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Agents back new Mediation scheme between landlords and tenants

Propertymark has thrown its weight behind an idea from Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick to create a mediation service to arbitrate in disputes between tenants and landlords.

The concept of mediation - to be tested out in a pilot project next month - came up in the government announcement of an extension of the bailiff-enforced eviction ban.

Details are light at the moment but a statement from Jenrick’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says: “A new mediation pilot will further support landlords and renters who face court procedures and potential eviction from next month. 


“It will offer mediation as part of the possession process to try and help landlords and tenants to reach a mutual agreement and keep people in their homes.

“Helping to resolve disputes through mediation will enable courts to prioritise urgent cases, supporting landlords and tenants to resolve issues quickly without the need for a formal hearing. The mediation pilot will work within the existing court arrangements in England and Wales.”

In addition to announcing the pilot, the MHCLG extended the existing bailiff-enforced eviction ban until February 21, on which date a further review will be made.

Propertymark’s chief policy adviser Mark Hayward says: “In light of the recent lockdown, it is no surprise the UK government has made [the] announcement."

“Yet over the past few weeks the UK government has held off updates about evictions to the sector making it impossible for agents to respond and plan for the difficult winter months ahead” he continues.

“The whole of the private rented sector has been impacted as a result of Covid-19 but we must recognise that the courts already faced a backlog of cases prior to the pandemic. 

“Although the new mediation pilot will help it is important to take steps back towards normality so that both landlords and tenants have access to the justice system, while putting measures in place to offer further support to tenants who have built up Covid-related arrears through no fault of their own.”

Poll: What do you think of the idea of government-backed mediation?


  • jeremy clarke

    Unless tangible and enforceable penalties are put in place for tenants who do not engage, how can mediation work? A feckless tenant will never change unless a real threat against them exists and whilst organisations baying for landlords' blood and encouraging the wiping of tenant's debts are allowed to spout such nonsense I cannot see government sharpening their teeth at all!

    Mark Wilson

    Hard to mediate when the tenant has no money. Planning
    to storm parliament?

  • icon

    ". . . to try and help landlords and tenants to reach a mutual agreement and keep people in their homes." There is already such a mutual agreement. It is called a contract, aka the AST. In very basic terms, the tenant pays the rent and the landlord maintains the property. So simple and basic wven a Minister can understand it.

    While there are some who have genuine financial problems because of Covid, there are also many, too many, who are taking advantage and just not paying.
    No good landlord, gives notice to a good tenant without good reason.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Mediation is available to anyone that wants it- it's called communication. I'm not sure what demand there is for this- as those inclined to negotiate fairly will do so and those that arent- we, what is mediation going to add? Its another option but aside from potentially having an 'independent party' manage negotiations I'm not sure what this adds to the existing framework?

  • icon

    Mmm a mediation service that will be used by Shelter, GR etc to frustrate the original tenancy contract that all parties signed

  • icon

    So, the Government say that landlords cannot tell people who have stopped paying rent, to leave their properties. Well, here is an idea... the Government should pay the rent. Oh, hang on... they do that already, well they do that for people who really need this support, the folks who don't have enough money, savings, wages. The problem with the ban is that it allows chancers to stop paying just to get something free. And no amount of mediation helps with that.

  • icon

    What's the point? This is another delaying tactic for tenants to continue to occupy and not pay the rent. What a waste of time and effort.


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