A tenancy mediation service has been launched today that aims to help landlords, letting agents and tenants sort out problems more cheaply and speedily than going through the courts.

Property Redress Scheme has launched PRS Mediation earlier than planned to support landlords and tenants struggling with the impact of the pandemic.

It says the Government is likely to continue urging them to negotiate and reach an agreement, rather than go to court in the future, as the confidential process allows disputes to be resolved much quicker and with less cost. ]

And there will be an even greater need for end-of-tenancy mediation when the Section 21 possession process is removed.

After a landlord calls PRS mediation, an independent mediator contacts the tenant to see whether they’re happy to liaise with the mediator, before discussing the issues raised, with a view to coming to an agreement on either paying a reduced rent, deferred rent or settlement amount, with agreed ending of the tenancy.

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Struggling to pay

Sean Hooker, head of redress for the Property Redress Scheme, says: “As a landlord, it also enables you to demonstrate to the court that you have attempted to resolve your issues before coming to them.”  

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, adds: “Our recent survey found that 74% of landlords have already been contacted by tenants who are struggling to pay rent due to reduced or terminated employment resulting from the pandemic.

“With the reality that life will not return to ‘normal’ for some time, the most sensible solution is mediation, particularly as landlords will be unlikely to be able to gain possession of their properties for six to nine months or more.”

Property Redress Scheme believes if landlords have problems with future possession claims, using the mediation service will demonstrate their readiness to engage with tenants through alternative dispute resolution.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Correct me if I’m wrong but I understand the landlord has to pay approx. £800 to PRS to participate in this scheme, good money after bad comes to mind. This article should include the fees the ParS are oroposing, as usual all loaded on the LL tenant Scot free as usual.

  2. Hi Jan
    The service provides a three step approach, with each cost only being incurred if the case proceeds to the next stage. Cases will only progress past instruction stage if both parties agree to mediate. In our experience where this happens the settlement rate is over 70%. If the matter does not proceed to a full mediation or settlement the landlord will have complied with the soon to be released pre action protocol without paying the full amount. If it does proceed hopefully the savings to a landlord in preventing lost rent, court fees and the associated time and stress will prove excellent value based on the cost of the service. Full details of costs can be found here https://tenancymediation.theprs.co.uk/. Even if the full cost is incurred the vast majority of cases will not exceed £540 (inc vat). This includes the instruction, mediation and a drafted settlement agreement.
    Kind regards
    Tim Frome
    PRS MD

  3. Thanks for replying however I don’t have any great expectations of the service however well intentioned. From thirty years of experience I am of the opinion that yet again it is a no win, pay out more money situation for the landlord. If the tenant/LL compact is at the stage of mediation it’s past fixing. Again it’s my opinion but I see the main purpose of this, again however well intentioned, as a move to keep tenants who do not meet their obligations living in rented accommodation at the expense of the landlord.

  4. As usual, the landlord is seen as the eternal cash cow. As long as society sees us as such, then there plenty of ways to keep the milk and honey flowing.

  5. Interestingly we’ve done a couple now and seeing tenants willing to split costs and also tenants just paying the rent after they receive our notification asking them to engage. Watch this space we’ll provide some stats as we get them.

  6. I have woken up this morning with the stress of knowing that my tenant owes 4 months rent, totalling £3200. She says she was told by the citizens advice bureau to take a 3 months rent holiday, which is a blatant lie. She has changed locks to the property and refuses to give me the keys. I cannot claim on my insurance as she had missed payments in January and I made a claim. She caught up with the rent and paid January’s payment, so I cancelled the claim. When I was forced to claim in June as she had missed 4 months rent, I was told by the insurance company that because I made a claim in January, I should have known that I had a problematic tenant, and refused my claim. I’ve been shielding, throughout the pandemic, I am being paid because I work for an agency. They have an adult red nose pit bull in the property. She threatens me with the dog and the police if I mention going to the house. I do not know what to do. She has been served with an eviction notice for 3 months….I have another 3 months of no rent. Then it may go to court. The police say it’s a civil matter and can’t intervene.

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