No matter how much we wish otherwise, property disputes have become quite a common problem nowadays. When humans interact with each other, disputes and quarrels are inevitable. And this happens, even more, when it comes to houses or properties.
According to the ICC, there had been 946 new cases of complex legal disputes all over the world. If you are also a part of property disputes currently, how do you manage to resolve these problems as peacefully as possible? Here are some tips.
1. Review your documents
Before getting into any heated argument, it’s always best to review all your documents and see where you or your party stands. See what are the relevant documents that you have.
This can include important letters, messages, or even emails. Also, papers like the lease of the property and building regulations documents also come in handy during disputes.
One way to resolve disputes is to go through all the written records and then reach a proper conclusion. Ask the other party to do their research too, so that both of you can see eye to eye without further issues.
2. Use mediation
The initiation of any mediation process can be voluntary, as said by legal establishments. This basically means that both parties can talk to each other properly instead of going to court. This not only saves everyone a lot of money but also prevents additional stress.
Mediation can also be a part of an important contract. Many contracts have dispute resolution clauses in them and recently, mediation has become the preferred method of solving disputes.
In a retail leasing dispute, mediation can be a statutory obligation or even the court can order you for mediation. Before matters go too far, it’s always wise to choose this path.
3. Review your options
Do you have more than one solution at hand that can settle your dispute? If yes, then review them. For example, if you have a tenant who refuses to pay on time but has been an otherwise polite tenant, you can sit down and have a talk. Discuss things with your family lawyers for further clarity.
A good brainstorming session, either alone or with your allies can give you a lot of potential doorways to open. In the above example, you could let your tenant out of the lease without any kind of penalty. Or you can allow them to pay late just one more time or negotiate some kind of temporary rent reduction.
4. File a suit in small claims
When things refuse to die down peacefully, you have to take matters to the court. A small claims court can be a good option for many people here.
If the disputed amount is low, say around or less than $10,000 then small claims court can help both of you reach a conclusion. Filing a small claims complaint costs just about $30-150 and this amount depends on where you live and the actual amount of the property money in question.
However, keep in mind that taking the other party to the court can potentially end a good relationship between you both because nobody likes to be dragged to court. So this should never be your first option while resolving property disputes.
5. Look at the inheritance
Almost all property disputes have some sort of inheritance mentioned. This is mostly the starting cause of property disputes themselves. But going through the inheritance papers and options can provide some insights on how to solve matters.
Ensure that the name of the beneficiary is mutated in the relevant records, both government as well as non-government ones.
This will again depend on the nature of the property. All the parties in question will also have to ensure that this property has been transferred to someone and there is enough proof of inheritance- for example, a will or a letter of probate.
Over to you…
In some cases, putting up signs like “Private property” can be helpful if you want outsiders to stay away and if the property is surrounded by a lot of open space.
Putting up fences or using appropriate signs will help you to clear your head and make sure nobody keeps trespassing, thereby decreasing the chances of dispute altogether.
You can even contact a land surveyor to take measurements of the property boundaries. This can be especially helpful if the property dispute is between you and your neighbor.