A newsagent contacted our office requesting assistance by lodging an application for mediation. The newsagent was based in a shopping centre and was seeking a reduction in rent because they believed they were experiencing a decline in sales due to construction work occurring on the roof above their shop.
When the newsagent spoke to centre management about a reduction, centre management disagreed that the decline in the newsagent’s sales were due to the construction work. To reaffirm this belief, management provided the newsagent with data demonstrating an increase in foot traffic throughout the entire centre, coupled with data highlighting the increase in trade of nearby retailers. Unsatisfied and unable to reach an agreement, the newsagent submitted an application for mediation through the QSBC.
When an application for mediation is made, we assign a business liaison officer (BLO) to the case. The role of the BLO is to remain impartial and contact both parties to gain a better understanding of each parties’ position and version of events, and to assess whether mediation is appropriate. Sometimes disputes can be resolved by the BLO before mediation, by encouraging both parties to appreciate the other’s perspective. In this instance of the newsagency, the BLO was able to work with both parties and they reached an informal agreement through a reduction in rent that was in both their interests.
Outcomes like this can save time, money, and relationships.
Find out more about dispute assistance.