Using mediation to resolve a dispute
If there is a dispute between neighbours we may refer your case to the Mediation Service to help you solve the problem.
Neighbours in dispute often find it difficult to talk to each other or make each other understand their point of view. Sometimes an impartial third party is needed and a Housing Officer or Independent Living Manager will make a referral, with your consent, to the Mediation Service.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a way of dealing with disputes between neighbours to provide support to both parties involved to come to a realistic agreement to resolve their problems. It is important to remember the mediators do not take sides and cannot force either of the parties to accept the demands of the other.
What is a mediator?
Mediators have been professionally trained and are experienced in dealing with a wide range of issues. Their role is to support those involved to make their own decisions to resolve the problems they are experiencing and come to an agreement everyone is happy with.
Who can be referred?
People in the community who are suffering from noise issues, ASB from neighbours, families needing support with their children, dogs barking, boundary disputes, parking issues and anything that affects people trying to live a normal life.
What happens after the referral has been made?
The mediators allocated to the case will contact both parties and make an appointment to meet them, individually, to discuss the problem and ways this may be resolved. Anything you tell the mediators during the meeting is private and confidential (with the exception of disclosure and serious abuse) unless otherwise agreed.
If a joint meeting is agreed the mediators will give each person the chance to talk about the problem and how it is affecting them. The mediators will make sure that everyone understands what each person has said, allow them to respond and identify any issues that need to be sorted out. They will then help both parties to come to an agreement and find a solution to the problem. This agreement is not legally binding but simply acts as a reminder to both parties about what has been agreed between them.
What if I don’t want to meet with the person causing the problem?
Sometimes it is difficult or inappropriate for parties in dispute to meet together in the same room for a “face to face” meeting. Shuttle Mediation is a form of mediation where the mediator shares information between the parties involved and helps them come to an agreement without them being in the same room.
You can contact the Mediation Service using the links below:
Shepway, Dover and Thanet Mediation Service
The Mediation Service (Canterbury)