Neighbour mediation cases can seem particularly challenging at the outset, but often a sustainable resolution isn’t too far away with the correct mediation processes in place.
Here we look in detail at a recent case. We will show you how neighbour mediation works and how it can help you and your tenants overcome issues quickly and painlessly.
Neighbour mediation case: the background
In this case, the housing association involved simply referred the case to us, as many of our partners do, and we took it from there.
This was a noise complaint. Person A was complaining of noise coming from Person B’s property alleging that there was banging day and night along with consistently raised voices.
During lockdown things seemed to be getting worse. Person A reported hearing the neighbour’s wife shouting as if she wanted help.
It’s worth noting that Person B and their partner are Polish and speak limited English.
Person A had knocked on the neighbours door on a couple of occasions to make them aware that they were making noise, however the language barrier caused frustration leading to Person A shouting and walking away.
Neighbour mediation case: the mediation
During the initial sessions with the mediator, Person A explained their frustrations and explained that the housing association had told them that the neighbour’s wife had medical issues, without going into detail.
Person B during their initial sessions, along with their interpreter, explained that the lady in the property has dementia and can make noise day and night. During the height of the Covid pandemic they didn’t receive a lot of professional support and unfortunately she had deteriorated.
Next up, we conducted the joint mediation session. During this, both parties put their points across. Person B attended with an independent interpreter.
Once Person A had heard their neighbours situation they said, “I had no idea, why didn’t someone tell me.”
Person B advised that he had asked the housing association to explain the situation to Person A and thought they had done so.
From there the two neighbours talked about Person B’s wife and Person A said that he understood the situation and empathised with him.
Person B explained that his wife tries to ‘escape’ from the property regularly and they have had to fit different locks to stop this happening. Hence some of the noise.
Neighbour mediation case: the outcome
Towards the end of the joint session, the mediator let both parties keep talking. It was great to see Person A offering any help they could to Person B.
Communication is key! Especially in this case as it escalated due to a lack of understanding of a particular situation due to ineffective communication.
It’s amazing how often this proves to be the case. The mediator’s job is to help each party understand the other’s situation and in some cases, to understand each other’s perspectives.
After this, the door is open for the parties to agree a resolution. And that’s an important point, the mediator’s job is to facilitate the discussion to create the opportunity for a resolution, not to impose a resolution.
This is what makes for sustainable resolutions. When those involved are making the decisions themselves, they’re empowered and they want what they put in place to work.
Can we help you?
As you can see, mediation helps people improve their lives and move forward. This in turn saves housing associations a lot of time, money and stress. Especially as you can just pass cases across to us as soon as they escalate.
Better still, we can help you put processes in place to prevent cases from escalating in the first place.
Many organisations are now incorporating mediation into their complaints policies and procedures.
We can help you do the same.
You can also read more about how we can help you handle tenant complaints here.