Private-Sector Renters Central Housing Group

Redress operator bigs up its own mediation service

The Property Redress Scheme, one of the two government-authorised redress services, claims its new mediation option is a success.

In March this year it launched the tenancy mediation service for landlords and lettings agents to aid finding a resolution over tenancy disputes.

Preliminary reports from the first three months show the service has been able to resolve 50 per cent of those cases where the tenant was willing to engage.

To date, of the total number of mediation requests sent out, only six per cent have declined the service; although 45 per cent have not responded.

However, where tenants were willing to engage, half of cases resulted in a successful resolution, which includes a mediation repayment agreement, and/or the parties reaching their own solution after using the service.

Tim Frome, legal director at Landlord Action, says: “The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has confirmed that the government is working with the Master of the Rolls to widen the existing ‘pre-action protocol’ on possession proceedings to require private landlords to adhere to the same rules as social landlords before issuing possession proceedings.

“This means that mediation is more important than ever. Once the current Covid-19 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.”

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