Although disputes occur all year round, they are often more prevalent in the summer. Noise, fiestas, leaks, works, unpleasant smells… Communities of Property Owners are an inexhaustible source of disputes. And resolving them is not always easy as very often residents are not even willing to try and understand each other, both believing they are in the right. Some disputes are eventually resolved using security cameras and others, unfortunately, end up in the courts. However, there are other methods, still relatively unexplored, like, for example, neighbourhood mediation. An alternative approach to resolving problems. In today’s article we are going to talk about mediation as an alternative approach to resolving neighbourhood disputes and which, without a doubt, will improve residents’ day-to-day life. Find out what it is and when it might be useful.
Índice de contenidos
- 1 What is community mediation?
- 2 What are the benefits of neighbourhood mediation?
- 3 What kind of dispute can neighbourhood mediation be used for?
- 4 The role of the Property Administrator and the mediator
- 5 What steps are involved in neighbourhood mediation?
- 6 How much does mediation cost?
What is community mediation?
It is the resolution of disputes that arise within a community of residents. The mediation process always reaches a solution that is previously agreed between the parties involved.
What are the benefits of neighbourhood mediation?
Neighbourhood mediation has many benefits. Speaking generally it promotes and contributes to better relations between the parties involved and consequently this will have an impact on the smooth functioning and good neighbourhood relations within the community of property owners.
It promotes communication between the parties
The mediator is a person who will help the two parties involved to talk freely and explain their position.
It is not expensive
because in the mediation process you only have to pay the mediator’s fees whereas in a court case you would have to pay both the lawyer and the court representative.
It saves time
Clearly disputes that are resolved through this method are resolved more quickly than those which involve a judicial procedure and going to court.
Better compliance with the agreement
As it has not been imposed by a third party. BUT has been mutually agreed and benefits both parties.
What kind of dispute can neighbourhood mediation be used for?
There are many disputes which can affect the day to day relations between residents and which can be resolved through neighbourhood mediation. To give you an idea, here are some examples:
Situations of harassment in the Community, disturbance caused by works, noise, neglect of private or communal spaces due to statutory failings or ignorance of the community regulations.
The role of the Property Administrator and the mediator
The figure of the Administrator is vital when problems or disputes relating to the community of residents arise. In fact, they always end up on the Property Administrator’s desk. And there is no better person to intervene in a dispute as they are highly trusted.
In low level disputes, the administrator ensures a peaceful relationship between the residents and naturally acts as a mediator offering solutions to the affected parties. If the dispute is such that the administrator cannot resolve it, the only remaining alternative is to take the case to court.
What steps are involved in neighbourhood mediation?
Today we talk to Jesús Santidrián, a lawyer and Head of Expansion at Mediterráneo, in the Madrid area, who explains to us that “under Law 5/2012 on mediation in Civil and Commercial Matters, the mediator will bring the parties together, listen to them and work on possible solutions with them. If they come to an agreement, the mediator will prepare an agreement and a final mediation record, which, depending on its content, may be recorded as a public instrument before a notary, so that if one of the parties does not comply with its provisions, the agreement is enforceable in the courts. Also, the mediation always starts with an information session for the parties. If one of them does not want to attend, the mediator will prepare a report, which records who did or did not attend this session and this will be passed on to the community as proof of the action taken”.
How much does mediation cost?
Santidrián gives us some indicative figures. “The average cost of an information session with a report is 120 Euros, while the mediation session, lasting for an hour and a half per session, will cost about 90-100 Euros. A maximum of four sessions is recommended, because it is understood that if the parties have not managed to establish the bases for an agreement after 4 sessions, then this method is not going to be successful. In practice, many disputes are resolved in 1-2 sessions at most.”
At Mediterráneo Administración de Fincas we are here to help you. If any dispute arises in your Community of Property Owners, please contact your administrator. If you still think this is not enough to resolve the dispute, they will put you in touch with a specialist lawyer to ensure that you and your community can live together peacefully.