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Dispute Resolution


In any community living dispute, the preferred way to resolve the issues at first instance is for the parties to discuss the matter. Where that fails the issues may be brought to the forum of a body corporate meeting for open discussion.


Should there still be no agreeable outcome, recourse is available by way of a dispute resolution application to the Office of the Commissioner, Body Corporate and Community Management (BCCM) (see Department of Justice and Attorney General website:DEPT OF JUSTICE). The Commissioner's Office holds exclusive jurisdiction in most disputes involving bodies corporate, and a certificate from the Commissioner is usually needed prior to any referral to a Court of Law.


Recent legislative changes require the mandatory use of conciliation prior to any referral of disputes by the Commissioner's Office for adjudication.


Conciliation in effect is a directed round table discussion with all the parties present and preferably in person, but it may take place by telephone link. Like any alternative dispute resolution process, it requires a degree of compromise by all the parties to reach a settlement. Failing any willingness to compromise, conciliation will not succeed.


It is important to note that where Conciliation has run and a resolution has not been reached the matter is referred to adjudication. An application for dispute resolution by an Adjudicator often requires expert legal assistance to frame your complaint in the correct way so as to obtain the result that you require. HerdLaw - The Body Corporate Lawyers have extensive experience in body corporate matters involving dispute resolution in all forums.


Contractual disputes may be referred to a Specialist Adjudicator (if jointly appointed and the costs are agreed between the parties) or to the Queensland Civil and Administrtive Tribunal (QCAT). These are referred to as complex disputes, which are for example: 


a) Review of Caretaker remuneration;

b) Review of service contract terms;

c) Adjustment of contribution lot entitlements;

d) Transfer of Management Rights disputes;

e) Reviews of exclusive use by-laws.


Another role of the QCAT is to hear and decide appeals against adjudication decisions of the BCCM on a question of law. In some instances matters may also be referred to the District and Higher Courts.


Matters regarding enforcing an Adjudication Order are brought before the Magistrates Court.


To find out more about the role of the Commissioners Office CLICK HERE...

"As a Body Corporate Manager and owner of my own Body Corporate Management company, I have worked with Herdlaw for close to 20 years now.  It has been an absolute game-changer for my Body Corporate clients.


Herdlaw’s expertise in Body Corporate law is unmatched and their dedication to ensuring the bodies corporate operate smoothly has been invaluable.


From navigating complex legal issues to providing clear and concise guidance on legal matters, Herdlaw has consistently delivered exceptional service. 


Herdlaw deal with all debt recovery matters from the Letter of Demand to having to take matters to Court.  They address the writing of new By Laws, preparing the CMS (Community Management Statement) for lodgement to the Titles Office, writing the appropriate Motions.  They also deal with Resident Manager agreements and review any Variations, Deeds etc lodged by the Resident Managers Solicitors which need approval, giving the Committee advice before the matter is presented at a meeting


The Herdlaw team is not only highly knowledgeable but also approachable, making even the most intricate legal concepts easy to understand for the Committee Members as well as the Strata Community.


Herdlaw’s proactive approach to problem-solving has saved my clients time and money, allowing them  to focus on what matters most, fostering a harmonious living environment for the residents. 


Herdlaw’s commitment to excellence and professionalism sets them apart, and I would not hesitate to recommend Herdlaw to any body corporate clients in need of expert legal counsel."

- J Riseley

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