Solving problems by talking them through

Updated: 22 Feb 2019
Mediation is a free and confidential service
Two people attending a BME workshop.
We will investigate all reports of anti-social behaviour. It is often better, however, to sort out problems through talking with those involved rather than confrontation or even legal action.
Mediation is a way to sort out problems between people. Our mediation service aims to provide tenants with a better way to deal with neighbour disputes. An independent mediator helps people to come up a solution which will benefit everyone.
Once the people involved have agreed to mediation we will contact them and arrange to meet with them. Mediation can go ahead with the mediators meeting people separately or with everybody in the same room.
For further information please contact the Community Safety Team on 028 9031 8224 or email them.

What is mediation?

The aim of mediation is to help people involved in a disagreement reach an outcome that satisfies everyone.

What kind of issue can it be used for?

Noise, verbal abuse, children’s behaviour, pets, boundary issues, car parking and many other sources of dispute.

Could mediation work for me?

Yes . . . if you want to end the dispute, and if you are prepared to try a new approach.

How much will it cost?

Nothing. This is a free and confidential service.

Who can use mediation services?

Any Housing Executive tenant, or anyone affected by the behaviour of a Housing Executive tenant or household.

What is involved in mediation?

A mediator will meet each party separately in the first place. If you don’t want the mediator calling to your home, you can arrange to meet him/her in your local district office. The mediator will listen to the problems you are experiencing and decide whether or not mediation might help.

What do mediators do?

Mediators are impartial. They do not take sides or judge. They help people caught up in a dispute talk and listen to each other. They help both sides work together to identify key issues and to find solutions.

How do I use mediation services?

You should first report details of the dispute to your local district office. They will contact the other party involved, to see if they would also be interested in mediation. The district office will then refer the case to our mediation services, who will contact both parties.

Will I have to meet with my neighbour?

No. If you don’t wish to meet with your neighbour, mediation can work with the mediator meeting separately with the people involved in the dispute. However, a face to face meeting of those involved is often the best and quickest way for mediation to happen.

Mediation may not be useful if:

  • you are not ready to negotiate (for example if you are too hurt or angry)
  • you are already pursuing legal action. It is difficult for parties to reach an agreement through mediation if the threat of court action is hanging over one or both parties
  • there is a real risk of violence between you and your neighbour