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Dispute Resolution – Property Disputes
How a Valuation Will Simplify the Dispute Resolution Process
There is no questions that when it comes to disputes, the best result is an outcome that is fair for all parties involved.
However, dispute resolution can be a daunting process. More often than not, emotions are heightened making it difficult for the parties involved to work together to reach a fair and just outcome.
Although it may seem easier to dive straight into litigious legal proceedings than to cooperate with one another, under Australian law there must be attempts to resolve a dispute prior to seeking any assistance of the courts.
The Legislation Relating to Civil Disputes
The relevant piece of Australian legislation is the Civil Dispute Resolution Act 2011. Essentially the objective of the Act is to resolve civil disputes before commencing any legal court proceedings.
It does this by encouraging all parties to take genuine steps to resolve a dispute. Simply put, a genuine step is a sincere attempt to resolve the dispute.
Actions such as entering into discussions or negotiations, mediation and sharing information and documents can all be considered genuine steps.
What Happens if the Dispute Goes to Court?
Should all attempts at dispute resolution fail, an application can be made for the the case to be heard before a court.
The applicant who starts the proceedings must file a “genuine steps statement”. This statement details all the actions that have been taken in an attempt to resolve the dispute. If no steps were taken, the statement must outline the reasons why.
The respondent must then file a “genuine steps statement in reply”, in which he or she agrees or disagrees with the applicant’s genuine steps statement.
How Can A Property Valuation Assist in Dispute Resolution?
If the dispute involves property, then one of the first genuine steps to take is to seek the expertise of an independent valuer. He or she will provide a valuation assessment on the property under dispute, that is an accurate estimate of its current market value without bias toward either party.
It is also not uncommon in a dispute for each party to seek their own valuation assessment. In this case, the two valuers will meet without prejudice, meaning that they will work together to find an agreed market value.
Examples of Disputes Involving Property
1. Disagreement over a deceased estate or will
Mary left her house to her four children in her will. Three of the beneficiaries want to keep the house and the fourth wants to sell it. They engaged the services of a property valuer and use the valuation assessment to buy the 25% share back.
2. Falling out between business partners who co-own property
David and Matt owned a property development company together, but due to a personal disagreement, they decided to part ways.
David decided to sell his shares of the company and the office building that the company owned to Matt. They used a property valuation to determine the value of the building to ensure a fair transaction.
3. Dispute between local council and a property owner
Helen and James received their rates notices for the large parcel of land that they own. They felt that the valuation was inaccurate and that their land had been over valued. As a result they would have to pay more each quarter for rates.
They decided to dispute the council’s valuation amount and so engaged a valuer to do an independent market assessment to validate their claims.
Contact Australian Valuers
“Based on content from the Federal Register of Legislation at 8 May 2018. For the latest information on Australian Government law please go to https://www.legislation.gov.au.”
“Market valuation disputes” . Website. Australian Government – Australian Taxation Office. 31 Mar 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
“Civil Dispute Resolution Act 2011” . Website. Australian Government – Attorney-General’s Department. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
“Civil Dispute Resolution Act 2011” . Website. Australian Government – Federal Register of Legislation. Retrieved 8 May 2018.