stoush Over ‘Completely Useless’ Sydney Laneway

20 November 2018, The World News

A historic laneway in the Sydney CBD, currently used for dumping rubbish, has become the subject of a NSW Supreme Court. Carlo Fini, Lawyer, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers said “the case highlighted a real issue for the city. So much real estate in Sydney is unoccupied now, and no one knows who the owners are.”

Read the full The World News article here. 

Stoush Over Sydney CBD Laneway

‘Completely Useless’: Fight Over Sydney CBD Laneway has its Roots in Convict Times

16 November 2018, Domain Commercial Real Estate

Successfully represented by JS Mueller & Co Lawyers, an ongoing row between neighbours that back on to the historic laneway in the Sydney CBD escalated when the laneway’s owners put up a gate at the entrance restricting its use. Easements were challenged but the Supreme Court ruled they were valid.

Read the full Domain Commercial Real Estate article here.

Building Defects and Home Warranty Insurance

Most Important Decision Concerning Building Defects in Many Years

1  September 2018,  Australian Construction Law Newsletter (ACLN)

The NSW Court of Appeal has handed down the most important decision concerning building defects in many years. The court’s decision is good and means that builders and developers can be held liable for design defects.

The full article written by Adrian Mueller, Partner, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers has been published in the reputable industry Australian Construction Law Newsletter (ACLN) and it can be read here.

Illegally Parked Vehicles

Removing Illegally Parked Vehicles

21 June 2018, Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) News

Are owners corporations powerless to remove illegally parked vehicles from visitor parking spaces? On 30 November 2016, the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (Strata Act) started which allows regulations to be made that confer power on an owners corporation to dispose of goods (including motor vehicles) left on common property. Adrian Mueller, partner, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers, explains what this means. 

Read the full Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) article here. 

JS Mueller & Co Strata Lawyers NSW

Growing Our Business Means Growing Our Team of Strata Experts

15 June 2018, News Release

JS Mueller & Co Lawyers has been serving the strata industry for almost four decades, since 1979, and as our business grows, so does our team of strata experts. 

As such, we’re proud to announce the addition of three new strata lawyers to our team of experts. 

Check out our team of strata experts and read the full news release here.

How to Avoid Bylaw Mistakes

How to Avoid Strata By-law Review Mistakes

14 March 2018, Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) News

The deadline for owners corporations to review their by-laws has passed and most owners corporations have now completed these reviews. So what lessons can be learned from the by-law review process? More importantly, what mistakes have been made during that process and how can they be fixed? Adrian Mueller, partner, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers shares some insights. 

Read the full Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) article here. 

Airbnb Short Term Letting AFR

Strata Lawyers Dissect Anti-Airbnb Rules 

15 February 2018, Australian Financial Review (AFR)

Adrian Mueller, partner, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers, says, “that rather than a by-law restricting the number of days a property could be let I would…

Advise the owners corporation to make a new by-law that would prohibit an owner or occupier of a lot using the lot … for unlawful short-term accommodation.”

Read the full Australian Financial Review (AFR) article here.

Building Defects

Experts Criticise Law to Protect Home Buyers from Dodgy Developers

5 January 2018, Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) 

Is a 2 per cent bond to cover the cost of repairing defective work inadequate? Is the system doomed to result in more cost and litigation? Adrian Mueller, partner, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers shares his opinion. 

Read the full Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) article here.

Levy Collections, Levy Debt Collections, Levy Recovery Monk Forced Apartment Sale to pay for Debt

Huge Crackdown on Empty Houses and Apartments

23 December 2017, Byron Shire News, Sunshine Coast Daily, Coff Coast Advocate Newspapers

Faiyaaz Shafiq, a strata law expert from JS Mueller & Co Lawyers, said, “at the time the problem would only get worse. A lot of people are buying properties from overseas and leaving them. Many owners are out there with units empty, and no one can find them.”

Read the full Sunshine Coast Daily, Byron Shire News and Coffs Coast Advocate articles here. 

