As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and many people working from home, the number disputes between owners, tenants and Owners Corporations have increased significantly. The result being that a number of applications for Tribunal and Court Orders for a range of matters have also increased.
Some strata committees are highly risk averse when confronted with an application for an Order against their Owners Corporation and unnecessarily concede defeat to the applicant whereas, if contested, the applicant would most likely loose the application.
During the pandemic, hearing dates have blown out considerably and what is often not understood is that before any matter gets to the hearing stage, compulsory mediation is required. In a significant proportion of cases disputes can be resolved at mediation, when the applicant realises they are unlikely to be able to sustain their case and as a result withdraws the application.
A common example is leaking showers where the source of the problem is within the air space of the applicants lot and the lot owner is attempting to have the Owners Corporation effect repair to their private property, or at least make a contribution toward what effectively amounts to a renovation of the lot which should be met by the owner together with the passing and registering an exclusive rights of usage and obligations of maintenance by-law for the renovation.