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Guidance promotes pilot mediation scheme

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Backing its pilot scheme aimed at helping to ease the backlog in possession cases, the Government has published new guidance promoting its Housing possession mediation service.

Free to use, this was introduced in February 2021 to be run as part of the current court process for possession cases.

Users work with a trained, neutral mediator, independent from the courts and Tribunals Service, who will help you identify issues and work to resolve them.

The service is part of the Government’s work with the judiciary on new court arrangements to support all parties in response to COVID-19. Details of the other arrangements are available in COVID-19 and renting guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities.

Housing possession cases will be listed by the court for review prior to any substantive court hearing. If an agreement is not reached at review, landlord and tenant can agree that, provided the case is deemed suitable, it can referred to mediation.

Landlords who are interested in mediation should raise the possibility with their representative (if they have one), and tenant or tenants on or before the review

Mediation, according to the guidance, can be quicker than a full court hearing. If it is successful, the court will be informed and the case closed.

Mediation may avoid a full court hearing, but will not delay the continuing court process should this eventually be needed.