The government has now published guidance linked to its housing possession mediation pilot: click here.
The pilot was introduced in February 2021 and its aim is to encourage the sustainment of tenancies and to manage court capacity after the nationwide eviction ban comes to an end (expected to be in early June 2021).
The pilot is free to use for landlords and tenants and offers the chance to reach an agreement at a review stage, prior to the case being taken to court. If an agreement is not reached at the review stage, the case will then be looked at by a mediator within 10 days of referral. If both parties cannot agree to a solution at mediation, the case will continue to a full hearing in the usual way through the court.
However, if the mediation is successful, the parties will sign an agreement which will be approved by a judge. Either party can then apply to the court to enforce the agreement if it is broken by the other party.
The current lockdown has resulted in the extension of most notice periods linked to possession proceedings and the suspension of most bailiff-led evictions in England until 31st May 2021. As the government has had some form of extension and suspension in place since March 2020, when the country first went into lockdown, there is clear concern that there will be a flurry of possession cases come June 2021.
For all your tenancy needs, Landlord Support can help with practical advice and representation on a fixed-fee basis, including free case reviews. See www.landlord-support.co.uk for more detail.