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What is mediation and why choose it?
Mediation is a very effective and straightforward way to resolve disputes between neighbours. It helps you and your neighbour reach an agreement that you can both live with.
Neighbourhood disputes are very common and often involve issues such as:
- Noise disturbance
- Problems with pets and other animals
- Unsociable behaviour
- Parking problems
- Boundaries and maintenance
- Shared access to communal areas
Mediation could help you and your neighbour to resolve a dispute or argument concerning any of these issues.
It gives you a chance to talk to your neighbour in a constructive and fair manner, so that you can hear what they have to say and so that you can be properly heard yourself.
It is an informal, confidential and completely voluntary process, and you cannot be forced to take part.
Mediators are qualified and experienced in helping people settle their disputes without the need for more formal action. They have a high success rate in helping people find solutions to neighbourhood problems. They do not tell you what to do or give you legal advice.
Our mediators are qualified to the highest standard and are very experienced in working with people who are in dispute. Our service is nationally accredited by a number of professional bodies.
You are welcome to contact us to talk informally about whether mediation might help your situation. If requesting mediation yourself, then we can offer to contact your neighbours on your behalf.
On the day of the mediation, the mediator will meet individually for around an hour and a half with each neighbour. This private meeting will allow each person to explain their individual issues, and to start to think about what they need to happen in order to resolve the dispute.
If both sides are in agreement, this can then be followed by a joint meeting of between one and three hours. If people are not ready for this, then the mediator can ‘shuttle’ between the two sides fora similar amount of time, working separately with each neighbour so that they do not have to meet directly.
Whether in shuttle mediation or in a joint session, the mediator will aim to help both sides to communicate better, to understand one another’s concerns, and to jointly come up with solutions to help to resolve their dispute.
Top tips for resolving disputes
Many disputes can be nipped in the bud, or can be prevented from escalating, if you can try to:
- Speak to your neighbour before you get angry or upset
- Choose a time and place that is convenient for both of you
- Plan or rehearse what you want to say before you say it
- Listen carefully and respectfully – this means your neighbour is more likely to do the same
- Remain calm and open, and be prepared to offer concessions
- Let your neighbour know that you have heard their concerns, so that they may be more prepared to hear yours
- Keep to the issues that are relevant and be clear about what it is that concerns you
- Avoid shouting or using abusive language
- Try to concentrate on what you are going to do moving forward – don’t dwell on the past
Contact us about mediation
If you think that mediation may help, you are welcome to contact us to make a referral, or just to talk through what it would involve. We will be glad to answer any questions you may have about how the process works, and to help you decide if it is the right way to proceed. You can call us on 01332 346477 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I be a mediator?
We are often looking for customer volunteers to join our dedicated team of mediators.
You will be given professional training and achieve a recognised qualification in mediation, after which you will work alongside a Derwent Living staff member on several cases per year.
You will not be asked to help with disputes in your own area or with people you know, and we’ll also pay any out of pocket expenses.
If you’d like to know more, please contact the resident involvement team on 01332 346 477 or send an email to email@example.com.