Flat Chat Wrap #38 – Mediation, revolution and crazy planning objections

This week the Flat Chat Wrap podcast is all about conflict and various forms of resolution … including revolution.

First Sue Williams and I take a look at we take a look at mediation and what it actually means. In NSW and Queensland, mediation is an obligatory precursor to asking for an adjudication at your state tribunal.

In Victoria it kind of is too, but isn’t really.  It’s called conciliation there, and is more of a recommended option than an obligation. How much it harms your case if you don’t even try to resolve it, is hard to say – depends on who is hearing your case at the tribunal, probably.

For many people involved in disputes, it’s just a box to be ticked off before you put on the boxing gloves and get in the ring for the real fight.

Others turn up, fired up with righteous indignation, clutching a sheaf of by-laws and print-outs from the Flat Chat Forum, only to discover the mediator is more life coach and less umpire than they would like.

In short, unless the respondent in your case is prepared to concede defeat because they can sense failure and humiliation at the Tribunal, you are either going to have to cede some ground yourself, or gird your loins for phase two of the fight.

And it has to be said that I many cases the other side of the argument doesn’t even show up.  Why? Because they don’t have to.

Moving on, we discuss how to get rid of a “despotic, neurotic and psychotic” chair of an apartment block – and again it’s different in all the states.

In NSW you have to pass a special resolution at general meeting to remove any or all of the owners from a committee.  However, the committee can replace any office-bearer just by voting another of their number into the role.

It’s similar in Victoria but in Queensland the general meeting chooses the office-bearers even before they elect the committee.  That means only a general meeting can sack an officer of the body corporate.

Oh, and there’s a couple of quirky rules that don’t exist anywhere else that can get you kicked off a committee in Queensland.

And finally, introduced by a song from Groucho Marx, Sue meets architect Daniel Meszaros who has collected a whole bunch of crazy objections neighbours put up to prevent developments and turned them into cartoons that you can see HERE.

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