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High hopes for new-look mediation service as eviction ban lifts

June 2, 2021

Important news for landlords and tenants alike – the Government has revised guidelines for its new mediation service, marking the end of the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions.

From June 1st, eviction notice periods – which stood at six months during much of the pandemic – have reduced to four months. These are set to go down to two months from October 1st, if the Government’s road map goes to plan.

So what does this mean for landlords and tenants? The good news is that a revised mediation service is free for both parties and involves an independent, fully-trained third-party mediator getting everyone round the table to thrash out and hopefully resolve issues.

This should be quicker than a full court hearing as remote mediation is likely to kick in within 10 days of referral.

If mediation succeeds – and both parties agree a proposed solution – they will sign a draft agreement, to go before a judge for review and hopefully approval.

Want more information ? Please see: Rental Mediation Service – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

It’s obviously early days but industry feedback has been positive and encouraging.

The National Residential Landlords’ Association, has welcomed the latest developments, but says Government help for tenants experiencing problems remains a priority to help avoid possessions.

“We want to see tenancies sustained wherever possible and call on the Chancellor to step in and provide affected tenants with the financial support they need to pay off rent arrears built as a result of the pandemic” explains NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle.

I agree with the NRLA’s approach but it’s important to stress there may be instances where severe rental arrears, or anti-social behaviour are involved. Here legal action may prove inevitable but a reduction in out-of-court disputes will hopefully reduce waiting lists for genuinely-required court cases.

As always, if you’re a landlord or tenant with concerns or issues, please talk to us as soon as possible. Early and ongoing conversations are vital and we are here to try to help.

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