The UK Government has updated its guidance on the new Rental Mediation Service for landlords and tenants undergoing possession proceedings.
In February, the UK Government launched a free mediation pilot to support landlords and tenants to resolve disputes before a formal court hearing takes place. The pilot is part of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s work with the Ministry of Justice on new court arrangements to support all parties in response to the pandemic. It has been scheduled to last for six months.
Guidance was first published in April, but at the end of May, the UK Government updated details about the scheme. Timothy Douglas, policy and campaigns manager at Propertymark, said of the new guidance: “Letting agents have worked hard to support landlords and tenants and manage tenancies safely throughout the public health crisis. Consequently, when landlords and tenants are involved in a housing possession court case, it is important that they are able to identify issues and have the additional resources necessary to help resolve them, for this reason, we recognise the role that mediation can play in dispute resolution.
“However, it is essential that we see the results of the recent pilot and outcomes of reviews to determine whether it can take the pressure off the court system and be a viable option for the private rented sector in the long run, especially with the court backlog caused by the crisis.”