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FIABCI explores options for property dispute resolution

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Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika


Flustered by increasing numbers of unresolved property cases in court across the country, real estate practitioners are considering the advantages of using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in settling issues in order to improve the business climate.

Courts have proved to be a no go area for most professionals and firms due to the long-wait for resolution of dispute. The cases in courts often include, residential and commercial, landlord-and-tenant disputes, conflicts between cooperative boards and shareholders and problems involving construction, leasing, subleasing, sales and broker- client relationships. Others could be issues on; foreclosures, property-management disagreement, real estate partnerships matters and other associated problems.
  
Addressing practitioners under the auspices of International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), Nigeria Chapter, at a quarterly forum in Lagos, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika said with no end in sight for the overburdened courts’ dockets, ADR provides an efficient, cost-effective method, not only to relieve the courts’ but also to promote compromise and bring peace to parties in a real estate cases.

FIABCI is an international organisation where people in the entire built environment come together, discuss new innovation, advice and push for a way forward. Membership is open to lawyers, financial experts, interior designers, engineers, quantity surveyors and others.

Expounding on the variations of ADR, which include, negotiation, mediation and arbitration, he said practitioners should take into account its benefits and conditions in terms of time and cost-savings, the need for confidentiality, and the interest in having a binding decision on parties to the matter.

The speaker alluded to the fact even in court house; an average lawyer wants his money saying that no matter how you look at it, the more the delay, the better for the lawyers who will earn more money over the years as long as a case remains unresolved in the law court.

Mr. Olumide-Fusika who is an expert in civil and criminal litigations declared that in some cases, it’s accidental to get justice in court because of sentiments and delay which inhibits justice. Hence, it is advisable for parties in dispute to peacefully find solutions to their differences.

The President, FIABCI Nigeria, Mr. Adeniji Adele explained that the forum is part of knowledge sharing section, where some topical issues that relate to the profession are x-rayed to improve business competence of members and in line with best international standard of practice.

He said: “We are in the built industry; we don’t take it for a ride. For example, we have find out that there are so many litigations over the years involving some clients and we have been looking at ways to get out of the situation. We realised that there so many ways to get out of it and one of the methods is perhaps the process of arbitration, mediation because litigation has not really solved the problem.”

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