34 Union Street Brunswick
A remarkable location - close to everything

Some things that need fixing

The Honest Person's Guide to Maintenance

Thoughts on an Owners Committee policy and notes on maintenance.

Another's view of Strata Committees and a comment on Engagement
An argument for simpler financial reporting
Political action and the OC
A way to a Courtyard
The hanging gardens of Jewel -V2

Queries, comments and criticism

You said:

Why does this web site exist?

I have been an owner and resident from the beginning of apartment life for 34 Union Street in 2011, and an Owners Committee member on two occasions. Prior to returning to Victoria I lived in an 81 unit seaside complex in W.A. There I also spent time on the Owners Committee.

In browsing the net looking for suggestions that could be of use here at 34 Union Street, I came on comments about strata management from a person who is an investor with quite a number of properties.

He dismisses AGM's with the comments:

If the strata manager is just going ahead and setting the agenda and the budget without consultation with the committee how can a building change for the better? Basically because, at least in Victoria, AGMs don’t much matter anymore.

I’ve been to hundreds of them and they are mostly just formalities except for “other business”. Most owners don’t even bother attending. In nearly 40 years I’ve never yet been to one that has achieved a quorum. I’ve been to several where it was just me and the strata manager. The budget is usually just a projection based on the past year’s expenses.

He nicely describes our AGM's and goes on to point to our biggest failing:

It’s the rest of the year that really matters. And that’s where active strata committees make a huge difference. They handle problems and issues as they occur and get things done for the benefit of the owners and occupiers. My committees actively engage on important issues with owners and occupiers throughout the year. Why wait to the AGM to inform them?

A characteristic of our community at 34 Union Street is the lack of communication among the interested parties. Apart from last year's unsuccessful burst of communication about solar power and the embedded network and the Annual General Meeting, what else was there? Were owners and residents ever asked for their opinions? Did the OC ever ask for help?

With the exception of the article quoted from above, I have written the other items both as illustrations of how an Owners Committee could communicate with owners and tenants and because they are real issues that have been raised at various times.

If owners and residents choose to read and engage in dialogue, these papers can grow, be changed because of better ideas or removed through lack of interest. it's up to you.

About half of the residents of 34 Union Street are "owners", the other half are the occupiers of apartments owned by people living elsewhere, even overseas in a couple of cases. If the people who live here are content, it should follow that the absent owners are also content.

If an owner or resident needs to communicate with the building management they have either the MIA or OC email addresses. There is no way for them to canvass other opinions or to have their views generally known. There is a Faceboook Group for 34 Union Street but that is a poor vehicle for canvassing ideas.

In my opinion there is almost no dialogue between MIA, the Owners Committee, the owners and residents. All errors and wrong ideas on this page are mine. Tony Blackmore 401.

I know it's fairly primitive as websites go, but I produced it with my recollection of HTML from about 1995 and with no software other than Mac Text Edit. If there is a website developer out there who would like to help please put your hand up.