Posts Tagged ‘Strata Title’

A dastardly plot that might just work!

September 12, 2015
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It struck like a bolt of light from the sky. It happened at 6.45am as I was putting on my socks. This is usually my first duty. I can’t make a good coffee without wearing socks and slippers. Helvi loves walking around bare-footed. I often rebuke her for checking the latest happenings in the garden during frosty mornings. It makes me ill looking at those bare feet crunching around the crystalline hoar-frosted cyclamens or violets. I insists she gets socks on before any coffee! I suspects it behoves her seeing me all puckered, concerned and anxious.

Here now is clear-sighted bolt from the heavens. Why don’t I take on the job of chairman in our Strata Plan? The present chairperson is an 82 year old lady who is not familiar with e-mail and computers. So far she has done an admirable job but is under pressure from the rest of the executive to agree to the painting of this compound. They are just trying to wear her out, pushing to agree verbally to all sorts of schemes of intrigue and conniving. It is the last thing a retired person on her own would want to be part off.

She visited us last night and is obviously all stressed out. The investigation into how things have been managed by our inept Body Corporate manager is scaring her. We have tried to calm her. It is no-one’s fault but the Corporate Manager who failed to have given an accurate report of the last AGM. Not a word or motion reflecting even the idea of having spoken about any painting. Someone is cooking the reports and to think we are paying real money for that!

I will suggest to her, to relinquish her chairperson job and nominate me to fill the job till the next AGM when new nominations for positions might be called for. I would be an excellent replacement. Drunk with power I will get a cane and keep tapping it assertively in front of the other town-house owners. Up and down I will be tapping.  Any illegal disappearance of greenery will immediately be followed by lining up all owners in front of the letter-boxes and give them a severe dressing down before marching them back to their dwellings.

All camellias with their rotting flowers will be dug up and banished forever. Native sedges and Hebes will become obligatory. All windows must be uncovered during day but blinds and curtains will be allowed back in over the windows between 7pm and 6.30 am. Solar panels will become obligatory but paid for by Strata-plan, after enough money has been raised and collected in the quarterly fees. All residents will be encouraged to dance outside  their front door whenever more shocking news will be revealed about our bumbling Tony Abbott’s Government. ( if that’s what they call it).

A special  prawn barbeque will be put on when the polls on the Liberal National Party go down even further. Volunteers might be called for to put prawn shells behind hubcaps of cars known to belong to foolish LNP followers. A creative composing of tone-poems will be asked for, reflecting our concern for the world’s ecology and climate change. In the meantime Sibelius’ Valse Triste will be played through the Shire’s town’s vans with loudspeakers.

That will be all for now.

Pardon me Madam; your Body Corporate is showing

July 19, 2012

Sometimes, it is true, storm clouds gather in Strata-Titled communities joined at the hips by the regulations of The Body Corporate. They say, and many historians agree, Australia really got on its own when land ownership was denoted by giving parcels of land ‘Title’. This is how the name of “real Estate” came about. I remember my father being very puzzled when, after arrival in 1956, he assiduously queried the name of ‘real estate agent’. Are their estate agents that are not ‘real’, was his logical Dutch question?  Apparently before ‘Title’ people just put pegs in the ground and claimed it as belonging to them. People squatted by putting down their swag between the pegs and went to work tilling the soil, had babies and went to sleep in between. The document of Title was called Torrens named after a pioneer of Title, Mr Robert Torrens. Robert lived to a ripe old age of 94 and is buried at Rookwood. It is claimed the last words he uttered, were, ‘ I am feeling as Crook as Rookwood.’

However, and this is the crux of this little piece, when many arrived and populations grew faster than Torrens Titles could accommodate, many wanted to share the same block of land on the one single title. This was first used by large Italian migrant groups. We all know that ‘en famille’ around the’ tavola’ and forever ‘en casa’ is what makes Italian lives tick and has so for thousands of years. Not for them the world of segregated privacy and gloomy darkness with the enforced separation of the Robert’s Torrens Title.

It was an extraordinary large Italian family who just all wanted to remain together on the one parcel of land but living at close quarters. The name of this very large family was Signore et Signora, ‘Strata’. After seven years of marriage they had nine children. Both papa and mamma were very busy and fertile.  The family included many uncles and aunties, many of indefinable ages. They were born so many years ago, they simply never thought of the passing years. They just wanted to be able to see any new bambinas and sorellis at any given time of the day. A beehive of life and birth with the occasional death celebrated at Rookwood with copious amounts of Chianti with lots of calamari and prawns. It has to be said though, in respect for those dearly departed; many aunties would dress up in black. Some had also forgotten who they were mourning for, but that’s how Italian families functioned best. It was all a bit of a tradition and many had died so long ago. Mourning and feasting were always very close, almost the same. Both involved the intake of good food and plenty of it.

That’s how it was around the late nineteen fifties or so. They called their multi families property, the Strata en Casa.  Officials that visited this large community of Italian migrants felt it needed a more formal and Anglo name and decided on Strata Title. And that’s how the term ‘Strata Title’ was born. It was incorporated into statutes and made into a stern law. Soon many communities followed suit.

However, and we all know when ‘however’ is used, it is usually followed by a disclaimer or worse, some kind of dreaded bit of news. When the Strata Title was used and incorporated by those not used to communal life in order to get a foot-hold in a cheaper form of ‘real Estate’, (are their Estates that are not ‘real’?) it now is a “Title” thick with possible stirrings of discontent. Some people do not hold to common values and shared Strata ownership and insist on doing Torrens Title things. In other words, they want to do individual things on shared communal property.

Many annual Body Corporate meetings are now steeped in anger and misgivings about differences between both forms of Title. Both Mr Robert Torrens and the Family Strata used to live harmoniously together.

Not anymore now. Or so it seem and it has come to pass.