The most common tenant complaints - How to Resolve a Dispute

How to Resolve a Dispute

There are clear and straightforward methods for dealing with disputes, depending on your state and territory.

Generally, if an issue can’t be resolved verbally through open and honest discussions, the unhappy tenant and/or the property owner has the option to submit a form to the body corporate advising a breach has occurred.

If the body corporateis in agreement, then a breach notice is issued.

If the body corporate considers that a breach hasn’t occurred, then the party can make an application to start proceedings through the court.

Note that a body corporate can also seek an order from the office of the Commissioner ofBody Corporate and Community Management, or approach the Magistrates Court.

An adjudicator appointed by the Commissioner’s Office may issue an order stating the tenant must stop the behavior that’s constituting the breach.

Just because the breach has been issued, this doesn’t mean the behavior will stop.

However, the fines on offer might be a powerful motivator: if an order issued by the adjudicator is ignored or the breach continues, the body corporate can pursue the matter through the courts, which can impose a maximum penalty of $44,000.

The Magistrates Court can impose a fine if a party is deemed to be in breach of the by-laws, which can be up to $2200.

All of this represents the worst-case scenario and there is a conciliation process that usually helps avoid going to these lengths.

Most problems can be solved by having an independent third party assist with the negotiations.

Jason Gwerder
Friday, 13 November 2020

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