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Strata Mediation

Strata disputes are messy

  1. Not sure what to do?
  2. Looking to avoid Courts and lawyers?
  3. Want to understand the quickest and most effective way to resolve your strata issue?

Have you considered mediation?

Mediation is an informal but structured collaborative process that allows parties to engage in dialogue to resolve an issue. It allows parties to try and sort out their issues in a controlled environment with a trained mediator, who if you engage us, was also previously the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management, they will control and navigate the parties to an outcome.

Resolving a dispute quickly is the best way to get the issue out of your life. Formal proceedings commenced in any jurisdiction will only serve to escalate the issue.

It’s one thing to have a dispute at work or a run-in with someone at the shopping centre. You don’t live with them or have to engage with them as you do in a body corporate. You may not need to see them again, but that’s not the case if they are your neighbour.

Why mediation could be the solution

As the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management for more than five years, Chris Irons saw thousands of body corporate disputes through conciliation and adjudication. He knows strata law, the emotions of the people involved in it and how to help solve their problems.

Most litigious matters now include a formal requirement to conciliate or mediate as part of the process at some stage.  Lots of matters do get solved as part of that, but it takes months and usually plenty of money and stress to get to that stage. If managed properly, our mediations can be completed in a month.

Who can mediate?

Anyone in the strata community can mediate their issue, including:

  • Committees
  • Lot owners
  • Resident managers
  • Body corporate managers

The disputes can be between those groups or internally to those groups - i.e. committee member on committee member.

What type of disputes can be mediated?

Again, anything in strataland. 

Pets, maintenance, corporate governance, decision process and caretaking disputes are the most common matters but with people living in close proximity to each other, there are hundreds of potential issues. The common theme is that the issue might not be worth millions of dollars, they are usually far more important than that to the people involved. 

Why avoid litigation?

It costs money. It takes a long time. It is stressful. it creates further division in the community.  More importantly, you are not in control of the litigation process and you are not in control of the outcome.

Judicial officers like judges or adjudicators make decisions and will decide on who wins and who loses. That winner might not be you. Everyone thinks they will win their litigation, but half of the litigants are wrong. There is a loser every time. That is the way the litigation process works. 

Undertaking mediation means that you are taking the first step to resolving the issue in a manner that will allow you to live peacefully with your neighbours in the future and be in control of the outcome.

How does mediation work?

In very simple terms:

  • Both parties agree to participate and pay half the costs each;
  • Both parties get the chance to submit their point of view to the mediator well before the mediation;
  • We guide both parties around what they need to do to prepare to help get the best outcome on the day;
  • We conduct a structured mediation process at a neutral venue guiding the parties to reach an outcome – at which advisors like lawyers or support persons are welcome;
  • If an agreement is reached and that agreement is documented.

A mediation is conducted without prejudice, in confidence and informally. It cannot prevent later court proceedings but it hopefully means they will not be needed because the parties now understand each other’s position and have agreed on the way forward.

Would you like to hear from us?

If you think you’ve got a strata issue that you think could use our help, complete the form below and we will contact you with the next steps. If we don’t think mediation would work we will tell you. 

If we do think it could work, then we can provide you with what you need to start the process, including the costs and there is no obligation with that.

Have a question for us?

Strata experts

Chris Irons

Chris Irons

Strata Adviser

Body Corporate