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How Much Should I Insure My House For?

This is a question frequently asked by property owners. It is an important question because there is significant financial risk if you get the answer wrong....


Where to Find the Best Home & Contents Insurance

We have more than forty years involvement with insurance valuations and the insurance industry, people frequently ask us where they can source the best home and contents insurance for their properties...


Home Insurance Calculators & Their Risks

There is no shortage of sites advertising access to an online home insurance calculator – but are they worth the risk? The risk being that you..


Leary & Partners Celebrate 40 Years in Business!

We commenced business in Brisbane in 1977. At that time the only professional service the industry required from us as practicing quantity surveyors was replacement valuations. This remains a core skill and...


What is the Difference Between a Sinking Fund and an Admin Fund?

People who are not familiar with the strata industry frequently ask this question. Most unit owners are aware that they pay levies to the body corporate or owners corporation (usually via the strata manager) but they sometimes do not understand where the money goes....


Can you rely on building cost calculators?

There are a number of sites on the internet that purport to be able to provide the user with an estimate of the cost to construct their home...


How to tell if your Sinking Fund Forecast reflects reality

There are a couple of tips that can help determine if your Sinking Fund is adequate, but firstly let’s explain what a Sinking Fund Forecast is and how to read a Sinking Fund Forecast graph...


Is there enough money in our sinking fund?

We regularly receive this query. Most owners are aware of the importance of the Sinking Fund Forecast (now called Maintenance Plans or Capital Works Plans in some states) and the impact it can have on:


Property Market Sentiment at a Glance (Nov 1st - 15th 2016)

The next series of the property market timeline is here showing news articles for the begnning of November.


Property Market Sentiment at a Glance (Oct 16th - 31st 2016)

For people wanting to buy property or interested in the state of the property market, this is an overview of the property market from Oct 16th to the end of the month.


Property Market Sentiment at a Glance (Sept 29th - Oct 15th 2016)

If you are considering buying property or interested in the state of the property market, here is an overview of news articles in a timeline allowing you to see what's happening in the Australian property market. These articles have been gathered from approximately a dozen different sources using internet search terms like "house price", "AU Interest Rates", "Home Loans" and "property market".


NSW Strata Law Changes at a Glance (PDF)

on August 3, 2016

Now that we know that the amended New South Wales strata legislation will apply from 30 November 2013, there has been a noticeable increase in lot owner interest. Having tried without success to source a quick snapshot of the major changes, we decided to create one ourselves.


The NBN rollout - are people as enthusiastic as they once were

analysing peoples sentiment towards the NBN rollout by looking at news articles, social media comments and forums.


How Technology is Changing the Property Industry

A series of examples illustrating how technology is changing the property industry from constructing buildings to selling homes.


Residential Depreciation Changes: More Uncertainty for Investors

On budget-night the treasurer, Scott Morrison announced a major change to the depreciation law that applies to residential investment owners. The changes are now in force, even though limited detail is available and what we have been told is open to widely varying interpretation.


Strata Investment Owners Hit Hard by Budget Changes (10th May 2017)

Purchasers of second-hand residential investment units have lost their ability to claim depreciation on plant and equipment which is part of the property at the time of purchase...


Does the tax cut for small business apply to strata schemes?

The Government has just reduced the tax rate for small businesses with a turnover of less than $2 million per year from 30% to 28.5%. A number of strata committee members has asked us whether they should be using this lower tax rate when we prepare their sinking fund forecast. 


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Is Insurance Premium Gouging a Good Idea?

Inflated building replacement values cost lot owners thousands of dollars in excess premiums and can cost body corporate managers their contracts. The only protection against premium gouging is regular valuations by an independent expert. What is premium gouging? Premium gouging is the term used to describe setting annual increases to the […]


insurance premium graph

Maximise the Tax Benefits of Investment Property

A carefully selected investment property can provide both a regular rental income and healthy capital gain when the property is sold. In addition, investment properties offer two tax benefits not available with that other investments such as shares. Deduction for construction cost If you select a property that was constructed […]


tax benefits calculator

Focus on the people not the penalties

The core elements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 can be distilled into a single sentence: “Proactively identify and manage potential safety hazards to prevent people being harmed.” The rest of the administrative compliance, investigative and penalty provisions follow on from here and are designed to facilitate this […]


choice for workplace health and safety

Is Your Resident Building Management Income Adequate?

A great number of management agreements do not reflect the real value of the services provided by the resident building manager to the body corporate. The reason for this is simple. When a developer structures the agreement, emphasis is often placed on the potential rental commissions at the expense of […]



Rum Contracts and the Tender Process

If the caretaking and letting contracts for your complex are nearing the end of their term, it is a good time to consider your options before automatically extending the existing arrangements. Our company has arranged for the calling of tenders for a number of schemes of varying size and complexity […]


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Who Cares About Caretaking Valuations?

Most caretaker agreements contain a clause that provides for a review of the caretaker’s salary at set intervals. This means, of course, that if you manage a scheme with an onsite manager, you are likely to have to deal with the manager approaching the body corporate for an increase in […]


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General Insurance Code of Practice 2014

The General Insurance Code of Practice 2014 came into effect on 1 July 2014.  It sets both general standards for how insurers must deal with their clients and specific time frames for dealing with issues such as claims, complaints and information requests. Members of the Insurance Council of Australia who […]



The Importance of an Independent Initial Valuation

Getting the initial insurance replacement value for a property right is more important than you may realise. It ensures insurance cover for that policy period is adequate in the event of a claim. By establishing an accurate starting point, it significantly increases the odds of future insured amounts also being […]


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The Problem With Developer’s Replacement Valuations

For a number of innocent reasons, using a builder-provided construction cost as the basis for your initial replacement insurance policy may be less reliable than you expect. In new strata schemes there is an additional risk – the developer may have a vested interest in manipulating the value to achieve […]


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