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New Eviction Mediation guidelines issued to landlords by government

The government has revised its guidelines for its new mediation scheme, which it says will avoid some possessions now that the eviction ban has finally been lifted.

The mediation system is free to use for landlords and tenants and will involve as a third party an independent trained neutral mediator to help identify issues and work to resolve them. 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says this scheme may be quicker than a full court hearing - remote mediation is likely to happen within 10 days of referral. 


Then, following one or more meditation sessions, “if mediation succeeds and you are happy with the proposed solution, you will sign an agreement, which will be put in front of a judge for approval. The agreement will explain what actions each party [landlord and tenant] must take next.”

You can see the revised guidelines here.

In addition to the lifting of the eviction ban, from today the eviction notice periods - previously extended to six months during much of the pandemic - will reduce to four months, and if the roadmap out of lockdown continues as planned, notice periods will return to just two months from October 1.

The landlords’ trade body, the National Residential Landlords Association, has welcomed the end of the eviction ban and the reduction in notice periods, but it says financial help for disadvantaged tenants remains a priority. 

“We want to see tenancies sustained wherever possible and call on the Chancellor to step in and provide affected tenants with the financial support they need to pay off rent arrears built as a result of the pandemic” explains NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle.

Housing minister Chris Pincher says: “As Covid restrictions are eased in line with the roadmap out of lockdown, we will ensure tenants continue to be supported with longer notice periods, while also balancing the need for landlords to access justice.”

Rental sector expert and market commentator Neil Cobbold - chief sales officer at automated rental payment service provider PayProp - suggests the change this week presents agents with a chance to show their value to landlord customers. 

He says: "It is an opportunity to rethink the current eviction system in order to reduce backlogs and reach fair outcomes more quickly.  We’ve already seen the government trialling a mediation service to solve landlord-tenant disputes before a full court hearing. 

“If the trials are successful, this can become accepted practice and really help to lessen the number of disputes between the main parties involved in a rental transaction.”

He says in extreme circumstances - where severe rental arrears or anti-social behaviour are involved – legal action may remain a necessity but a reduction in disputes that can be settled outside of court will speed up the genuinely required law cases.

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    .......................“We want to see tenancies sustained wherever possible and call on the Chancellor to step in and provide affected tenants with the financial support they need to pay off rent arrears built as a result of the pandemic” ............
    If I had a non paying tenant I would not want to keep the tenant so giving them money would not resolve the problem. Once that hand out has been used up what makes NRLA think that the tenant would then start to pay?

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Simple answer. - Retired agent, is that the NRLA don't think in a Landlords best interests
    NRA are politically 'in-bed' with the govt and afraid and slow to call them out.

    The only answer is for All the smaller, regional Landlord associations and ARLA etc to form an alliance.
    ( similar to what they did in the Fair Possession Coalition - when Govt first mooted abolishing Section 21. )

    The Tenant support groups have recently done just exactly that !

    Until there is a body collectively representing a hell of a lot more than 80,000 landlords, the PRS are continue to receive a Kicking.

    Regional landlords groups should contact us further on this.
    As they say, your either part of the problem or part of the solution.

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    Agreed - This is exactly what's happening. Capitulation group financed by LL's. We need a group with more pro LL hard core policies embracing the 'pay up on time, behave & stop complaining' towards tenants or just buy your own property there's your choice

  • Ferey Lavassani

    Since we are beginning to see the end of the Section 21, as a matter of personal experience, I wish to seek your opinion of this point.

    We shall see in the near future that landlords seeking possession will have to go down Section 8 road. Now, the tenants get the chance to defend and oppose possession. The vast majority of these tenants, in order to clog the system, out of the blue, bring a counter claim based on "disrepair" at the Hearing. Whereas prior to the Hearing, they never mentioned it at all.

    The NRLA and other landlord interest representatives must consult the government on putting the burden of the claim of disrepair, upon the tenant. What I mean by that, is to oblige the tenant to produce evidence that in fact the disputed "disrepair" was communicated to the landlord, and the landlord failed to remedy that.

    Currently, as I am sure you are aware, the landlord is having no way of disputing that. The honourable district judge will have to stop the process, there will be another Hearing, more legal costs, surveyors' expenses and more. The next Hearing could be weeks if not months away.

    This will stop tenants to abuse the system. Do you agree?

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    This is a disaster it will be abused wholesale, its likely to be the damage they done to the property. I should know that having spent months putting it back to how it was, it wouldn’t have happened if regulators hadn’t interfered and made us powerless, even if to properly isn’t damaged they we fiddle with the Boiler & say we had no hot water for ages this one is used already.

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    I agree with Possession Friend and to reassure Ferey I have done over 350 evictions through the county court and the disrepair issue though sometimes mentioned has not been a problem for me. I'm not saying it has not been a problem for others but with 6-monthly property checks where the tenant signs to say that there has not been an issue takes a lot of the steam out of the tenants argument.

    What I am saying is the section 8 route provided you act defensively ie do regular checks works but takes too long and too bureaucratic. All I can see happening when Section 8 is abolished is same number of tenants will be evicted but the grounds will not be hidden behind the no fault eviction process. Contrary to popular belief the Section 8 eviction root works well and I have written a book which shows how a landlord can easily cheaply quickly and legally evict a tenant.

    The attempts by council's recently to introduce mediation schemes works remarkably well, most tenants will not use it they either leave or pay. So a a national mediation scheme will do a lot to sort the problem off tenants deliberately not paying. I operate a No Eviction policy where I'll only evict tenants who wilfully refuse to pay the rent not one who is unable to pay and in 30 years I've been in this business operating the policy I've never come across a tenant who has been unable to pay they all willfully refuse to pay or co operate with us in helping them to be paid. A mediation scheme will also hopefully highlight the problem of tenants being encouraged by their councils to stop paying their landlord to get their eviction papers so they can be rehoused by the council one of the most common reasons why my tenants do not pay me.
    Jim haliburton HMO daddy

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    Ok but more & more bureaucracy with Section 8 that I don’t want our lives have been taken over already with Digital Academics & Computers without which we would not have all this nonsense. I will say it again because Section 21 was there and the Tenant knew it was there meant you didn’t have to use it or only as a last resort full stop.
    It might be presumptuous of me to think your HMO’s are predominantly room letting in the main dealing with individuals peace meal, from what I have read concerning Council in the press years back from memory about your model as apposed to me letting Property / Houses as a complete unit now there’s the crux of all, many apologies if I got something wrong.

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    P.S, obviously Jim you meant when Section 21 is abolished not Section 8 (typo).


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