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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Housing Mediation Service helping tenants and landlords reach agreements

David Carson, a private renter who rented his home via UPS, and Andrew Haylett, branch manager at UPS,  recently used the Housing Mediation Service to help solve a problem that had arose between them. 

When the tenant had contacted Housing Rights helpline for advice about their situation, the adviser was able to let them know about the Housing Mediation Service. Laura Coulter, Housing Mediation Service Manager, spoke with the tenant and the letting agent to see if they would be willing to try mediation as a way of resolving the issue. Both parties agreed and found it to be a very positive experience. 

David Carson, private tenant

What was the problem you faced?

We received keys for an unfurnished rental property the night the coronavirus lockdown was announced.  Unfortunately, we were unable to procure furniture for the house as all non-essential shops were from that night closed. And still have not re-opened. We needed beds, sofas and basically everything needed to furnish a house. Our landlords were trying to hold us to our contract even though the house was uninhabitable.

How did the Housing Mediation service help you solve your problem?

We got in touch with the Housing Rights team and specifically Laura Coulter (mediator) she helped us find an amicable solution with the landlord. We now pay half rent in 2 properties until the pandemic is over, we are still living in the property we were meant to move out off.

Would you recommend Housing Mediation Service to other tenants?  

We would highly recommend using the Mediation Service as our previous attempts to negotiate with the letting agents fell on deaf ears. It wasn’t until the Housing Rights team got involved that they took any notice of our situation. They have been a great help and provide an excellent service.

Andrew Haylett, letting agent

What was the problem you faced? 

Due to Covid-19 a tenant requested permission to terminate their contract as they advised that they could not move into the property due to the government lockdown.  The tenancy began a day before the lockdown came into force.

How did the Housing Mediation service help you solve your problem? 

The Housing Mediation service provided a platform to allow for discussion between the tenants and the landlord.  Following discussions, an offer was made to help facilitate the tenant’s request to terminate their tenancy early, (subject to a number of conditions being met).  Both the landlord and tenants are satisfied with the current proposal and suggested outcome.

Would you recommend the Housing Mediation Service to other estate agents? 

Yes, I found the service provided by Housing Rights to be very efficient, helpful and would recommend to others.

Contact the Housing Mediation Service

If you think you could use the Housing Mediation Service to help find solutions to issues you are experiencing with your tenancy, you can submit an online form or call 028 90245640. 

This article was written on 1 June 2020. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.