In this week’s Flat Chat Wrap. Jimmy and Sue look at the wealth of good advice about how to get through this crisis without the whole system falling around our ears.
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Even if your block is not managed by our sponsors Strata Choice, you can access their Covid-19 Update page which is full of valuable advice and information.
At the same time as many of us are seeing a decline in our incomes, our strata schemes are facing increased costs simply because more people are working from home.
Understandably, owners are looking to reduce their outgoings and the whole question of levies (or fees) raises its head. However, it comes down to this: if you want to cut your levies, what services are you going to cut to make the savings?
For owners corporations (body corporates), there’s the very real prospect of funds running out in the next quarter as owners who have lost their jobs can’t pay their levies on time.
Now, those levies will be paid eventually – even if they have to be extracted from the sale of the unit concerned – but what happens in the interim?
Lannock strata finance (another Flat Chat sponsor) is offering a line of credit through their Levy Assist Loans to owners corps to cover the shortfall. However, that comes with its own complications: how do you collectively pay interest on a loan not everyone needed?
The answer, unfortunately, may be to resist the temptation to waive penalty interest on the overdue levies – harsh as that may seem. Or you could just suck it up in the interests of sharing the pain.
Would you dob?
On a slightly different note, JimmyT and Sue Williams ask, would you dob in a neighbour who wasn’t socially isolating, whether it was hosting dinner parties or hanging out with their friends on common property?
And what would you do if you were the secretary or chair who received the report?
Informed and entertained
And with a view to keeping ourselves informed and entertained during these isolated times Sue came up with a list of classic apartment-related movies, See how many you would have chosen.
Meanwhile, Jimmy talked about the political podcasts that keep him up to date with what’s happening elsewhere in the world, including NPR Politics, Pod Save the World, Guardian Politics Weekly and its Australian Cousin, the BBC’s Coronavirus Newscast and Embedded.
And if you’re into property in all its glories, check out the Elephant in the Room, if only because they described Jimmy as “multi-talented” in the blurb for the episode on which he was a guest. Finally there's our best of frenemies, strata lawyer Amanda Palmer, who has just published her 208th episode ot the yourstrataproperty podcast.
On a lighter note, to put a (wry) smile on your face, check out Judith Lucy’s Overwhelmed and Dying, Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb’s Chat 10 Looks 3 and the Friday Night Comedy on the BBC.
Finally, not really a podcast, more of an audiobook and, admittedly, a bit of acquired taste, Ed Reardon’s Week is a radio sitcom about a failing writer and you can get the fourth series free if you sign up for a 30-day trial of Audible here.
And Sue mentioned this brilliant coronavirus parody of Adele's Hello: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5azNpTwVk8
Play the podcast
And finally, here’s where you can play our latest podcast: