Insights and Opinions Mike Morgan 03/11/2021

Mediation can solve rent arrears in days

One of the questions the Property Redress Scheme tenancy mediation service is often asked is “how is it best to negotiate with a tenant in rent arrears?”

The best answer to this is that you don’t need to. Using a Property Redress Scheme mediator saves you the time and trouble, is quick, and cost-effective.

Dave's story

Dave, a landlord with over six months’ rent arrears, contacted the Property Redress Scheme tenancy mediation scheme for help. He’d been trying to find a solution with his tenant, who had stopped paying his rent six months ago when he lost his job and was now over £4,500 in arrears. Dave had always had a long-standing and happy relationship with the tenant and couldn’t understand why he was no longer responding.

The Property Redress Scheme tenancy mediation service was able to get hold of the tenant, who agreed to take part in mediation. The tenant explained that he’d been worried about losing his home and had been ignoring Dave’s calls. He’d since found a new job but was still afraid that with this amount of rent arrears, and no savings to pay them, his days were numbered.

We were able to agree a payment plan that Dave and the tenant were both happy with. The tenant committed to paying his normal monthly rent, plus extra each month which would clear the arrears in a little over a year. Dave and his tenant also agreed to review this every six months with a view to increasing the monthly arrears payment to clear the total more quickly, as the tenant got back on his feet.

It cost Dave just £200 plus VAT for the Property Redress Scheme tenancy mediation service to mediate this case and come to an agreement that both the landlord and tenant were happy with – the landlord gets his rent, and the tenant still has a home. Unlike serving notice and then taking legal proceedings (research shows that this now averages 51 weeks and costs £3,000), agreeing this solution was completed in just two days and two phone call discussions, plus the landlords and tenants’ relationship has been salvaged.

How mediation can help

Using one of our mediators brings both common sense and expertise to find solutions that work for both landlords and tenants. Disputes can relate to rent arrears or other issues that have arisen during a tenancy. Landlords should consider using mediation to resolve issues with their tenants because: 

  • Its quick - we typically reach an agreement in 10 to 15 working days
  • It works - tenants work with us once they realise we're not just on the landlord's side
  • It saves you time, money and stress - we find fast practical solutions without incurring expensive court proceedings. Our charges start from £200 plus VAT for NRLA members

Call 0203 907 1857 to find out more or start your mediation.

Mike Morgan

Mike Morgan Legal Division Manager, Hamilton Fraser

As Hamilton Fraser’s Legal Division Manager, Mike leads the PRS tenancy mediation service, giving quick and cost-effective solutions to disputes, saving the time, cost and delay of court proceedings.

A qualified solicitor and previously the Tenancy Deposits Scheme’s Dispute Resolution Director for over 13 years, Mike is passionate about preventing disputes through access to the best advice and guidance, and also resolving them quickly and easily where problems do arise. He is a Qualified Adjudicator (ACIArb), and has a Professional Award in Ombudsman and Complaints Handling Practice (Queen Margaret University and Ombudsman Association).

See all articles by Mike Morgan