There appears to be no evidence yet as to the effectiveness or otherwise of the government’s mediation scheme, introduced ahead of the eviction ban lifting.
The Association of Residential Letting Agents’ wing of Propertymark - which backed the pilot of the scheme when it was launched in April - is now demanding to see the results.
The mediation system is free to use for landlords or their agents, and tenants, and utilises an independent trained neutral mediator to help identify issues.
ARLA’s policy director Timothy Douglas says: “When landlords and tenants are involved in a housing possession court case, it is important that they are able to identify issues and have the additional resources necessary to help resolve them.
“For this reason, we recognise the role that mediation can play in dispute resolution.
“However, it is essential that we see the results of the pilot and outcomes of reviews to determine whether it can take the pressure off the court system and be a viable option for the private rented sector in the long run, especially with the court backlog caused by the crisis.”
So far there has been no government response to the call.
Under the mediation scheme and as part of a housing possession case, cases will be listed by the court for review. This is before any substantive court hearing.
When tenants attend their review appointment, they will have access to free legal advice from the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme.
If the duty solicitor believes that the case would benefit from mediation, they will recommend this to the tenant and landlord. If both parties agree, the case will be referred to the Society of Mediators. A mediator will then in get touch to arrange a suitable time for the mediation to take place.
If an agreement is reached during mediation, the case will not require a substantive hearing and the outcome will be confirmed to the court.
If an agreement is not reached, then the substantive hearing will take place as planned.
Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.