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Rental Mediation Scheme flops with almost no users

A much-hyped government proposal to introduce a Rental Mediation Service to resolve disputes, sustain tenancies and reduce pressure on the courts appears to have flopped. 

The idea came up during the pandemic when the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities wanted the County Court service to operate the mediation idea.

The pilot was set up in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and was operational between February and October 2021. 


There were only 22 referrals made out of an estimated 3,000 potential cases during the nine-month period, indicating - according to Propertymark - a lack of awareness and communication of the scheme by Duty Advisors in the County Court. 

Of these 22 referrals, only nine went through to the Rental Mediation Service.

Now a review of the idea has thrown up the general consensus that the mediation was offered too late in the possession process. 

It was offered after relations between tenant and landlord had fully broken down, and the case had already progressed to the court stage. Participants also reported that tenants did not have appropriate legal advice during mediation making it confusing and overwhelming for all parties involved.

“Propertymark believes there is a missed opportunity to include local authority housing and homelessness departments in the referral process, who are usually in contact with tenants at a much earlier stage and may be able to deliver guidance and signposting to the scheme” says the trade body.

It continues: “Mediation needs to be implemented at an earlier stage, as it could delay possession proceedings and cause more issues from tenants. If effectively implemented, the Rental Mediation Service would also be beneficial for landlords not wanting to lose good tenants, who are happy to engage in order to resolve disputes.”

Timothy Douglas, Propertymark’s policy and campaigns chief, adds: “The UK Government’s PRS White Paper includes proposals for mediation to be used as a tool to resolve renting issues and despite the pilot receiving an extremely low number of referrals, we believe that mediation should still form an important part of reforms to eviction rules and dispute resolution going forward.

“What’s key is that decision makers recognise that the timing of mediation is vital, and it is utilised early before relations between landlords and tenants have broken down.

“Propertymark’s The Future of Renting position paper sets out action across ten areas, which we believe can help enhance dispute resolution and improve the possession process. These include communication and reporting, negotiation, and conciliation, complaints, escalated complaints, mediation and mandatory pre-action consideration of alternative dispute resolution.”

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  • icon

    The fatal ☠️ Flaw in the plan was the fact the government were involved 😂👎🏻

  • icon

    Timothy, dearest must be disappointing another quango money stream slipping through the fingers, too much outside interference already, not a lost opportunity at all good riddance.
    Also scrap the stupid Redress Scheme now taking root no one to Redress landlord the main player all one sided.
    While you are at it no need of an Ombudsman either he is not required you have done enough to destroy us which is your main mission, this would be over kill.

  • icon

    It was never going to work. For most landlords by the time you go to court you have tried every other avenue, given the tenants plenty of chances, and you are at the end of your tether. This scheme seems to assume landlords give notice at the drop of a hat, and can easily be persuaded to keep the tenants on, even though they have become very difficult tor deal with, rude and uncommunicative. It's not just the money, it's the fact that you are sick to death of dealing with people who have no intention of changing their behaviour or paying the rent.


    Absolutely right SL. The Government also have to wake up to the fact that though this is a partnership between the Landlord and tenant the Landlord is the heavily invested partner and needs to have the final say.
    Remove this and you'll remove Landlord's from the market.


    Exactly. It's the landlord that's all heavily invested in providing housing. Most do (or should) require final say. Not all these non-hard working benefit claimants / economic migrants etc. The government seek to control our properties with the tenant.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The whole concept proves the Levelling Up Dept's knowledge of Private renting, or business in general, - is ZERO.

    Wouldn't trust them to run a sweet shop !


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