Making the Most of Mediation

November 2018

Among the many hats worn by condominium managers is that of conciliator.  Residents will contact them about all sorts of problems or complaints.  The condominium manager is expected to be diplomatic when dealing with opposing views and resolving concerns.  When directors are in disagreement the condominium manager must remain unbiased and diplomatic.

When diplomacy fails disputes can, at times, turn into legal action.

Legal action should never be a preferred course of action in a community where people live.  The cost, time and money of the court system, which can take months or years to resolve a dispute, can be avoided by first turning to mediation.

Mediation is an informal and confidential process where a third party seeks to negotiate resolution to a dispute acceptable to all parties.  A trained mediator, who manages the process, attempts to find common ground and solutions that address all concerns.  Successful mediation is one where there is a settlement agreed upon by all parties.

Each party decides what they agree to.

The risk in going to court is that a judge determines the resolution and one party can lose.  Mediation seeks a resolution where there is compromise with all sides partially benefitting.  There is no binding resolution.  Any agreed upon resolution is in the form of a written settlement agreement which then becomes an enforceable contract.  Should one party fail to uphold their end of the agreement, court action could ensue to uphold the settlement agreement.

Good mediators are trained to seek out creative solutions.

One of the outcomes of successful mediation is that relationships can be preserved which is important in a community.

Statistics show that mediation is successful more than 80% of the time.  Mediation is faster and cheaper than litigation.  It is voluntary and confidential.  All parties are given an opportunity to present their perspective.

Mediation is an effective way to resolve disputes in a less adversarial setting than the courtroom.