20th December 2019
Conciliation is a process by which a trained Commissioners Office alternative dispute resolution practitioner encourages the parties to come up with a suitable solution to the matter, a solution that is possible under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act.
Conciliation normally involves the parties participating in either a face-to-face meeting or a teleconference. The conciliation is facilitated by an impartial, unbiased person with knowledge of the BCCM legislation.
Conciliation is normally necessary before adjudication. An applicant who fails to make a reasonable attempt to conciliate may have a subsequent adjudication application concerning that dispute rejected by the Commissioner.
A respondent who fails to make a reasonable attempt to conciliate may be required o reimburse the applicant the prescribed fee for the conciliation and subsequent adjudication application, should one be made.
Conciliation benefits: Most body corporate disputes are between parties who have an ongoing relationship. Conciliation is normally faster – it does not require formal written submissions and response times for submissions; all parties are listened to and can propose their own solutions and parties can develop or maintain good relations through improved communications. Information shared at conciliation can often prevent further disputes.
People in disputes are advised to phone 1800 060 119 and ask for the Conciliation handout and a copy of the ‘Guide to completing the Conciliation Application Form’ This guide has details of the fees payable for the service and provides practical advice on how to prepare for a Conciliation and what can be expected during the process.
Potential applicants should read the form thoroughly first and should take careful notice of the guidelines for completing the form.
Applicants should also be aware that other people in their complex can be expected to read what is written in the application
The Commissioner’s Office sends a copy of the application to any other person who might be affected by an application for the resolution of a dispute. Applications should not contain material that judges or belittles others.
Applicants should stick to the facts, yet supply all of the information needed so that the government officers can appreciate that a genuine dispute exists and that a resolution of the dispute is possible through conciliation or adjudication.