Things between community members don’t always go smoothly. It’s always best to try to resolve any disputes between community members by talking to them and seeing if you can reach a mutual agreement. You can even write them a letter setting out the problem and how you’d like to resolve it. But if those don’t work, the next best step is mediation. At CAB, we offer a low-cost Community Mediation Service where community members in a dispute can come together with trained mediators to negotiate a fair and workable solution for everyone.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is mediation?
Mediation is an alternative way of resolving a dispute where two parties sit down together and, guided by mediators, negotiate a practical and fair solution to their problem. It gives everyone the opportunity to tell their side of the story, define issues, consider options, and settle on a solution that suits them both. Mediation is guided by two experienced and professionally qualified mediators. They’re impartial and don’t give any advice or make any decisions for you; they’re only there to help you focus on the best way forward. If mediation is successful, the result is a mutual agreement that the parties write in their own words. This isn’t legally binding, but it can be used as a basis for court applications.
How does mediation work?
Once you and the other party have agreed to mediation, we’ll book a separate pre-mediation interview for each of you. This is an opportunity for you to tell your side of the story without the other party there. It’s also a good time to ask any questions or raise any issues you’re unsure about. The mediator will explain how mediation works so you’re fully prepared. After your pre-mediation interview, we’ll complete an assessment of suitability for mediation. If mediation proceeds, we'll book an appointment for both parties to attend this together, in the presence of our mediators. We use a co-mediation model with two mediators to make sure the process is balanced and unbiased.
How much does community mediation cost?
A pre-mediation appointment costs $75 per party. A community mediation costs $150 per party.
Types of community disputes we can help with:
- Dividing Fences
- Retaining Walls
- Encroaching roots and branches
- Disputes in Associations or other community groups
- Dog Ownership
- Public Nuisance Disputes
For more information about community mediation at CAB, contact us.