Entrepreneurship Insights

Legal options or remedies for strata title development disputes

Written by Rozen Cutts

Strata title developments have become popular in Sydney, offering a practical solution to urban living with shared spaces and community living. However, with shared ownership and proximity to neighbours, strata developments can also give rise to disputes. If not handled correctly, these conflicts can escalate and disrupt the harmony of the living environment.

This article digs into the legal options and solutions available for resolving strata title development disputes.

Common types of strata title development disputes

Strata title disputes can arise from various issues, including:

  1. Maintenance and repairs: Disagreements occur over who is responsible for maintaining and repairing common property. Owners may contest the quality of repairs or the costs involved.
  2. By-law breaches: Strata schemes have by-laws that owners and tenants must follow. Breaches of these by-laws, like noise complaints or illegal alterations to property, are common sources of conflict.
  3. Financial management: Disputes may arise over managing the strata scheme’s finances, including budgeting, levy contributions, and funds misuse.
  4. Meeting procedures: Conflicts can emerge over the conduct and outcomes of strata meetings, including voting irregularities and procedural fairness.
  5. Use of common property: Owners may disagree on how common property, such as parking spaces, recreational areas, and other shared amenities, is used.

Legal remedies and options

Internal dispute resolution

The first step in addressing a strata dispute is seeking resolution within the strata scheme. Most strata schemes have an internal dispute resolution process, which can involve mediation or negotiation facilitated by the strata committee. It will be a cost-effective and quicker approach than formal legal proceedings.

Strata committee intervention

The strata committee can call meetings to discuss the issue and make decisions as per the strata by-laws and relevant legislation. Engaging strata dispute lawyers can help ensure the committee follows correct procedures and acts within its authority.


If internal resolution fails, mediation is a recommended next step. The New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) offers mediation services for strata disputes. Mediation is less adversarial and more cost-effective than going to court.


When mediation does not resolve the issue, the NCAT provides a formal avenue for dispute resolution. NCAT hears different types of strata disputes, including those related to by-law breaches, repairs and maintenance, and financial management. NCAT has the power to make legally binding orders to resolve the conflict.

Court proceedings

In more complex or severe cases, taking the matter to court may be necessary. The District Court or the Supreme Court of New South Wales can hear strata title disputes, those involving significant sums of money or complex legal issues. Court proceedings can be lengthy and expensive, but they may be the best option for obtaining a definitive resolution.

Legal representation

Any dispute resolution process requires skilled legal representation. Strata title lawyers in Sydney are experienced in navigating the complexities of strata law and can provide invaluable advice and representation. They can assist in interpreting by-laws, ensuring compliance with legislation, and advocating for their clients in mediation, NCAT, or court proceedings.

The role of strata title lawyers in Sydney

Strata title lawyers offer specialised knowledge and expertise in dealing with strata disputes. They can assist with:

  • Advising on legal rights and obligations: Understanding the rights and obligations of all parties involved is crucial for resolving disputes effectively.
  • Mediation and negotiation: Lawyers can represent their clients in mediation and negotiations, helping to achieve a fair and amicable resolution.
  • NCAT representation: Skilled lawyers can prepare and present cases before the NCAT, ensuring their clients’ interests are protected and defended.
  • Court proceedings: In cases where court action is necessary, strata dispute lawyers can provide comprehensive representation, from filing the initial claim to arguing the case in court.

How will you manage future strata title development disputes?

From internal dispute resolution and NCAT hearings to mediation and court proceedings, there are various ways to resolve conflicts. Engaging experienced strata dispute lawyers can enhance the likelihood of a favourable outcome. For residents and owners in Sydney, having knowledgeable legal support can make all the difference in navigating the complexities of strata title disputes.

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About the author

Rozen Cutts

My name is Rozen Cutts, I'm a writer by profession. I write articles on healthcare, beauty, skincare, travel, haircare, lifestyle, business and related topics in a way that is appealing to people.