Thanks to a grant from SafeDeposits Scotland Trust, Strathclyde Mediation Clinic founded its innovative Housing Mediation Project in 2018. Since then we have been working hard to promote early resolution within the housing sector, with a particular focus on private rented property.
The aim of this project is to offer landlords, tenants and agents a cost-effective, pragmatic and less stressful means of resolving their disputes consensually while helping them preserve relationships. All of this contributes to good practice in the sector and reduces the likelihood of evictions with their attendant social cost. The pandemic has only heightened the need for such a service.
This Project provides the following Mediation Services for:
- Private rented sector landlords and tenants as an informal alterative to the work of the Housing and Property Chamber
- Landlords and tenants using a tenancy deposit scheme, who have a dispute about a deposit which cannot be resolved by the scheme's dispute resolution service
- Other disputes related to Housing, such as factoring disputes involving tenanted properties and disputes between tenants and letting agents.
A landlord had been experiencing issues with a tenant over payment of rent for a number of years. The landlord had not been able to make contact with the tenant and was considering an application to the Housing and Property Chamber to resolve the matter.
Mediation allowed the landlord to hear of the tenant’s difficulties (medical and bereavement). Both parties had made assumptions prior to mediation: the tenant that the landlord was simply seeking eviction, and the landlord that the tenant would make excuses or be unable to make payment. The mediation allowed a confidential and safe space for a full and frank conversation about the amount owing, the tenant’s ability to pay and ways of working together to prevent the same situation recurring. A full settlement was reached regarding payment and the relationship between landlord and tenant began to recover.
Useful Resources for Landlords and Tenants
The project is part of the Mediation Clinic at University of Strathclyde and is funded by SafeDeposits Charitable Trust.