The new service will offer mediation to help landlords and tenants reach an agreement and keep people in their homes
A new mediation pilot will be introduced next month with a view to supporting landlords and renters who face court procedures and potential eviction, the government has announced.
The new service will offer mediation as part of the possession process to try and help landlords and tenants reach a mutual agreement and keep people in their homes.
Helping to resolve disputes through mediation will enable courts to prioritise urgent cases, supporting landlords and tenants to resolve issues quickly without the need for a formal hearing.
The mediation pilot will work within the existing court arrangements in England and Wales.
Isobel Thomson, chief executive officer at safeagent, said: As we continue to battle the pandemic, it is right that government look for ways to support those who need it most. The announcement of the mediation pilot is a welcome move, formalising what many of our agents have been successfully doing since the start of the outbreak, supporting landlords and their tenants experiencing financial hardship.
By working with both parties and helping agree payment plans, agents have played a crucial role in ensuring tenancies are maintained, Thomson said.
Around half a million private tenants in the UK are behind with their rent, according to research by Citizens Advice.
The average amount owed is more than £700, the charity says, and about a quarter of private renters in arrears have been threatened with eviction or cancellation of the their tenancy agreement by their landlord, the charity claims.
Thomson added: While there is help for tenants, it is no less important that we also consider landlords who themselves may be suffering. If they go under who will house their tenants?
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