Taking a property problem to court should always be the last resort
With the courts now facing at least a six month backlog of rent arrears cases alone, if you have a grievance with your landlord or tenant, it will be some time before you will be able to resolve the problem. This is hugely stressful – and potentially costly – for everyone involved. But there appears to be some good news on the horizon in the form of an extension to the service being offered by TDS Resolution.
This is a mediation service set up in collaboration between the Dispute Service and the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA). It was established last year to help deal with rent arrears and to set up rent reduction plans in order to resolve debt problems for landlords and tenants.
This week the service has announced that it is extending its coverage to include a range of other property-related issues: property standards, repairs, entry rights, anti-social activity and breaches of tenancy terms. The conciliation/mediation service from TDS Resolution is free and it will work on behalf of either the landlord or the tenants.
In the right circumstances, this has to be a better solution than pursuing a case through the courts. However, given the number of disputes that are waiting to be heard, any service that is offering to help resolve property issues free of charge is bound to be inundated with requests. So if this is something you are interested in, act fast and get in touch as soon as possible.
Our advice continues to be to try and resolve tenancy-related problems in the first instance by speaking to your tenant or landlord direct. Unless you are very unlucky, they will want to sort out your problem without resorting to involving a third party – especially if that means initiating a court case.
So keep talking and trying to find a solution that works for both of you. If that fails, then mediation should be the next step, followed by legal action as a last resort.
Author : Maryanne Bowring
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