17 February, 2021
The government has launched an independent Housing Mediation Pilot Scheme. This is on behalf of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and will be funded by the Government. The service is in response to COVID 19 and will be a service to run along side all possession claims as they progress though the Court system in an effort to facilitate settlement without proceeding to a substantive hearing. It will also help with sustaining tenancies and manage the Court's capacity. The scheme is to run from 1st February for 6 months and will then be assessed as to next steps.
Mediation is an informal meeting between parties using an independent mediator and is a way to deal with any dispute and settlement in a confidential and without prejudice way. It is believed that 84% of cases settle using mediation services.
The scheme aims to ensure obtaining advice earlier, increase settlement, take account of the effects of the pandemic and maintain confidence in the fairness of all outcomes.
There will be clerks who will take the initial referrals and then select a mediator. All mediators are fully trained and have undertaken additional training in light of this new scheme.
The mediation will take place by telephone, WhatsApp or Zoom. All parties will need email access.
It will hopefully lead to a settlement without having to go to Court and it might assist in concluding matters sooner and maintaining relations between the landlord and tenant. That being said, sometimes, possession is required and we stand ready to advise on the most appropriate action to take.
For more information contact Samantha Abdoollah in our Dispute Resolution department via email or phone on 01254222456. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.