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Eviction mediation scheme - lawyers raise concerns

The Law Society is raising concerns about the government’s mediation scheme announced at the time of the last eviction ban decision.

The government says it will offer mediation as part of the possession process to encourage landlords and tenants to reach a mutual agreement, avoiding court proceedings if possible. A pilot mediation project started last week.

“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” says Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.


But the Law Society of England and Wales has issued a warning.

President David Greene says: “Mediation has an important place in dispute resolution, however housing is such an essential life requirement that mediation cannot replace the usual routes of access to justice through the courts or take money from schemes that facilitate that access.”

He continues: “We know that evictions are on the increase. In January, the government announced another extension to the ban on evictions, although those with substantial rent arrears are exempt, meaning fewer tenants will be protected from eviction.

“Both the eviction ban and mediation have their place when people are facing homelessness in the middle of a pandemic. However, vulnerable and unrepresented tenants may feel pressured to undertake mediation and may be misrepresented, as mediators are not housing dispute specialists.

“The Law Society is particularly concerned that the pilot could impact on the sustainability of legal aid, particularly the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme, which provides an emergency solicitor on the day to anyone facing eviction proceedings.

“The £3m allocated to the pilot would be more usefully channelled into the HPCDS and early legal advice, which ensures tenants have the access to justice and specialist legal advice that can stop them being evicted.”

Greene says that despite calls from across the housing sector to the Legal Aid Agency and the Ministry of Justice to ensure the continued availability of funded legal advice, investments have not been made.

“Mediation should not be seen as the whole solution to the current court delays and backlogs. Any remedy to these issues must focus on ensuring all tenants have access to courts, court services and specialist legal advice.

“The mediation pilot must therefore be approached with caution and be more explicit about what it intends to do to help the public achieve justice. It must go beyond simply clearing the backlog.”

  • Patrick  Rodgers

    Lawyers would say that at the minute there that desperate to get work and the large fees they charge it comes as no surprise that they come out with this rubbish we even have solicitors in the shopping centre here in Manchester canvassing for work there that desperate to get clients with there rip of fees

  • Patrick  Rodgers

    If they hidden been caught ripping of the legal aid system it wouldn't have been cut so badly when your charging nearly half a million pounds for a legal case is it any wonder they got there two penny's worth to say to this like they gave a flying f##k about weather tenants get justice or not just as long as they get there big fat fees is all there worried about most decent landlords is the last thing they want to do is evict there tenants

  • Mark Wilson

    I did not understand what good is mediation when one party has no money and no where to go.

    Patrick  Rodgers

    Exactly the only winner is the solicitors who know full well they get there money there big fat fees paid for by the landlord if anyone thinks that these solicitors could give a rats a#s about tenants there deluded the only thing there worried about is there money I ment many solicitors and believe me the only thing that concerns them is there fees being paid the way they speak about these people you wouldn't believe so of the comments they come out with as soon as you suggest trying to work it out in a reasonably manner and stop the legal process they look at you as if you two heads they try anything to up ther fees they couldn't care less about anyone as long as there getting there big fat fees

    Algarve  Investor

    Have you had a bad experience with lawyers? You seem very angry and bitter about them.

    I agree that some are only out for themselves, to make money, like a minority of people in all professionals, but some will want to do good or help their clients or prevent potential eviction cases from escalating.

    Some of the fees they charge do seem a little outrageous, and the cuts to legal aid are shocking, but I'm not sure solicitors are the bad guys in all this. Plus any attempt to prevent a case from going to court, especially at present, should be welcomed.

    I still think the NRLA's call for most eviction cases to be dealt with outside of court is the correct one.

    I wonder, stats-wise, how many cases are currently in the system in the UK, and how many potential cases there are? We hear a lot from angry landlords, and frustrated letting agents, about the need and the right to evict without severe barriers, but we rarely get any actual stats on how many people are affected.

  • Patrick  Rodgers

    Sorry if I have come across angry and bitter am not angry at all Iam just saying it like it is there plenty of solicitors out there just out to make as much out of you with out a care for the tenants or there clients i am a very responsible landlord all most treat my tenants like family that were my biggest mistake because all they ever did was take advantage of me so now i just let the agency deal with it before that all they had to do was ring me with what ever the problem was and would be put right at the early convenience but even that were never good enough and yes I had dealing with solicitors and the only thing they were interested in was money upfront as usual am sure your a decent person but don't be deluded about solicitors sometimes the only thing they do is make the matter worse some of them can't even spell your name properly on the paperwork which makes me think they cant even be bothered to look at the paper work to interested in asking for money up front the only reason ther raising concerns is because it will affect their fees nothing else do you really think they gave a rats a#s about anyone besides themselves the ones I come across are the most selfish self centred people I ever met

  • icon

    Translation: This will take money from lawyers and how will we feed our starving children?

    I am dealing with one at the moment regarding a house sale and the ridiculous questions raised by the buyers' solicotor have to be seen to be believed. Even worse, their latest email was littered with "Should of" and "Could of". Do they not have to pass basic English to practice?

    Patrick  Rodgers

    That's exactly what am trying to say there only interested in inflating the bill nothing else I'll bet there charging you for every email they send you they can't even be bothered to send a letter or put things in writing anymore but there charging you the same as if they had done how they get away with these charges for a simple email is beyond me .its criminal with what they get away with there no better then the money graping MP that we have and they wonder why people resort to other methods then to use them


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