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Mary McLean is a member of the Owners Corporation Network, the national organisation for unit owners. Mary encourages unit owners to consider joining this owners’ self-help and advocacy group.

OCN was established in February 2002 when representatives of a number of large, recently completed strata buildings found they had common challenges – building defects, expensive insurance, noisy neighbours – and wondered how best to manage the complex beast called ‘cooperative living’.

OCN is a network of owners helping owners – people who have experience in strata living; who have confronted many of its inherent problems; and who have evolved strategies for dealing with the problems that the rapid growth in apartment, villa and townhouse living inevitably brings. Our expertise is based not only on knowledge and experience, but on empathy – we understand the emotional impact of strata issues, as well as the legal, social and financial implications of living under a different set of rules from those that apply to free-standing homes. The issues faced by the owners also impact on residents – the building defects, poor governance, uncooperative neighbours and high rents due to high levies – and OCN speaks up for the whole strata community.

People can find out more about OCN through their website