The Commission of Strata Corporations (CSC) has announced the resumption of its dispute resolution service, with new safety protocols to protect staff and clients from contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Before proceeding, participants are required to now sign off on a sanitisation agreement. A minimum of six feet will be maintained between persons at hearings, in keeping with the Disaster Risk Management Order. The maximum number of persons now permitted at each hearing is six, two persons representing each party – the applicant, the respondent and the CSC,” Chief Executive Officer of the CSC, Sandra Garrick, told JIS News.
Mrs. Garrick said that under the new COVID-19 protocol, each person is subjected to a temperature check upon entering the venue, and each hearing is now limited to a maximum period of two and a half hours.
“During a hearing, each party is given 35 minutes to make their oral submission and an additional 20 minutes for rebuttals. If the matter is not completed within the prescribed time frame, it is adjourned to another date for an additional two and a half hours,” she noted.
The dispute resolution process forms part of the responsibility of the CSC under the Registration (Strata Titles) Act. The process allows the CSC to oversee disputes between proprietors or between proprietors and the executive committee of a strata property. An aggrieved party would submit an application to the Board for a dispute resolution or order.
“To access our dispute resolution service, persons can complete and submit an application form found on our website, www.csc.gov.jm, and pay the required fee of $4,000. Hearings are scheduled within 30 days of the CSC receiving the application and based on the availability of inspectors,” Mrs. Garrick explained.
She is encouraging more persons to utilise the service, as it helps in clearing the judicial system’s court case backlog.
“It’s an easier process, it’s cheaper, and persons receive resolution quicker as opposed to going through the court system. Also, our resolution process is a little different from normal dispute resolution because the Registration (Strata Titles) Act gives the Commission the power to enforce an order under the law,” Mrs. Garrick highlighted.