Criminal Sanctions are Available for False Statements’: ATO Tools up for Empty House Crackdown

21 December 2017, News Corp Australia
 
Faiyaaz Shafiq, a strata law expert from JS Mueller & Co Lawyers, said “at the time the problem would only get worse. A lot of people are buying properties from overseas and leaving them. So many owners are out there with strata units locked up, empty, and no one can find them.”
 
 Read the full News Corp Australia published press article here.
Levy Collections Forced Unit Sale

Apartment of Malaysian who became a Monk Auctioned off in Sydney

1 December 2017, FMT News International Malaysian News

A Sydney unit of a Malaysian who returned to Malaysia to become a monk was auctioned off following a court order. Faiyaaz Shafiq, Lawyer, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers said “We have a problem across Australia at the moment where foreign buyers, mainly from Asia buy units, never live in them and no one can find them. 

Read the full FMT News published in international Malaysian press here.

Levy Collections Supreme Court

Sydney homeowners disappeared overseas after their conversion to Buddhism, and they actually owed $1.4m cumulative tax in 12 years

9 December 2017, sangbe.com International Asian News

Senior lawyer JS Mueller & Co Lawyers, Faiyaaz Shafiq said, “this is a big issue in Australia because some overseas buyers are usually from Asia, but they never live in it and no one knows where they are and usually they can’t be traced.”

The full article was published in international Asian press sangbe.com.

JS Mueller & Co Branding

Introducing the New Look… JS Mueller & Co Lawyers

25 November 2017, Media Announcement

Our exciting new look and feel has been designed to reflect the growing brand we are today and into the future. You’ll start to see our new branding reflected across our website, stationery, legal documents, promotional materials and much more.

To see the full impact click here.

Airbnb Fines

Airbnb Hosts can be Fined $550 for Failing to Notify Strata of New Guests Under NSW Law

20 November 2017, news.com.au

A LITTLE-USED legal provision could be used to put the squeeze on owners who rent their units out on short-term rental sites like Airbnb. Under Section 258 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015. Faiyaaz Shafiq, Lawyer, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers shares his opinion. 

Read the full news.com.au article here.

Airbnb Short Term Letting Fines

Apartment Dwellers Fed up with Airbnb Turning their Homes into Hotels are being Urged to Take Advantage of an Obscure Law.

20 November 2017, The Northern Star

A little-used legal provision could put the squeeze on owners who rent their units on short-term rental sites. Faiyaaz Shafiq, Lawyer, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers, said “while the statutory mechanism under Section 258 is available, he preferred owners corporations to create special by-laws banning short-term letting.”

Read the full The Northern Star article here.

Airbnb Short Term Accommodation

Airbnb: $550 Fines for Hosts as Obscure Law Re-discovered

20 November 2017, Fraser Coast Chronicle

A little-used legal provision could put the squeeze on owners who rent their units on short-term rental sites.

Faiyaaz Shafiq, Lawyer, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers, said “while the statutory mechanism under Section 258 is available, he preferred owners corporations to create special by-laws banning short-term letting.”

Read the full Fraser Coast Chronicle article here.

Levy Collections and the Sheriff

Merry Chase for Mystery Malaysian Monk who Renounced his ‘Worldly Possessions’

20 November 2017, news.com.au

This case has set a precedent for owners corporations in the same predicament. The Supreme Court order was necessary to give the notoriously short-staffed sheriff’s office a nudge.  

Read the full news.com.au article here.

Levy Collections

Sale of Apartment Owned by Monk who Disappeared Overseas Sets Legal Precedent

19 November 2017, Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) Domain

Owners Corporations and strata managers in NSW sometimes wonder how they can recover outstanding strata levies from owners of strata units who’ve disappeared and are nowhere to be found. Well, do not be disillusioned JS Mueller & Co Lawyers has now given hope to owners corporations and strata managers.

Read the full Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) Domain article here.

New NSW Strata Rules Loophole

Gaping Loophole in New NSW Strata Rules Exposed After Resident Ripped up her Carpet

12 November 2017, Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) Domain

Owners who took action at NCAT against a resident who broke the by-laws by ripping up her carpet and using the concrete slab as noisy flooring discovered, they could not impose a fine on her.

