In a recent blog we wrote about how housing associations can deal with rising tenant disputes. Now we’re going to build on this and look further into how you can use mediation differently to get better results.
Neighbourhood disputes continue to increase as the pandemic goes on with people asked to stay at home so it’s important to know more about all your options when it comes to dealing with disputes.
It’s not a surprise disputes are on the rise. We’re restricted in terms of our socialising options; children are stuck at home again and noise is once again a factor. More people are also trying to juggle working from home, home schooling, and other household duties, all adding to stress levels and causing general irritability.
Small, perhaps even initially insignificant problems, can easily escalate and need intervention.
How have you used mediation during Covid-19?
Are you actively reviewing how you use mediation for tenant disputes during the current lockdown? If not, hopefully this article will help you understand the benefits of considering it as an option. It can help you deal with things quickly before they escalate and can therefore save you time, money and stress whilst keeping disputes at arm’s length away from your organisation.
What we learned during the first lockdown
During the initial lockdown we acted as third party mediators to help with communication between neighbours to improve understanding between the parties. It was clear that our services were ideal for low level complaints that didn’t require enforcement action or further action from housing associations.
As a result we saw a 33% increase in case referrals which lead to us helping over 300 people in a 5-month period.
Of course, we had to change how we worked slightly. We carried out mediations using a range of online platforms, telephone, and email. We can continue to operate in this way for as long as we need to.
In terms of services, our Conflict Coaching & Support service, which sees us work directly with tenants to resolve disputes, helped a lot of individuals who were struggling to cope with neighbour nuisance or personal conflicts.
We didn’t always need to provide a complete service to work things out for people, on occasion we were just a listening ear and that was all we needed to do. Often that’s the case, and it’s all down to the benefit of employing third party mediators to go in impartially and neutralise situations before they can develop into bigger problems.
How can you use mediation more effectively in your housing association?
Mediation, simply put, prevents problems spiralling out of control and therefore cuts out costly court cases and manpower costs. You can utilise it at all stages of a dispute – before it escalates, once it’s already escalated – even as far as court proceedings, and even before it happens. Mediation can be a preventative measure as much as a cure.
- Train your staff and help you implement relevant processes around handling tenant complaints
- Work one-to-one with your tenants to deal with problems that do arise
- Work as third party mediators between tenants or between your housing association and tenants as required
Free up your time to concentrate on more serious cases and leave us to deal with all the minor, regular, most inconvenient cases. The more you work with us the more time and money you will save over the long term.
Can we help you with a FREE review?
Over the coming weeks and months it’s never going to be more important to be ready to deal with disputes as their numbers escalate and they continue to crop up out of what would’ve previously been nothing situations.
At ADR Mediation we’re now offering free mediation reviews to housing associations to see how they could improve how they use mediation. It comes with no obligation so please contact us if you think this would benefit you. We look forward to being of assistance.