Neighbour Disputes

 

Neighbours may encounter a dispute for lots of reasons. Sometimes, these disputes can be short-lived and easily resolved by having a conversation with them. Nuisance behaviour, Zoning By-Laws, noise, pets, children, property lines and fences lines are just a few catalysts. If the dispute is prolonged or escalate, you may require a third-party mediator to facilitate a conversation that could lead to a meaningful agreement to help you and your neighbour to move on. Using mediation in these situations can be extremely valuable.

In cases where a minor variance or consent is required, applicants submit an application to the Committee of Adjustment (COA) for approval. Applicants are required to display a public notice on the property containing details of the variance or consent sought. Applicants are also encouraged to support their proposal with letters of support from adjacent and surrounding neighbours. If there are any objections to the application, they must be raised during the hearing. For more information on COA got to www.toronto.ca or click here.

Following the hearing, the COA will provide  you with their decision. Whether or not your application is approved, you may still face the risk of an appeal at the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB). This can happen 1) because the COA did not approve your application or 2) a neighbour wants to appeal the COA decision. Until TLAB has provided a decision, you cannot continue with your project. This is a costly and time-consuming exercise that can cause considerable delays.

 

Afsana has carefully crafted a framework that will help you and your neighbours take part in a productive discussion to help advance your project. The objective of the framework is to ensure all voices and concerns about your project are heard and considered.  This type of mediation could save you valuable time and money, raise discussions, and lead to resolutions that will help you maintain neighbourly relationships.

If you are interested in learning more about how Afsana can help you resolve your neighbour dispute, please call 647 518 3166 for a no-obligation, free consultation.

Mediation offers you the opportunity to resolve your dispute without having to go to court. It is a cost-effective method that saves you time and money but can also help you maintain a healthy and sustainable relationship with your neighbour.

 


Renovation Disputes

 

When homeowners begin their renovation projects, one of the key steps is to discuss the nature and extent of the renovation with their chosen contractor. Often both parties sign a contract, which specifies the details of the renovation, costs, pay schedule, a start and completion date. Other times, parties may agree to the work on implied terms and a contract may not be signed.

Renovation disputes occur when the homeowner and their contractor deviate from the original agreement causing a dispute over what was agreed. This can happen for several reasons. For example, the parties may not be fulfilling the terms of the contract, failure to pay, defective, or abandoned work.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a sharp rise in the number of renovations that have taken place across Ontario. This has naturally caused an increase in the number of claims filed at the Superior and Small Claims court. Often these cases are costly because of the legal fees, expert reports and filing costs.

Mediation can help the parties to resolve their issues without having to go a court. It provides the parties to come to an agreement that will help clarify or renegotiate the terms of the original agreement, so the renovation project can continue. Parties may also seek to sever the contract on the best terms possible. Against the value of the claim, avoiding litigation can help both parties save money and reach a resolution faster. Please read Afsana’s article published by The Lawyer’s Daily “The Value of Mediating Renovation Disputes” for more insight.

If you would like to consider mediation for your renovation dispute, Afsana can help decide if this is the best process for you. You may or may not require a lawyer depending on the complexity of your dispute. However, if both parties agree, Afsana advises seeking independent legal advice before signing the agreement.

For more information, call Afsana on 647 518 3166 or email at afsana@gcmediation.com.

Afsana mediates a wide range of civil and commercial disputes. She holds a wealth of experience in dealing with personal injury cases. If you have been recently injured or have a lawsuit against you for injuring someone, you may be able to mediate your case instead of going to a civil trial. Trials are by nature risky processes as a single judge decides the case following the trial. If the case is not decided in your favour, you may end up having to pay the other side’s costs.

In meditation, both parties are in control of the type of agreements they make and the cost of the mediation is shared. Afsana will help you find creative solutions that will benefit both parties, which can then lead to a faster and cheaper resolution.

Afsana works in the following areas:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents/Insurance Defence
  • Slip and Fall
  • Occupiers Liability
  • Assault
  • Contract Disputes
  • Small Business Dispute

If you would like to discuss your case with Afsana, please contact her to arrange a time. You can also book your mediation here.

If you are having trouble recovering money or property equivalent to $35,000.00 or less, you can file a claim at the Ontario Small Claims Court against the person or business you are trying to recover from. You will usually have to pay a filing fee to get your claim started and if it progresses, fees for setting down a trial date are also payable. Depending on the complexities of the case you may have to retain a lawyer or paralegal to help you. You may also have to obtain expert reports to help you to prove your case.

As these costs add up, you are also faced with the risk of litigation, with no guarantee that you will win or recover your costs from the other side.

Mediation provides an alternative way for you to resolve your dispute. If the other side agrees, you can start mediation before filing your claim. This will save you time and money and provide you with an opportunity to settle your claim on your own terms.

Afsana is experienced in dealing with small claims and has helped many parties settle their dispute. IN the current climate, due to the COVID-19 pandemic court closures, there is a backlog of cases waiting to be heard. This can cause substantial delays in hearing your case. Mediation is encouraged and ultimately, it will provide you with a faster resolution.

If you are interested in talking to Afsana about your dispute and how mediation can help, please call on 647 518 3166, or book a time for a consultation or mediation below.

Book a Consultation or Mediation

Testimonials

“I recently had an opportunity to use Ms. Gibson-Chowdhury’s services when a client brought a matter to me that she was scheduled to mediate. Ms. Gibson-Chowdhury is one of the finest mediators I have used.  I have used mediation several times and her experience, knowledge, and charm help the parties have realistic expectations so they can get to a reasonable settlement for all parties.  No one feels pressured and everyone feels heard.  It is much better than litigation where a stranger will make a final decision that one party will not like and with the risk of appeals and more legal fees after that is done.  I highly recommend making this your first step before litigation.  For a small fee you can save thousands on litigation and come to something amicable and all encompassing (ie. not just money, but possibly the return of an item)”

Susan Koprich

“Thank you Afsana for making my client feel at ease during the negotiation. Your help and ideas for settlement has been invaluable!”

Toronto Lawyer

“Afsana’s assistance was key, critical and integral. I intend to use her services on my next mediation”

Senior Toronto Lawyer

“Afsana successfully mediated the matter to a settlement… Afsana was very competent in handling the mediation and the issues therein. She used her skills and knowledge to her best ability, which positively influenced the claim”

Toronto Lawyer

“The parties in this dispute attended nine settlement conferences, without a successful resolution…. Afsana communicated with both parties in a calm and logical manner that helped both parties understand the risks associated with the trial. With her invaluable help, both parties negotiated an agreement that was right for them.”

Toronto Lawyer