Mediation, counselling and support
This section gives information if you want reconciliation, counselling or support to help you deal with a housing problem.
A mediator is someone who is not involved in the dispute and can help you to come to an agreement. The purpose is to reach a common sense outcome that both sides agree on. A mediator could be a member of your local community or someone with a professional qualification.
Mediation services are often particularly appropriate for:
Young people who have fallen out with parents or carers
If you are a young person living at home, but you have been asked to leave and you don’t want to, mediation may help. If you are under 18 social services or the councils’ housing department can get in touch with your parents or carers to arrange a mediation meeting. Mediation can help you to come to a mutually satisfactory solution to enable you to stay at, or return home.
Please be aware that if you are at risk of violence or abuse at home mediation will probably not be appropriate. If the council are insisting that you go to mediation but you do not want to then get advice immediately.
People who are splitting up with a partner
Couples experiencing the breakdown of a relationship can approach organisations such as Relate to help with relationship difficulties. They can work with the couple to try and resolve any difficulties. Mediation can help couples that are splitting up come to an amicable arrangement about the family home and care of children.
People involved in neighbour disputes
If you are having a dispute with a neighbour it is a good idea to seek mediation to resolve problems before they get worse.
Many councils and housing associations have access to mediation services for their tenants. If you rent privately, or own your home, you can find a mediator independently (see above).
People who need emotional or practical support
Housing law is very complex. If you are not familiar with housing issues, resolving a housing problem can be a daunting prospect. As well as your housing situation, there may be other issues that need resolving, for example if:
- You are in (or you have just left) a violent relationship
- You have been abused
- You have a drink or drug problem
- You have a lot of debt
You might want to get counselling to help you cope better with your situation. There are specialist organisations that can arrange counselling for you. Or you can ask your doctor about counselling services. Alternatively, there are a number of specialist agencies that help people with particular needs.