Sister organisations Landlord Action and the Property Redress Scheme have joined forces to offer an evictions mediation service will enable landlords and letting agents to gain possession of properties more quickly.
The service costs between £100 and £600 depending on how far down the line tenant and landlord or agent go.
The new jointly-offered service is timed well – the evictions ban ended yesterday as the judicial system re-opened for possession hearings.
An expected 20,000-strong caseload now threatens to engulf County Courts across the UK, potentially delaying hearing dates.
Ministers and the Judiciary have been lobbying landlords and agents hard to attempt mediation before turning to court evictions in a bid to stop courts being overwhelmed.
Landlords who use Landlord Action to serve notice on their tenants and start the process of eviction can now choose to simultaneously use the Property Redress Scheme’s mediation service to come to a resolution outside of court.
Through the service the landlord and tenant can come to an amicable resolution over rent and repossession and can then choose if they want to formalise the agreement in a legally binding document. This will set out what happens if either party breaks the agreement.
“This is a unique and innovative offering,” says Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action. “Now that the courts have re-opened, there is going to be a huge backlog of cases for them to deal with.
“This means most landlords will have to wait longer to get their properties back, on top of the new six-month notice periods. I think most landlords will be waiting between a year and 18 months to get possession through the courts.”