Our services range from mediation and alternative dispute resolution, to problem-solving conferences and assistance with legislative options, to assisting with on-the-ground strata processes such as proxy representation and lobbying.
We will likely recommend a combination of our services to clients. That is because in strata, one size definitely does not fit all:
Administration and Part 5 Agreements: when a body corporate becomes dysfunctional an external person can be appointed to get things functioning properly
Administration and and Part 5 Agreement: dysfunction in strata is serious stuff. It’s when the bills don’t get paid, maintenance isn’t done, decisions aren’t being made, insurance isn’t taken out or a committee can’t be formed. Strata Solve can be appointed by the administrator to get those things done and get the body corporate functioning properly again. The administrator takes on all the powers of the body, usually for a defined period of time so that it can then be handed back to the owners to take care of after that. Roles of an administrator include things such as call and convene a general meeting, arrange quotes, carry out work and strike budgets.
In a Part 5 agreement, a strata manager is appointed as the committee, usually for 12 months and to carry out the functions of the committee if one can’t be formed. A Part 5 agreement involves significant compliance responsibilities. Strata Solve can be engaged to assist and advise strata managers to carry out their Part 5 responsibilities.
Advocacy to Government: sometimes it will take a legislative change to get clients the outcome they want
Advocacy to Government: despite all their best efforts, clients may sometimes get to a point where they realise they can only get their desired outcome with a change in legislation. That means approaching Members of Parliament and other government decision-makers to put forward their case. There is a real art to speaking the language of government and it is one that Strata Solve possesses. We assist clients with things such as preparing a written submission and attending a meeting with them and politicians.
Alternative Dispute Resolution: instead of a full-blown mediation session (see Mediation section below), the same techniques can be used in a shorter format
Alternative Dispute Resolution: we use the same techniques used in mediation sessions to offer clients resolution ideas and suggestions. Strata Solve recommends this service where there is a speci c issue at play. For example, it might be agreed there is a parking problem at a building but there are a variety of ideas being considered to solve it. Alternative dispute resolution can be useful in helping everyone see more clearly the pros and cons of each solution.
Attending Strata Meetings: clients can have an expert attend strata meetings with them, or as their appointed representative
Attending Strata meetings: the owner of a lot can appoint someone by proxy, Power of Attorney, representative or corporate nominee to attend meetings for them and vote. This is a common way of participating in meetings, with attendance being in person or virtually. Depending on circumstances, attendance can be instead of the client, or with the client. Strata Solve acts on the client’s instructions when voting. Attendance can be for single meeting or for ongoing representation. For owners based interstate or overseas, or who are time-poor but who want to be engaged in what is going on at their building, attendance by Strata Solve can be an invaluable resource.
Best Practice: while legislation specifies what decisions must be made in strata, it doesn’t always specify the best way of arriving at the decision
Best Practice: Strata Solve works with clients to provide information and advice on best practice approaches, which is about more than just doing what the legislation says. It’s about how value can be added to the process to get the best possible result. Ideal for committees which want to make consistently sound decisions, strata management rms wanting to develop the skills of their team and caretakers who want to establish and maintain optimal relationships with committees.
Coaching and Education: being on a strata committee is very different from other committees and comes with responsibilities, which coaching, education and training can assist with
Coaching and Education: when a client joins a body corporate committee for the first time, there is no mandated induction or training they have to go through. That can be tough when trying to carry out some complex responsibilities. Strata Solve works with committees to provide an initial Committee Training ‘101’ service and then, an add-on service to clients in which we are engaged to provide coaching and training on specific issues and in more details, either one-off or being retained on an ongoing basis. This service is also ideal for strata management firms, which can retain Strata Solve to provide a personalised ‘help desk’ service for challenging issues.
Commissioner’s Office applications: the formal option for body corporate dispute resolution in Queensland
Commissioner’s Office applications: the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management (BCCM) is a Queensland Government statutory authority with jurisdiction for resolving most strata disputes in Queensland. There are several ways a dispute can get resolved, including by referring the dispute to what is known as a ‘specialist’ provider. This includes specialist adjudication, mediation and conciliation. Strata Solve can be engaged to be this provider. In many cases, the use of these specialist services will achieve quicker and more cost effect outcomes than the alternative, such as proceedings through BCCM or through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Strata Solve can also be engaged to assist clients with their applications to BCCM.
Facilitation and Problem-Solving Conferencing: sometimes a client will not be sure of what their problem is, but a conference can break it all down
Facilitation and Problem-Solving Conferencing: when Strata Solve hosts a facilitation conference, clients will bene t from a structure process which breaks down a seemingly insurmountable, unsolvable problem into its component parts – before moving on to their solutions. Typically, we convene a 1-hour conference (usually a virtual conference) with the client. The rst half is about establishing what the problem actually is and the second half is about workshopping the possible solutions. Facilitation is a great way to introduce a circuit breaker to proceedings and give clients some breathing room. It is an ideal rst step in resolving long-standing issues and all clients, be they owners, committees, caretakers or strata managers, can bene t from it.
Lobbying within your body corporate: the art of gentle persuasion is essential in strata
Lobbying within your body corporate: strata and politics are very much alike. They are each about getting the numbers to achieve the outcome you want. In strata, that means lobbying to seek support from owners to either pass or defeat a motion or campaigning for election to the body corporate committee. Strata Solve assists clients with their strata lobbying needs. We assist in drafting communiques to owners to persuade them to our client’s outcome. Or, we may be engaged by a committee to hold a face-to-face meeting, such as a forum or information session, to help them inform and persuade owners to vote a particular way. When the numbers are tight and stakes are high, Strata Solve can assist clients getting their outcome across the line.
Mediation: a structured process with the aim of having the parties in dispute come to a voluntary, workable agreement
Mediation: mediation is a standard feature of all dispute resolution processes around the world. Courts and tribunals will often mandate mediation before any formal hearing or proceeding. Rather than imposing a verdict or order on parties, mediation brings the parties together in a structured process, getting them to methodically work through the issue and ‘own’ the outcomes. Strata disputes are ideally suited for mediation. That is because in strata disputes, the parties will have to continue to work and engage with each other, even after the dispute is ‘resolved’. Mediation aims to address the underlying issues and prevent future disputes from occurring.
Strata Solve Director Chris Irons is a nationally-accredited mediator. He uses a standardized framework to guide parties through the past, present and future of their dispute. He also uses his unique strata perspective and experience to help parties generate solutions that will work in a strata setting. Getting a strata dispute resolved through the formal processes may take several months, if not longer and at a signi cantly higher cost than Strata Solve’s mediation services, which can be scheduled more quickly. While mediation works for many kinds of strata issues, our services are particularly suited for disputes between committees and caretakers about performance of caretaking duties.