Mediation between landlords and tenants has worked in half of all cases taken on by a new service launched by the Property Redress Scheme (PRS), part of the Hamilton Fraser group of companies.
At the beginning of the evictions ban it launched a tenancy mediation service for landlords to find a resolution to disputes without recourse to the courts.
The PRS says 45% of its mediation requests sent out by landlords and letting agents to tenants were ignored but of those who did engage, half of the cases were resolved.
PRS says ‘successful mediation’ means a repayment agreement, or the parties reaching their own solution after using the service.
Sean Hooker, Head of Redress for the Property Redress Scheme, says:
“In just a short space of time, we have created a ‘softer’ solution than the formal legal process, with the added bonus of reducing conflict and saving unnecessary costs and court time.
“As this process develops and our mediators learn more about the most common issues raised, and subsequently the best ways to engage with tenants, we expect the numbers to continue to improve.”
Once the current Covid-related delay on issuing eviction proceedings has ended, landlords will be required to reach out to tenants to understand their financial position before taking possession action through the courts.
“The aim of the protocol is to encourage landlords and tenants to work together to agree on an affordable rent repayment plan if their tenants fall into rent arrears,” says Tim Frome, Legal Director Landlord Action.
“Mediation enables the parties to be able to explain their position to an experienced and trained professional, helping them to come to an agreed settlement which saves the matter proceeding to court.”