Housing Possession Mediation Pilot Scheme
In February 2021 the Government launched the Housing Possession Mediation Pilot Scheme in an attempt to address problems caused by the pandemic for landlords and tenants in England and Wales. The scheme is set to run for 6 months and is intended to facilitate settlement between the parties without the need for a court hearing if possible and with the aim of reducing capacity issues with the court system.
The mediation sessions are staffed by clerks and the mediators are fully trained professionals, the sessions will be by telephone, email, Whatsapp or Zoom. The scheme is currently voluntary and requires both the landlord and tenant to agree to attending a session. The effectiveness of the scheme is to be reviewed after 6 months and it will be interesting to see the results given the vast majority of matters relate to significant rent arrears, problem tenants or a landlord needing to simply regain possession which by their very nature will be difficult to mediation. However, it has to be worth a try to improve the speed with which the Court can deal with the volume of possessions moving forward.