Housing Dispute Mediation
Confidential mediation is available to help resolve disputes, either at home or with a landlord, which could lead to a person becoming homeless.
Basildon Council recognises that for some housing applicants it is not possible to remain at home. However, for many others, the security provided by a home will enable applicants to plan their future accommodation needs, often with the help of the housing department.
Free and confidential mediation is available to prevent, wherever possible, disputes at home or with a landlord leading to homelessness. Mediators will work with you and the householder to help you both find a way forward. There is no charge to you for using this service.
Who we can help
If you are 16-17 years of age, Basildon Council can refer you to social services, which may help you and could offer their own mediation services.
If you are over the age of 17, the Council can offer two options;
- Informal Mediation with Basildon Council: The Council offers an informal in-house mediation service.
- Formal Mediation with Relate: If you wish to utilise a more formal mediation service we can refer you to Relate. A link to the Relate website can be found below.
You can choose whether or not to use mediation. However, Basildon Council has an expectation that you will attend because the outcomes of the mediation might influence the decision on your homeless application.
How informal mediation works
The Council can arrange for you and the householder (e.g. landlord/parents) to meet and discuss the issues you have. Council officers will act as impartial mediators facilitating discussion and hopefully enabling resolutions to be reached. Discussions will be confidential except where there are concerns about the safety of anyone involved, and personal information will not be shared, however a record of the mediation will be made.
How formal mediation works
The mediators do not take sides and do not tell you what to do. The mediators will make sure that you and the householder have the opportunity to say what the issues are and to gain a better understanding of each others needs and points of view.
What is discussed in mediation is confidential unless there are concerns about the safety of anyone involved. If the case goes on to mediation, a brief summary of agreements reached as a result of mediation will be recorded. If there is no agreement, then a brief explanation may be recorded. The detail of what is discussed is not recorded. The mediation service will also be required to report back to the council on the outcome of the mediation. However, it will not report information of a personal nature without your consent.
There are two parts to the mediation service;
- Intake Assessment Appointment - Your first meeting is an opportunity to find out how mediation works and talk with the mediator about your housing situation. The purpose is to decide whether using mediation is the way to resolve the problems between you and the householder. The householder can also come for an individual intake assessment or there may be situations where you and the householder can attend together.
- If after these intake meetings everyone agrees to go ahead with mediation, the next mediation session would be with you and the householder together. We will be happy to arrange separate waiting rooms and leaving times if you have any concerns about being in a meeting with the householder. At the meeting the aim will be for you and the householder to say what is going on and then to look at possible options on how to go forward. Normally this will happen in one meeting of up to two hours, but if you need more meetings to resolve things, this can be arranged.
If you wish to enquire about mediation
If you wish to enquire about our mediation services please contact us, see contact details below.