The services required from professional valuer are extremely varied, which is one of the factors making valuation such an interesting and challenging occupation. Perhaps one of the most interesting tasks a valuer can be called upon to perform is that of arbitration.

Arbitration is the process whereby disputes are resolved outside a traditional courtroom, and it comes into play whenever the parties concerned are either unable, or unwilling, to resolve their differences by themselves.

The most common property-related disputes usually centre around rental disagreements, such as mid-lease rent adjustments, or options to renew or extend a rental term. Very often, a landlord believes that the rental increase he wishes to make is simply to bring the rent in line with market trends, but the tenant is not of the same opinion. This difference of opinion can quickly escalate into a dispute and then a lawsuit. Arbitration is the attempt to settle the issue in a legally binding manner before it becomes a problem for court.

Arbitration is defined as an “alternative dispute mechanism” which basically means it’s less formal, less structured, and often less expensive, than a lawsuit, and is thus generally the preferred way to settle real estate value disputes.

In addition to rental disputes, valuers can also be called to arbitrate on other property-related issues, which could include:

  • Rates valuations
  • Loss of view
  • Boundaries
  • Insurance
  • Deceased estates
  • Public Works acquisitions and disposals

How Does Arbitration Work?

The basic arbitration process is relatively simple, but can sometimes take a long time to reach a conclusion, depending on the co-operation of the parties involved. At the start of the process, a preliminary meeting is set up, during which the parties come to an agreement as to the way in which the arbitration will be conducted. At a series of future meetings, the parties involved will present submissions and evidence, which is then studied and considered by the valuer/arbitrator.

When serving as an arbitrator, a valuer makes a final, generally binding decision to resolve a dispute. They will communicate that decision in a written, signed document, called the Award.

At Property Partnership, we have extensive experience in all kinds of commercial, industrial and residential property valuations, and have successfully acted as arbitrators in numerous cases. If you’re looking for a professional, objective and experienced valuer to preside in your property-related arbitration, please contact us today. We’re waiting to help you.