Helpful Tips Victoria Barker 03/08/2020

BLOG: NRLA team up with The Dispute Service to help landlords and tenants with rent arrears

The Covid-19 pandemic has left some landlords and tenants facing financial uncertainty. In this blog, Steve Harriott, CEO at The Dispute Service takes a look at how the NRLA and The Dispute Service have teamed up to provide guidance and support in these unprecedented times.

The NRLA recently published an arrears management toolkit aimed at landlords and tenants and designed to help them manage rent arrears. It’s full of great advice and TDS were very happy to endorse its publication. Anything that can be done to resolve arrears through a rent repayment plan and avoid having to go to court must be seen as being to the mutual benefit of tenants and their landlords.

The guidance aims to avoid the need for the involvement of the courts. However, both TDS and the NRLA have recognised that in many cases it is worth considering a mediation service should negotiations prove to be unsuccessful. It’s for this reason that the NRLA has endorsed the TDS Resolution service as a trusted dispute resolution provider that landlords may find of use in helping to agree rent repayment plans with their tenants.

We launched TDS Resolution on 14th July 2020. The aim of the service is to provide landlords and tenants with an avenue to resolve issues with rent arrears by helping them to agree a mutually acceptable rent repayment plan. The service has been launched in a bid to avoid unnecessary court action, save landlords and tenants time and money and avoid evictions. Of course, this only works if landlords are prepared to be open to agreeing rent repayment plan with their tenants and of course tenants will need to properly engage in the process.

TDS is already hugely experienced at resolving disputes and disagreements between landlords and tenants over deposits. It’s this experience that has convinced us that we can play a role in working as a “go between “, helping tenants and landlords resolve the rent arrears issue by agreeing rent repayment plans that work. Clearly where tenants simply won’t pay and are not prepared to talk about options then this service will not work and court action is the only option. But in cases where tenants are struggling and are willing to talk about the options that are open to them, we feel that TDS Resolution could work to broker agreements between the two parties. It will require landlords to be flexible and to be prepared to look at what they could do to make this work for their tenants. Our service will not succeed in all cases but we feel we can genuinely help where both sides are prepared to talk.

If landlords are interested in explore this option then they can approach us here.

We will then try to talk to their tenants to see if they are up for a mediation. If they are we will then ask the landlord to pay the TDS fee of £150 plus VAT for the mediation service (with a 25% discount for NRLA members) and seek to broker a rent repayment plan. We obviously cannot guarantee success but what we can guarantee is that we will hard to attempt to bring the two sides together to achieve a mutually beneficial solution.

  • To find out more about the TDS Resolution service, visit here.