Housing mediation project

The University of Strathclyde Mediation Clinic has recently announced the appointment of Carolyn Hirst as a housing mediation project development worker. The free service aims to offer landlords and tenants a way to resolve disputes without going through formal legal proceedings.

The aim of this project is to help those living in private rented housing, resolve disputes prior to or during formal legal proceedings. The hope is that this will both contribute to a buoyant housing sector and reduce the risk of homelessness.

Carolyn has a wide experience of both housing and mediation, having worked in housing since 1984 and mediation since 2006.

Clinic director Charlie Irvine said: “We are very pleased that Carolyn is joining us. She brings a great deal of credibility and energy to support our ambition of founding Scotland’s first centre of excellence in housing mediation.”

This new mediation project – which is free to all parties – will initially provide services in the Strathclyde area and is planned to have the following three elements:

*  mediation services for private rented sector landlords and tenants as an informal alternative to the work of the Housing and Property Chamber
*  mediation services for landlords and tenants using a tenancy deposit scheme, who have a dispute about a deposit that cannot be resolved by the scheme’s dispute resolution service
*  mediation services for other disputes relating to housing, such as factoring disputes involving tenanted properties and disputes between tenants and letting agents.

Carolyn said: “These are early days for our new project and we are keen to hear from landlords. We hope to carry out some mediations in the coming weeks and would welcome approaches from those who are interested in using mediation to resolve disputes.”

If you are interested in finding out more about mediation – and how it might work in practice for you as a landlord – Carolyn can be contacted at carolyn.hirst@strath.ac.uk