The contract of sale is a short document, but it incorporates statutory conditions that apply when there is a dispute between the vendor and the buyer. Disputes about property contracts are settled in the Supreme Court according to the contract’s conditions and terms.
There are alternatives to litigation in the courts. The Law Institute of Victoria’s (LIV) Conveyancing Disputes Panel determines disputes between solicitors (typically, a solicitor for a vendor and a solicitor for a buyer) about conveyancing. This service costs $100 (plus GST). It is a very efficient way to resolve conveyancing disputes and does not require appearances by the parties or representatives.
Arbitration of disputes about measurements: A dispute about the measurements of the land is governed by the terms of the contract. If the contract is silent, the statutory conditions apply, under which a dispute about measurements goes to arbitration. Arbitration can be as expensive as court action.
Mediation: Many contracts contain a clause that enables the parties to any dispute to take the dispute to a mediator. Even if the contract says nothing, parties can still take their dispute to a mediator. LIV provides a free referral service and can connect you to a qualified mediator. Not unlike in litigation, the parties in a mediation decide whether the outcome is suitable. Mediation is often the cheapest and fastest way to resolve a dispute.
Information on options for alternative dispute resolution can be obtained by contacting LIV (see “Contacts”).