What is it?
It`s a type of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR, better known as DR), which enables both parties to find the appropriate solution to an issue or problem in a personal and informal setting – It is Non Adversarial!
It is usually undertaken face to face, in a convenient neutral location; however since Covid, many cases are dealt with by telephone or on line (Zoom etc).
A simple case can take two hours, whilst more complex ones can take up to one day (eight hours max).
We prefer to see it as, “Dispute Avoidance & Resolution” – Why let a fire smoulder when preventing the spark can be a lot easier?
Why I became a Mediator
As a rental agent with over 30 years experience, I have been resolving Landlord and Tenant issues, throughout this period. Nipping these potential conflicts and disputes in the bud, which have ranged from late rent payments, property repairs, access for maintenance, rent reviews; the list has been endless. I found it very rewarding to help both sides find a satisfactory solution, in a calm understanding and empathetic manner which resulted in the tenancy continuing. It seemed a natural progression to turn from what was described as negotiation, into mediation, and being qualified to practice it professionally had been a long held ambition.
Why Choose it?
Simply because it solves an issue quickly, is considerably cheaper than the courts and hopefully will resolve a dispute or rescue a tenancy with little or no hard feelings.
The process throughout is confidential and non judgemental. The mediator acts as an impartial independent third party which helps to remove any animosity, and allows for an open and free flowing discussion giving both parties a chance to air their views.
How does it help?
Have you considered the cost of inaction against the benefits of reaction? A dispute can be a traumatic, stressful and emotional experience to both the parties and their families. Nobody wants or needs the hassle of an ongoing conflict and using mediation can help to remove this worry. The matter can be settled within a relatively short period of time, providing both parties agree to mediate.
How does it work?
Once both parties agree:-
Terms of Business and Contract are sent out for signing.
Both parties send in their material information/notes on the issue.
There is no set format for the process but there is an overall structure; we arrange to meet face to face, or on line if required – ideally with both parties initially present.
It is then normally easier to hold separate confidential meetings (two or three sessions each) to discuss the issues; exploring in depth the underlying reasons and reviewing the options available to reach a mutual resolution that both parties are happy with.
There is a final joint meeting with both parties to confirm the agreed details, then Heads of Terms are roughly drawn up which should be passed onto the solicitors to be drafted into a legal enforceable contract.
Where would you use it?
At a court Review Hearing, under the Coronavirus Act guidelines, the judge will want to see evidence of meaningful communication to try to resolve the issues.
Mediation is a preferred government option.
In the future, the Renters Reform Bill will remove Section 21 Notices, and Agents and Landlords will need to be more effective in evidence gathering and Dispute Resolution of minor issues.
“If the Tenant has no money, what is the point of going to court using a Section 8 Notice for rent arrears? To claim what, from whom?”
“If the Tenant can`t afford the property, why continue?”
The above examples can achieve resolution through mediation; which is quicker, easier and cheaper to use, than instructing a solicitor and going to court.
It can be hard for a landlord to easily discuss a sensitive issue with a tenant; whilst agents, despite being a middle person, are still seen as working for the landlord and having a retained interest.
In many cases, a good person does not become a bad person overnight; the underlying reasons need to be explored and discussed to find a long term satisfactory solution.
Some of the Property Areas it can cover
Landlord and tenant
Rent or rate/utility arrears
Evictions and threatened evictions
Breach of tenancy terms
Noise or anti-social behaviour
Unprotected tenancy deposits
What does it cost?
The costs of property mediation will vary upon the dispute. Our fees will depend upon a number of factors such as the complexity of the dispute, the amount of preparation required by the mediator and the likely length of the mediation appointment.
Whilst, we aim to be competitive on pricing, we welcome the opportunity to discuss a potential mediation and agree an appropriate fee. Our scale of basic fees, based on two parties, is charged at:
£75.00 per party per hour up to 3 hours (No VAT)
£250.00 per party for 4 to 6 hours (No VAT)
£375.00 per party for a full day (8 hours) (No VAT)
Special fixed rates can be discussed for Landlords and Agents.
For any queries please feel free to contact us