Stabilize‎ > ‎Relationship‎ > ‎

Community Mediation

Using a 3rd Party to Facilitate Communication is a good way to Solve a Rental Problem

Mediation is a way for landlords and tenants or for tenants who are neighbors to resolve disputes.

Typically in mediation, a trained mediator who is neutral third party (*has no interest in the outcome of the dispute) works through a process  where:
  • each person in the dispute explaining his/her position
  • parties are encouraged to find common ground, and
  • form an agreement that represents a win-win
What kinds of cases are most likely to be resolved through mediation?
Mediation can address any dispute that could conceivably be resolved through dialogue, as long as both parties are genuinely interested in finding a resolution to the problem and can make decisions for themselves.

Types of disputes most likely not resolved through mediation
- involves physical violence or serious threats of violence
- requires legal assistance, i.e. filing lawsuits, criminal defenses, wills, etc
- violation of the law
- needs a court ruling on a point of law 
- needs a court to enforce the final outcome 
- involves a party who refuses to participate willingly
- party cannot make decisions for themselves.

What are key factors in getting landlords and tenants to the table to talk?
  • Restoring relationships: Mediation can heal damaged relationships. Parties are focused, not only on resolving conflict, but preserving relationships which encourages healthier, more congenial relationships between parties. Disputants build a framework for their future interaction based upon mutual interests rather than adversarial positions.
  • Mutual interest in the tenant staying in the property (tenant depends on a place to live and landlord depends on their rental income) has shown to be a compelling platform for the two parties to come to the table to reach agreement.
  • Quick Help: Mediation sessions usually are held within days of when they are requested.
  • Informal: Process does not result in court or police records. 
  • Flexibility: Any issue the parties bring to the table can be discussed.
  • Retaining legal rights: If mediation does not resolve the issue, or if the issue is not appropriate for mediation, the parties are still free to pursue all of their legal remedies
  • Resolving the dispute: Participants in mediation reach agreements more than 80% of the time, and keep those agreements about 90% of the time, making further legal action unnecessary.

How can you use mediation to solve a problem and preserve the landlord tenant relationship?
  • Put your concern in writing
  • Attempt to discuss the concern with your landlord
  • Determine if the problem is suitable for mediation
  • Reach out to a mediation program close to you.
What are some other forms of alternate dispute resolution?
  • Arbitration
  • Conciliation
  • Eviction other Court Mediation programs
  • Negotiation
Be Careful! 
Find out who sponsors the mediation program that you care contacting.  Most 'community' mediation services are sponsored by a broad base of community minded organizations. 
Avoid mediation programs that are only sponsored by a single entity or group.  They may not be 'neutral'.