The government has urged landlords to consider mediation before starting eviction proceedings and, unusually, pointed them towards three commercial platforms; TDS Resolve, Property Redress Scheme Mediation Service and Resolve by Flatfair.
“We welcome the Government highlighting the importance of third party assistance to help come to settlements during this difficult period. This is often what is needed to get an agreement over the line,” says Sean Hooker, Head of Redress at the PRS.
“Our service is a comprehensive mediation, which allows for all eventualities. It is quick, affordable and you only pay for the stage of the process you reach.
“Given that rent arrears can mount up to thousands of pounds in a short time, the outlay on such a service is invaluable.
“We have also put together a package with Landlord Action that allows you to start the court process at the same time as engaging in mediation. This will save time and money as both processes will run in tandem.”
Using these kinds of mediation services landlords and tenants can come to an amicable resolution over rent and repossession, then decide if they want to formalise the agreement in a legally binding document.
As the Pre-Action Protocols that apply to social landlords looks set to be extended to landlords in the private rented sector, the new initiative will also help cases that continue to court by providing them with reports that can be used to show they’ve tried to resolve issues with their tenants.
Landlord Action founder Paul Shamplina says when the courts reopen next week, there’s going to be a huge backlog of cases and waiting periods of between a year and 18 months to get possession.
“Through our partnership with PRS we can offer landlords an expert eviction process and the chance to get their property back sooner than current court process allows,” he says.
Franz Doer of Flatfair says: “We were quick to recognise the immense challenges faced by both landlords and tenants and launched Resolve in May, and it is great to see the Government is now actively encouraging them to work together to find a solution.
“For tenants, letting your landlord know that you are in financial difficulty as soon as possible is the most important thing.”