Read the full Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) Domain article here.

short-term letting

Landmark decision: NSW tribunal overturns bylaw that banned woman from renting apartment on Airbnb

30 September 2017, Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) Domain

In a landmark decision, the first time strata by-laws have been overturned in favour of Airbnb in NSW, will have major repercussions for every apartment building that has tried to restrict short term lets.

Read the full Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) Domain article here.

Strata Lift Refurbishments

Can Lift Refurbishments Trigger Compensation?

24 July 2017, Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) News

Lifts breaking down in strata developments can have several knock-on effects which pose several questions, including compensation claims. For example, if a lift is refurbished, do owners corporations pay compensation to affected owners and tenants?

Read the full Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) article here. 

Explanatory_Notes_Adrian_Mueller

Are Explanatory Notes Required?

25 May 2017, Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) News

Do explanatory notes need to be included in the agenda of a general meeting of an owners corporation? The answer might surprise you. Since the start of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 on 30 November 2016, a practice has arisen for explanatory notes to be included in an agenda of a general meeting of an owners corporation. Are these explanatory notes required?

Read the full Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) article here. 

Strata Meetings

New Rules on Strata Meetings and Voting 

1 December 2016, Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) News

Under the new strata regulations, proxy voting will prevent any individual attempting to control owners’ decisions by obtaining a majority of proxy votes. The number of proxy votes able to be held by one person will be limited. Read on to find out the new meeting and voting regulations.

Read the full Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) article here. 

Unpaid Levies – The New Rules

7 October 2016, Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) News

Over 90 reforms are being made to the strata laws on 30 November 2016 in a bid to modernise the legislation, reduce red tape, avoid disputes and support the sector. Faiyaaz Shafiq, Senior Lawyer with JS Mueller & Co Lawyers, said, “that currently there are no legal rights for lot owners to request a levy instalment payment plan from an owners corporation.”

Read the full Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) article here. 

Top Ten New Strata Laws

Property 101: Top 10 NSW Strata Law Changes in November 2016

5 September 2016, Property Observer

Over 90 new strata laws will come into play later this year and of the 90 these are some changes that will most likely make a difference to your everyday. 

Adrian Mueller, Partner, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers shares the top 10!

Read the full Property Observer article here.

Smoking By-laws

Tobacco or Snag Under the New Strata Reforms

18 August 2016, Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) News

Come November 2016, throwing a snag on the barbie or having a puff on a ciggie could be considered a ‘nuisance or hazard’. Under the new strata reforms owners corporations will be able to enforce a ban by issuing a notice to comply for smoke drift, such as that from tobacco and barbecues, under the by-law changes. 

Read the full Real Estate Institute NSW (REINSW) article here. 

Chinese Property Owners and Strata

Chinese Property Owners in Australia

19 April 2016, SBS Radio

JS Mueller & Co Lawyers, talks strata law with SBS Cantonese Radio, nation-wide.

If you understand Cantonese and/or have Chinese Cantonese speaking clients listen to the full radio interview below.

Listen to the full SBS Cantonese Radio interview here Chinese Property Owners in Australia.

Sunset Clawbacks off the plan property and conveyancing

Top Lawyers call for Changes to Apartment ‘Sunset Clawbacks’

7 September 2015, Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) Domain

Top strata lawyers have called for NSW property protections to be brought into line with Australian states.

JS Mueller & Co Lawyers has pointed to the deregulation of the conveyancing industry as another factor for leaving off-the-plan purchasers more vulnerable to contract revisions. He put the blame on conveyancers offering cut-price, inferior services.

Read the full Sydney Morning Herald (SMH)  Domain article here.

Home Warranty and Building Defects

Home Owner Warranty Protection NSW

15 October 2014, Radio 2UE

JS Mueller & Co Lawyers talks Home Owner Warranty Protection New South Wales (NSW) with Clive Robertson 2UE Radio.

To listen to the full 2UE Radio interview click here.