Rental Mediation Service & Right to Rent Checks
You may remember that a new mediation pilot was introduced earlier this year to help resolve landlord and tenant possession court cases without the need for face-to-face court hearings.
In more recent news, the Government has announced changes to Right to Rent checks for EEA, EU and Swiss nationals from 1st July 2021.
Both of these updates are outlined in more detail below.
Rental Mediation Service
In February 2021, a new mediation pilot was introduced as part of the current court process for housing possession cases. The mediation pilot is free to use for landlords and tenants involved in a possession court case and should help to resolve cases without the need for a face-to-face court hearing. The landlord and the tenant will speak to a neutral mediator who is independent from HM Courts and Tribunals Service, they will help to identify issues and work to resolve them. All parties must agree on the outcome and feel they have reached an acceptable resolution.
As part of housing possession cases, the case will be listed by the court for review. This is before any court hearing, this is when the tenant should advise the duty advisor they wish to mediate and/or the landlord should advise their representative (if they have one), and the tenant on or before the review.
Mediation can be less stressful and expensive than a full hearing. It can also be quicker as the system aims to conduct mediation remotely within 10 days of referral. If mediation is successful, the court will then be informed and the case closed. While mediation may help to avoid a full court hearing, it will not delay any ongoing court process. If both parties cannot agree to a solution at mediation, the case will continue to a full hearing. The court will not be told any of the mediation details.
If mediation is successful and each party is happy with the proposed solution, both parties will sign an agreement, which will be put in front of a judge for approval. The agreement will explain what actions each party must do next. Either party can apply to the court to enforce the agreement if it is broken by the other party.
Changes to Right to Rent Checks
The government has revised the Right to Rent checks to change from 1st July 2021. A 6 month grace period was offered to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens residents to allow free movement and to allow enough time for those individuals to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, which needed to be completed before 30th June 2021.
From 1st July agents will have to start checking UK Immigration Status, if someone is an EEA, EU or Swiss national, landlords/agents will need to see evidence of their UK Immigration Status rather than their national identification.
If you need any advice on the above matters or anything related to residential property, please feel free to call, I am always happy to help.