Where the health and happiness of a strata community depends heavily on the success of the relationships within it, it is important that conflicts are resolved the way which is most likely to preserve those relationships into the future. This is why self-resolution features so prominently in community management legislation across various jurisdictions and why it is often a prerequisite for other types of dispute resolution.
So, what happens if is there is conflict between owners and the committee?
Self Resolution for Conflict
The Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the BCCM Act) requires someone who has a dispute with the Body Corporate, committee or another owner or occupier to have attempted to resolve it with that other party prior to making a conciliation or adjudication application.
This attempt at self-resolution includes any reasonable endeavor or step taken to attempt to resolve an issue within the Body Corporate before lodging a formal dispute resolution application.
What are some examples of dispute resolution between an owner and a committee member?
Your attempts may include:
- Communicating with each other in a rational manner.
- It’s courageous to stand up to conflict and deal with it responsibly.
- Be curious, not furious. Find out the facts and make sure you aren’t being misinformed. Don’t be too quick to judge or misinterpret something.
An important part of conflict resolution is to acknowledge your part in the conflict: one person can’t just fight on their own!
By controlling your emotions and communicating calmly you can resolve the conflict in a better way.
Another way you can keep your feelings in check is by figuring out what pushes your emotional buttons.
This could be things like feeling your personal space is being invaded or you feel like there’s been some sort of injustice. By knowing what things upset you and why, you can better manage how you react to it.
It’s very brave to ask for help and support when you need it. When disputes occur between owners and committee members there is always help available to you when you are a client of SSKB. You can ask your Community Manager for advice or consult a member of the Committee.
It’s important to ask for help when you start to feel overwhelmed, stressed or just curious about what kind of help you would get.
What if my attempts at self resolution fail?
If your attempts at self-resolution are unsuccessful you may make a conciliation application with the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management. Evidence that you have made an attempt to resolve the dispute is required when making your application for dispute resolution.
If you need more details or any assistance negotiating a dispute within your strata community, call your SSKB Body Corporate Manager.
The Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management (BCCM Office)
Information Service telephone (freecall): 1800 060 119