People who don't care about pets in apartments shouldn't switch off just yet, regardless of how bored you are with the whole issue.
It has implications for everyone in apartments, whether you have pets or not, as you may discover when your upstairs neighbour starts stomping around on their new, cheap timber floor.
Letting ourselves off the leash this week, we also explore why Sydney's rents are going down a lot in some areas but up even more in others.
And we look at the fuel of the future and ask why we aren't pumping money itnto its development right now.
But first we ask strata lawyer David Sachs of Sachs Gerace Lawyers, what are the far-reaching consequences of the Appeals Court decision last week in the case between Jo Cooper and the Owners Corporation of the Horizon building in Sydney - that have nothing to do with pets.
Basically speaking, the NSW Court of Appeal ruled that Owners Corporations can't pass by-laws about what an owner does or has in their apartment if it doesn't impact on other owners' right to peaceful enjoyment of their lot.
More to the point, there are remedies in strata law to pull owners into line if they get it wrong so pre-emptive by-laws that assume the worst are considered "harsh, discriminatory and unconscionable" and therefore invalid. What does that mean for other by-laws? We ask David the following questions in our podcast chat this week:
Does the Court of Appeal ruling mean all no-pet bylaws are now defunct?Can buildings still impose restrictions on the type and size of pets?Can they ban pets from common property?Can they require owners to carry pets across common property?What implications does the ruling have for other by-laws?Will we expect more issues to be taken to NCAT e.g. when pets turn out to be a nuisance?Is NCAT up to handling an increased load of (predictably) emotional and contentious cases.Will the definition of "nuisance" need to be redefined in the current review of strata law.
David's answers are authoritative and enlightening and he also takes time to support the people we routinely lambast in these pages - the NCAT Members who sit in judgement on our trails and tribulations.
After that, Sue gives us a roundup of the areas of Sydney that are winning and losing on the rental roller-coaster ... and why.
And Jimmy is talking trains that produce steam but run on an altogether cleaner fuel than coal.
The Podcast transcribed
Jimmy and Sue's dulcet tones transcribed for those who can't or prefer not to listen. They are joined by strata lawyer David Sachs.
Be warned: This was transcribed by a soul-less American computer and edited by a grumpy Scot. But it still makes more sense than a Donald Trump diatribe.
Got a post on the Flat Chat Forum this week from Jo Cooper ... name ring a bell?
The owner of Angus, the now-legal dog in the Horizon building, and it's a Schnauzer.
Yep, and basically, she was writing to tell me that I'm wrong. Because I said that there should be apartment blocks that people can go to. Even though I'm pro-pet, I believe that there should be apartment blocks that people can go and live in, who really don't want to live in the same building as pets.
She said you can't have that. Because buildings have to allow support animals like guide dogs. And the law says you can't forbid them. So all it takes is one person to bring in a support animal and that whole argument about people's health and allergies and things goes out the window.
Anyway, so it's been pets, pets, pets all week ever since that ruling at the Appeals Court. So this week, we have a special guest, David Sachs from Sachs Gerace Lawyers, who has a pretty interesting take on what that appeal court decision means not just about pets, but about by-laws in general.
I'm Jimmy Thomson.
And I'm Sue Williams …
And this is the Flat Chat Wrap.