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Property Disputes in Tenancy

This article discusses property disputes in tenancy.  This refers to disputes between landlords and tenants in residential, commercial, and retail properties. Different types of leases require different lease agreements and are governed by particular legislation. Disputes may arise because the terms of the lease have been breached.

The resolution of disputes between landlords and tenants can be resolved through alternative dispute resolution or through tribunals and courts.  The property dispute lawyers at Brander Smith McKnight take great pride in their ability to resolve most property disputes through negotiation.  This involves carefully listening to you and then formulating a negotiating strategy best suited to your problem.  We recognise that there are many different ways of resolving property disputes and we can explain these and recommend the best option for you.

Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.


Property lawyers & property disputes in tenancy

Provide Legal Advice

An experienced disputes lawyer can explain the relevant legislation applicable to your lease dispute such as the:

  •       Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW)
  •       Retail Leases Act 1994 (NSW)
  •       Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW)

They can explain the rights and obligations that are created by a lease agreement and the legal remedies available upon the resolution of the lease agreement.  This may include injunctions, damages and specific performance.

Explanation & Representation in Dispute Resolution 

A property dispute lawyer can clearly outline the various options available to resolve your property dispute.  These include informal dispute resolution and the alternative dispute resolution legal avenues of negotiation, mediation, conciliation and arbitration.  In addition, a lawyer can explain how the NSW Fair Trading Complaints Service the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) can resolve property disputes and finally, the role of litigation.

The dispute resolution lawyers at Brander Smith McKnight  will explain the relative merits of these processes to your particular situation and can represent and effectively advocate for you via these processes.

Informal Dispute Resolution in property disputes in tenancy

A simple and cost effective way to resolve a lease dispute is for the landlord and tenant to attempt to resolve the dispute amongst themselves.

Where an informal resolution can be reached between a landlord and tenant, a property dispute lawyer can assist by putting the agreement in writing.

Alternative Dispute Resolutions in property disputes in tenancy

The property dispute lawyers at Brander Smith McKnight are able to settle most disputes by negotiation. This involves listening and then carefully developing a negotiating strategy best suited to you problem. The method of negotiation may involve correspondence, providing offers of settlement or meetings which may include lawyers and clients.

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution option where an independent mediator helps disputing parties settle their dispute among themselves. This is achieved by the mediator facilitating discussion between the landlord and tenant with the aim of achieving a mutually beneficial solution. Mediation is confidential and voluntary and mediators are independent and unable to make a binding decision. Mediation normally involve the mediator and respective lawyers and their clients.

Conciliation is another alternative dispute resolution technique using an independent and impartial conciliator who may play an advisory role. Similar to mediation, it is voluntary, confidential and the conciliator is unable to make a binding decision. Conciliations normally involve the conciliator and respective lawyers and their clients.

Arbitration is the most formal alternative to litigation. It allows disputing parties to have their dispute decided by an independent, neutral decision maker, called an arbitrator. The landlord and tenant put forward arguments and evidence that the arbitrator will assess and make a decision on. The process is private and subject to the parties agreement, can be confidential. The arbitrator is able to make a legally binding and enforceable decision, called an award.

NSW Fair Trading Complaints Service

Residential lease disputes can be resolved through the NSW Fair Trading Complaints Service.  A fair-trading officer can help resolve your dispute through the facilitation of discussion between the landlord and tenant and by providing the relevant information and impartial advice.

NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)

A lease dispute can be resolved in the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).  An effective disputes resolution lawyer can help you achieve the best possible outcome in this tribunal.  This involves making an application to NCAT, the meticulous preparation for the hearing and finally professionally and assertively representing you in the hearing.

There are various orders that NCAT can make when resolving a dispute between a landlord and tenant.  They include ending the lease agreement, compelling compliance with a term of the lease and ordering compensation for either the landlord or tenant.

Litigation in Property Disputes in Tenancy 

Litigation refers to the process of resolving a dispute through the court system. It is the most formal and expensive process of reaching a property dispute resolution.  Property dispute lawyers for the landlord and tenant argue their case in court before an impartial judge who makes a binding decision.  There are several legal steps involved prior to the final court appearance called a hearing.  These include filing or responding to a statement of claim, drafting, filing and serving a defence, attending a directions hearing and preparing evidence for the hearing.

Brander Smith McKnight remain committed to resolving your property dispute as efficiently and inexpensively as possible throughout this process.  This involves developing an effective strategy for litigation and continuing to employ ongoing negotiation including making formal offers of compromise and interlocutory applications to the court where appropriate.  Interlocutory applications are applications made during the proceedings to gain a tactical advantage.  Examples include applications for summary judgement or security for costs.

Creating effective lease agreements

An effective and well drafted lease agreement can help avoid future property disputes.  A lawyer can negotiate the terms of a lease agreement on your behalf and meticulously draft a comprehensive agreement that minimises the potential for disputes between landlords and tenants.

Why choose BSM Law?

Our property dispute lawyers have extensive experience and expertise with property disputes between landlords and tenants at all levels.  We are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you in the most cost effective way.  We pride ourselves on resolving the vast majority of disputes through negotiation.  We can also advise and represent you through the more formal forms of alternative dispute resolution of mediation, conciliation and arbitration.

If litigation is required, our lawyers have outstanding advocacy experience in all tribunals and courts, including the Local Court, District Court and Supreme Court.

Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.

We are conveniently located in Sutherland, Parramatta, Wollongong and Sydney CBD.


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