Although in the minority, disagreements between tradespeople and homeowners do happen. In these instances, either you or the homeowner can ask the other to take part in mediation. Agreeing to go through the mediation process doesn’t mean that you’re accepting blame for an issue – the process is there to help you come to an agreement with the homeowner.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Working with a neutral mediator specially trained to carry out difficult conversations, both you and the homeowner are encouraged to share your views and different options will be explored to resolve the issues without involving the courts. The UK judicial system and new European Union Alternative Dispute Resolution Directive now expect you to attempt ADR as a final attempt to resolve a dispute before you take legal action.
What’s involved with mediation
A mediator will empower you and the homeowner by giving you the responsibility of the decision-making. They consider your feelings and wishes, along with the evidence and facts. Everything discussed is confidential and on a “without prejudice” basis. It’s only once you’ve reached a resolution and an agreement has been signed that the outcome becomes legally binding for both you and the homeowner.
Service providers for mediation
We work with Mediation MK, whose services are provided either online or over the telephone. Their experience in low cost mediation services is second to none and they’re listed on the Ministry of Justice Online Directory of Mediation providers. Their large panel of highly skilled, accredited mediators are all insured up to in excess of £1,000,000. They will provide an hour of mediation equally shared by both parties at £50 plus VAT each. This is a lot cheaper than legal and court fees.
Should I agree to mediation – what happens if I say no?
If you decline mediation, the homeowner can make a claim against you through the small claims court.
If this happens, our experience shows that this may have a negative impact on your case if the matter reaches court. Courts often expect two parties to try to resolve their differences through ADR before taking the matter further and involving them.
In many cases ADR allows you to reach an agreement quicker, without incurring high legal costs.