Most strata complexes contain numerous units, which means that there are a variety of people living in close proximity. Unfortunately, this can mean that mediation for strata disputes between neighbours is necessary to settle conflict that may arise over the use of common spaces or noise levels from one unit to another. Disputes are an unavoidable part of strata living, but that doesn’t mean they have to devolve into heated arguments.
There are informal approaches you can take to resolving a dispute before it reaches the point of involving the strata council or property manager. However, when those informal approaches fail and a bylaw has been broken, strata bylaw enforcement is necessary to ensure all parties abide by the rules set forth in your strata corporation’s bylaws.
When informal attempts at resolution fail, you should turn your attention towards proper enforcement of your strata corporation’s bylaws. Strata corporations must enforce their own rules in order for them to be effective; if a rule is broken without consequence then people will continue breaking that rule again and again until someone stands up and holds them accountable. It is important for every member of the strata community—owners and tenants alike—to understand that these rules exist for everyone’s benefit and must be respected in order for everyone involved to have a pleasant experience living within the strata property.
If you are dealing with a minor dispute between two owners or tenants, such as noise levels, inappropriate use of common areas, or failure to follow regulations such as no smoking in common areas, it is always best to first try and resolve the issue informally or request a strata council hearing. The goal is not necessarily for one party to “win” over the other; rather, it is important to find a solution that everyone can agree on and abide by. This may involve compromises from both sides and understanding that sometimes the simplest solution is not always best.
While disputes between members of a strata community can often lead to animosity between parties involved, there are usually ways you can resolve these issues without having them escalate into something bigger than necessary. If a council member or strata manager is asked to help resolve these nuisance disputes, mediation may be a viable option.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process where a third-party neutral (the mediator) helps two or more people resolve their dispute without going to court. It is voluntary, confidential and non-adversarial, meaning that all parties involved come together in an effort to reach an agreement that satisfies everyone involved. It also allows the parties to maintain control over the outcome by coming up with mutually agreeable solutions instead of having one imposed upon them by a judge or arbitrator.
Benefits Of Mediation For Strata Councils
Using mediation for strata disputes has many benefits for councils when it comes to resolving nuisance disputes in strata complexes, including:
1. Cost savings – Mediation is often cheaper than going through the court system and can usually be completed within a day or two compared to months or even years when going through litigation. This means less time spent dealing with the dispute as well as fewer costs for legal fees, court costs and other associated expenses.
2. Improved relationships – By using mediation for strata disputes rather than litigation, councils are able to maintain good relationships between all parties involved in the dispute (i.e., tenants, owners, occupiers). This can help prevent future disputes from arising as well as allow council members and strata managers to focus on other tasks related to running the complex effectively instead of dealing with ongoing conflict between neighbours.
3. Reduced stress – As mentioned above, mediation is generally faster than litigation so it can reduce stress levels for all involved since there is less waiting time for resolution of the issue(s). Additionally, the informal setting provided by mediation for strata disputes often allows parties involved to feel more comfortable discussing sensitive issues without worrying about being judged by others or having their words misinterpreted in a courtroom setting.
Benefits Of Mediation For Parties Involved In The Dispute
In addition to its benefits for councils, choosing mediation over litigation also has advantages for those directly involved in the dispute such as:
1. Achieving closure – Participating in mediation helps individuals come up with solutions that work best for them rather than relying on someone else’s decision (i.e., judge/jury). This can help bring closure quicker so that everyone can move on with their lives without having any lingering bitterness towards each other due to unresolved issues from the past.
2. Mutually beneficial agreements – Since both parties are allowed to express their views during mediation sessions, they are more likely to come up with agreements that are mutually beneficial instead of one side feeling like they didn’t get what they wanted out of a situation or were forced into something against their will due to lack of options offered by traditional court systems . Additionally, these agreements tend not only include what each side wants but also how they plan on achieving it so that no one feels like they’re getting taken advantage of.
3. Confidentiality – Mediations are generally confidential which means that whatever happens during these meetings remains private unless both sides agree otherwise (which rarely happens). This provides added security and peace of mind knowing that personal information won’t be made public knowledge if either side chooses not too disclose it voluntarily.
Overall, there are benefit of mediation for strata disputes, it’s an effective way of addressing disputes between tenants and owners in strata complexes due its ability to provide an open forum for communication between all parties involved while also offering an alternative that is more cost effective than litigation. As a council member or strata manager facing these types of situations it is important to understand how mediation could help resolve the dispute quickly and efficiently so that all parties can move forward peacefully. By utilizing mediation services you can help restore harmony within your strata complex while simultaneously protecting everyone’s right enjoy their homes free from disturbances caused by neighbors.
Strata corporation, strata owners, residents and strata council members may use the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) to resolve many strata disputes and for small claims up to $5,000. The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) is Canada’s first online tribunal for resolving strata and other types of disputes. The CRT is part of the British Columbia public justice system. They offer an accessible, affordable way to resolve disputes without needing a lawyer or attending court.
The CRT offers new ways to resolve your disputes and legal issues in a timely and cost-effective manner. The CRT:
- encourages a collaborative, problem-solving approach to dispute resolution, rather than the traditional courtroom model.
- aims to provide timely access to justice, built around your life and your needs. It does this by providing legal information, self-help tools, and dispute resolution services to help solve your problem, as early as possible.
- is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from a computer or mobile device that has an internet connection. Your interaction with the other participant(s) and/or the CRT can be done when it is convenient for you. CRT services are also available by phone.
Your direct and active participation will help you reach a resolution with the other participant(s). The CRT will make a decision for you only if you and the other participants can’t agree on your own solution.
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