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Negotiation and mediation

This content applies to England

The role negotiation or mediation can play in addressing a problem.

Addressing the problem at an early stage, eg through negotiation or mediation, may prevent the need for more lengthy and costly involvement, which could ultimately lead to the perpetrator's eviction.

To stop the problem escalating, the landlord may intervene to mediate, resulting in an amicable settlement, which is satisfactory to all the parties concerned. The housing officer should take details from the complainant of the alleged antisocial behaviour and s/he will then usually contact the alleged perpetrator, by writing or visiting, to get her/his side of the story before deciding on the appropriate action to take. Where the tenant complained about is vulnerable (eg because of mental health issues) and/or there have been incidents of violence, criminal behaviour or potential breaches of the peace, a multi-agency approach may be required to achieve the desired result.

In addition, as a general rule, a court hearing civil proceedings can order the defendant to pay the claimant an additional amount, not exceeding a prescribed percentage of the amount awarded to the claimant by the court, if: [1]

  • the defendant does not accept the claimant's offer to settle, and
  • the court subsequently gives judgment for the claimant which is at least as advantageous as the offer.

Different prescribed amounts apply depending on whether the proceedings involve money claims only, both money and non-money claims, or non-money claims only.[2]

For information on neighbour disputes about high hedges see the page Identifying the nature of the problem.

[1] s.55 Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, in force since 1 October 2012 under art. 2(b) The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Commencement No. 2 and Specification of Commencement Date) Order 2012 SI 2012/2412.;

[2] The Offers to Settle in Civil Proceedings Order 2013 SI 2013/93.

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