Why both parties must commit to mediation - or it won't work
It seems that mediation is literally flavour of the month. Following hot on the heels of the announcement that TDS Resolution is expanding its mediation service, the Government has now published details of its own mediation pilot scheme.
The Government initiative, announced in February has the support of the National Residential Landlords Association which, as we flagged up in this blog on Tuesday, is also collaborating with TDS Resolution on its scheme.
The mediation pilot is free to use for landlords and tenants involved in a housing possession court case and the idea is to help resolve cases without the need for a face to face court hearing.
This is how it works. As part of the housing possession system, cases will be listed by the court for review in advance of the hearing. At review the tenant can access free legal advice from duty advisers and the landlord can request that the dispute is put forward for mediation. If no agreement is reached at this point, if suitable the case can be referred.
The aim is to provide a quicker, cost-free alternative to a full court hearing and to conduct mediation remotely by telephone within 10 days of referral. Landlords and tenants will work with a trained, neutral mediator, who is completely independent from the court system. They will help identify sticking points and work to resolve the problem. If successful, the court will then be informed and the case closed.
For mediation to work you should:
- be open and flexible
- be willing to work with the mediator to find a resolution
- be clear with what you want to say
- be able to answer any questions
- have a quiet, private space where you won’t be disturbed
- be available at the start of the session and throughout
However, despite the current focus on this kind of dispute resolution, it is important to appreciate that mediation will only work if both parties are committed to it. Regardless of the clear advantages of avoiding litigation, there are some landlords and tenants will always insist on having their day in court. Unfortunately, where this is the case, there is very little the other party can do about it.
Author : Maryanne Bowring
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