How the new TDS Resolution alternative dispute resolution scheme works
Since the extension to the TDS Resolution service on the 1st April 2021, we have received a large number of requests for assistance. Requests have ranged from rent arrears issues to disputes regarding repairs. In this blog, I will be covering how the service works, answering some frequently asked questions from landlords and tenants and provide a few tips on when to consider using a property mediation service.
The alternative dispute resolution scheme process
Getting in touch is simple. Both landlords and tenants can request assistance by filling out our interactive form. We will be in touch within 5 working days to let you know whether we can take your case forward. Each case is assessed on suitability and our aim is to help maintain the landlord and tenant relationship by dealing primarily with mid-tenancy issues. For this reason, cases where for example, the tenant is in arrears of 6 or more months where notice has already been served are likely to be rejected, unless there is a strong reason to believe that our service could help.
If your case is accepted, we will make contact with your landlord/tenant to request their consent to take part in the process. It is important to note that conciliation/mediation is not compulsory and needs both parties to be on board and willing to engage. We will give your landlord/tenant up to 5 working days to respond. If no response is received, the case will be closed.
If your landlord/tenant consents, we will set up an appointment with one of our conciliators lasting up to an hour to help resolve the matter. We aim to set up the appointment within 10 working days of consent being received. If the appointment is successful, a document drafted by the conciliator will be sent to both parties detailing what was agreed by the parties within 2 working days of the appointment. If unsuccessful, the case will be closed.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between conciliation and mediation? - Conciliation and mediation are very similar. At their core, both involve an independent third party bringing two parties together to reach a compromise. The main difference being a conciliator tends to play a more active role in making proposals about the settlement of the dispute. In either case, the third party’s role is to help the parties reach a mutually acceptable solution. The conciliator/mediator will not impose an outcome on the parties.
My tenant is 6 (or more) months in arrears and notice has been served for eviction, can you help convince my tenant to leave earlier? – It is important to note that the aim of our service is to help maintain tenancies. Further, from our experience, once a situation reaches this stage, we are unlikely to be of any real help in resolving the matter.
What constitutes “serious anti-social activity”? – Disputes are assessed on a case-by-case basis. However, as a rule of thumb, issues involving criminal activity are generally considered serious and would be more suitable for the police. However, issues involving excessive or persistent noise or using offensive language would generally be within our remit.
Tips on when to consider using an alternative dispute resolution scheme
If payment of rent is staring to become an issue; if you are a tenant, contact us if negotiating with your landlord on this matter is proving difficult and if you are a landlord, contact us early on so we can help resolve the matter before the situation gets worse.
You have attempted to negotiate with your landlord/tenant and both consider mediation as a suitable option. As consent is required from both parties, it is always best to communicate with the other party prior to requesting assistance. If your landlord/tenant does not want to engage, the mediation cannot go ahead.
You are prepared to meet in the middle. Mediation more often than not involves a compromise being made by both parties in order to reach a mutually acceptable outcome.
Interested in trying conciliation? Our property mediation service is free and we are able to assist in the following types of issues/disputes:
Breach of tenancy terms
Noise/Anti-social behaviour (except serious anti-social activity)
Our aim is to secure mutually acceptable agreements between landlords and tenants to allow tenancies to be sustained. Fill out the form below to get started. Alternatively, request a call back to find out more.