Solving Property Disputes

Property disputes can be stressful and thus they need to be resolved.

Solving Property Disputes
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Property disputes are disagreements that arise between two or more parties, which arise from the conflicting parties' interest in the property in question. The parties can either be between individuals, individuals and the community, community versus community or individuals versus the state. Factors that contribute to the property disputes include; increased population, scarcity of resources, increased property value as well as increased demand for a property. Some of these conflicts include, dispute over a grazing land by two communities, misunderstanding between a real estate company and its clients, among other disputes.

In the long run the results of the property conflicts are severe with deaths or clashes between the parties. This leads to the destruction of property and livelihoods. Where the conflicting parties are the family members, it results to division. 

How do we solve property disputes?

There are several dispute resolution methods that are legally acknowledged. The major resolution methods include;

Arbitration method

This is a method of solving a property dispute where the conflicting parties agree on an adjudicator who helps the conflicting parties to reach a decision. The adjudicator reaches a decision after hearing the pieces of evidence of both the involved parties. The decision made by the adjudicator is binding.

Advantages of the arbitration method

  • The conflicting parties decide on who the arbitrator will be hence there is no favor on any party due to the neutral character of the adjudicator.
  • The solution to the conflict is reached in a short time compared to a court process.
  • It's cheaper compared to other conflict resolution methods.
  • There is a lot of confidentiality in the process since the information is only available to the conflicting parties and the adjudicator.
  • There are minimal chances for an appeal since the decision reached by the adjudicator is binding.

Disadvantages of the arbitration method

  • In case a party is discontented, there lacks a right to appeal since the adjudicator's decision is final.
  • The arbitrator may use as evidence, information that would be disregarded by a court of law due to the rules of evidence.
  • The standards considered by an adjudicator before reaching a decision are not clear. 

Mediation method

This is a process of solving a property dispute where the conflicting parties agree on an independent third party where the third party helps the conflicting parties reach a decision on their own unlike in arbitration where the adjudicator reaches a decision. The mediator facilitates the conflicting parties to reach an informed decision. He provides a suitable environment for reaching an agreement, facilitates negotiation, and persuades them to accept the reached solution.

Advantages of the mediation method

  • It is relatively cheap compared to a court trial.
  • Mediation takes a short time to reach a solution compared to other methods.
  • There are no strict measures to be followed.
  • The conflicting parties participate in reaching the solution to their problem hence a stronger relationship, unlike a court trial.
  • The solution to the conflict is readily accepted by the parties since it’s their own finding and they participated in the process.

Disadvantages of the mediation method

  • The process does not always reach a solution because the involved parties may fail to shift their initial positions.
  • The conflicting parties depend on the goodwill of each other since the methods lack a discovery process.
  • The process lacks constitutional protection by courts of law.
  • The difference in language can hinder the reaching of a solution since language is key in communication.

Litigation method

This is the process of solving a property dispute by involving a legal proceeding through a court system. It involves fighting and defending a case. At the end of the litigation process, there is the delivery of a ruling. The case can however be dropped due to the lack of evidence.

Advantages of the litigation method

  • The parties are compelled to adhere to the judgment.
  • There is the right to appeal.
  • There is the following of a previous ruling from other courts.
  • Discovery and examination for discovery avail information that may be unavailable in other methods of solving disputes.
  • The outcome is predictable since there is clear law that dictates the judgment.
  • The process gives room for each party to avail their evidence.
  • Disadvantages of the litigation method
  • It is time consuming compared to mediation and arbitration.
  • The court decision can be appealed which may see an overturning of an earlier decision.
  • It is a relatively expensive method due to his legal fees. The cost also increases with the increase in time before the delivery of justice.
  • It may damage relationships between the conflicting parties since the ruling tends to favor one party.
  •  The process lacks confidentiality since most court documents are available to the public.