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complaints & mediation


Sometimes problems occur with a landscaping project; this may result from poor communication, poor workmanship or issues beyond our control.

Nevertheless, whilst the MLSA cannot guarantee our Members individually, we do endeavour to assist the client and our Members in reaching a resolution that satisfies all parties. MLSA encourages all of its Members to listen to their clients' concerns and work to address them. If you are a client of an MLSA Member and this is not working, our advice is to follow these steps:

  1. Talk to the landscaper – If your relationship is still amicable, this is the easiest, fastest and usually the most cost-efficient way to resolve the issue.
  2. If the relationship has soured and you cannot resolve the dispute directly with your landscape contractor, you can contact us by completing the 'Dispute Form' below.
  3. If the matter is appropriate for MLSA involvement and all parties are willing to participate, the MLSA will appoint a Dispute Officer at no charge to the MLSA Member or their client. Please be aware that our Dispute Officers are industry experts, trained, qualified and highly experienced, but they are not registered mediators. They can assess the quality of workmanship and offer expert opinions only. We are not a legal institution. Disputes arising around payment, intellectual property or other legal matters will need to be handled by standard legal channels.
  4.  If the dispute still cannot be resolved and a legal course of action is required, the complainant should pass the matter to the Consumer & Business Services (CBS). To commence the complaints process, CLICK HERE.

We encourage you to complete our Dispute Form as we record all complaints. It is important for our members' integrity and the industry generally to know and censure operators who consistently attract complaints.

The Process

MLSA Members and consumers can access the one free initial dispute resolution service if a dispute occurs with a consumer, MLSA designer or contractor over a building issue. This service is available in South Australia only.

The MLSA responds to building complaints only, where the MLSA Member and/or consumer have indicated possible defective workmanship or materials. Where an MLSA Member and consumer cannot resolve their dispute, the MLSA will attempt to mediate an outcome that is suitable to all parties concerned.

MLSA realises a greater chance of successfully resolving a dispute with early intervention and can utilise industry experts who are trade qualified and highly experienced.

In response to a submitted complaint, the MLSA will contact both parties to clarify the nature of the dispute and seek agreement from both parties to participate in this intervention.

For the MLSA to proceed, both parties must participate in this process. Depending on the nature of the matter, the possible outcomes could be:

  • That may resolve the matter at the outset with an MLSA representative contacting both the MLSA Member and consumer to undertake phone intervention regarding the issues raised;
  • If the matter involves defective and/or incomplete work, it will be referred for a possible on-site mediation with an MLSA representative. If it is determined that there is defective or incomplete work, the MLSA representative will discuss the best possible outcome.
  • If the dispute is solely concerning the payment of outstanding monies or a progress payment, Members will be advised to lodge a claim with Consumer & Business Services (CBS).

Disclaimer: All claims, disputes, and controversies arising out of, or concerning, the performance, interpretation, application, or enforcement of MLSA Members, the MLSA shall refer the disputing parties to a to optional preliminary disputes and resolutions mediation service conducted on behalf of the MLSA before, and as a condition precedent to, the initiation of any litigation action. It is a condition of using the MLSA service that if during the mediation, a party ("offering party") makes an offer of compromise to another party which the said party does not accept ("refusing party"), the MLSA has no liability or responsibility to the outcome of the dispute.

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