Property disputes are something that most people hope doesn’t occur but sadly there are many incidents of this every year. The biggest likelihood of a dispute occurring is when a property has just been built. Miscommunications can result in misinterpreted plans and structural issues are some of the biggest problems.
The result is contractors can demand more funds and buyers can refuse to settle the balance on their account.
Fortunately, Australia has a well-established system to help resolve these issues. In many cases the matter does not need to go to court and lawyers are not required. Instead, an adjudicator operating within the guidelines of the security of payments act NSW can resolve the issues for both parties and facilitate the payment or correction of issues.
However, before the issue develops into a dispute it is important to do what you can to avoid it.
You should note that under Australian law you have ten days to pay the invoice on a fulfilled contract or log an issue why you are not paying. If you don’t do this you will automatically fall foul of the system and need to settle, even if there are unresolved issues. Keeping to the dictated timelines is important.
The majority of issues can be resolved before a property is finished providing you are prepared to communicate with the contractor. Regular, ideally daily, communication dramatically reduces the likelihood of miscommunications and associated problems.
Alongside this, regular inspections will help to ensure the contractor completes things according to current codes and there are no issues.
Communication is also essential if the project is finished and you are not happy for any reason. Instead of letting it fester and ending up in court, speak to the contractor regarding your issues and try to work out a solution.
Professional negotiators will liaise with contractors and buyers to help smooth the issue and find a suitable remedy/middle ground.
It helps to realize that not everything can be perfect and a little compromise can go a long way.
Although time is limited when dealing with this type of issue, it is important to spend a short while considering what is really important and what is not instrumental. Obviously, structural defects are a serious concern and need to be addressed, but an appliance in a different position is something most people can live with.
Avoid the Blame Game
One of the most important pieces of advice when dealing with property disputes is to avoid the blame game. This creates tension and makes people defensive. Instead of blaming each other, accept the situation as it is and look for viable solutions that will keep both parties happy.
The aim is for everyone to walk away feeling content with the resolution and happy to remedy certain items and pay the bill.
A good negotiator will ensure you reach this position in the shortest amount of time possible and allow you to move on with life.