How do I lodge a dispute?
For your convenience you can use the Building Disputes Tribunal South Africa website to complete and submit your complaint form electronically. It really is that easy!
When do I lodge a dispute?
A dispute can be lodged at any time, but usually happens when the parties are in disagreement over something that was done, or should have been done or something that was not up to standard. It could also happen that the contractor lodges a dispute against the builder for non-payment of the agreed upon amount.
Is this a very expensive way of dissolving a dispute?
Absolutely not, in fact it is the cheapest way of resolving a building dispute and often even a requirement by court should a matter progress that far. Nowadays courts prefer that any form of alternative dispute resolution is done even before the matter proceeds to a court. In practice we found that as much as 7 out of every 10 cases are resolved without the need for expensive litigation and legal costs.
Do I need a lawyer?
No, BDTSA will endevour to resolve the matter by reaching an amicable solution between the parties. Should it be necessary we will appoint a mediator who will mediate the matter before it even goes to court. All personnel at the BDTSA have full or partial legal training and are skilled to assist you without the need for legal representation.
Will BDTSA always take my side?
No not necessarily – the BDTSA is an independent entity to ensure that your complaint is dealt with in a manner that is fair and just for all parties concerned. It is the mission of the BDTSA to ensure that an amicable and fair solution is reached between all disputing parties.
What will it cost me to make use of BDTSA?
The BDTSA has a flat rate fee of R450 (four hundred and fifty rand) to attend to the administration of your dispute. This fee covers all the paperwork necessary to investigate your claim / dispute, initial correspondence between the parties and preliminary discussions to endeavour to find an amicable solution. Should the matter escalate to a point where legal intervention is necessary or a formal mediator be appointed you will be advised of any additional costs (if any).
What administration will BDTSA attend to?
BDTSA will evaluate the dispute at hand, liaise with the disputed parties, seek common ground and endeavour to resolve the dispute to the satisfaction of both parties.
Will I have to face the other party?
Generally disputes are resolved without the need for you to face the other party. Should the parties not agree or if BDTSA are unable to reach a solution acceptable to both parties, then during a mediation you will need to face the other party. Nowadays many mediations are done electronically over Zoom, Whatsapp conference so that it would not be necessary for you to come into face to face contact with the other party.
What advantage is there for me to make use of BDTSA?
The cost aspect is the biggest advantage for using the services of BDTSA. In the normal sense, should a building dispute go to court, would involve thousands of rands in legal fees and literally months (if not years) before the matter is finalized. The average time* for BDTSA to reach finalization of a dispute is around 14 days with a maximum time frame of 60 days. (* could vary depending on the cooperation of the parties)
What if my dispute only involve a small amount (like R15 000)?
The BDTSA does not look at the amount the dispute is about as long as the amount is under R1 million rand.
Do I require any legal knowledge to lodge a dispute?
No, the BDTSA is there to assist the individual, builder or contractor when submitting their dispute and no legal knowledge is necessary.