If you experience an issue during a building project, you might think that the best way to resolve it is demanding the other person do what you want. However, if you organise a structured and calm discussion, you are more likely to resolve your dispute.
You need to try to resolve the dispute yourself before you can apply for our service. This is a legislative requirement. Here are some tips to help you.
Before you meet
- Consider where and how you will meet. Face to face is usually the best way (unless you’re feeling threatened or scared). Meeting on site can be helpful.
- Timing is important. Organise a suitable time to ensure that you both have plenty of time to discuss the matter without interruptions or distractions. Call or email the other person to ask when it would be best for them to meet with you.
- Think about what you want to say and how best to say it. It is essential you keep communication channels open and constructive. You need to be able to state clearly and concisely what the issues are, why they are important, and how they are impacting on you.
- Prepare some notes. You might find it useful to list the key points you would like to discuss prior to the meeting. We recommend that you send the other person the list to help them prepare.
At the meeting
- Approach the other party in an open and polite manner without making assumptions about how they will respond.
- Remain calm, speak in a relaxed tone, and keep your emotions in check.
- It is important to focus on the problem, not the person.
- Look for solutions that you both can accept.
- Refer to your notes and clearly state what the issue is from your perspective and how it is impacting on you.
- Give the other person the opportunity to ask questions, express their concerns and tell you how they see things. Acknowledge what they have said and ask questions to clarify any points.
If you reach agreement, write down details of the agreement, and send the other person a copy. Ask the other person to acknowledge that they have received it, and agree with what you have written.
If you are unable to resolve the issues, then write to the other party outlining any remaining issues and advising your next step, which might include lodging an application with our service.
For more information or advice, call the Building Information Line on 1300 55 75 59 between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).