Mediation helps to resolve issues between individuals or groups of neighbours in dispute
How can mediation help me?
Mediation is free to all residents of North Lanarkshire and can help by opening a line of communication between you and your neighbour within a safe and controlled environment. This is done with the assistance of trained mediators, giving you the opportunity to:
- be listened to
- hear your neighbour’s point of view
- reach an acceptable agreement for you and your neighbour
- take control of the situation to avoid any escalation of the issue
When is mediation appropriate?
When you and your neighbour want to resolve a particular issue you may be experiencing. The earlier you involve mediation the better chance we have of helping you reach an agreement. Examples of types of issues we can help with include:
Issues we can help with
- loud music/TV noise
- inconsiderate parking
- use of garden and common areas (including high hedges)
- pet problems
- general daily living noise
What happens if I want to try mediation?
We will contact you to give you the opportunity to discuss, in complete confidence, the issues that are affecting you. If you are happy to proceed, we will then make contact with your neighbour ask if they want to participate. If you and your neighbour are both happy to participate, we will then arrange a meeting at a neutral venue such as a community centre or library near your home. Current Covid-19 guidance will always be taken into consideration when making these arrangements.
We also have the option of ‘Shuttle Mediation’ where separate rooms can be used, and the Mediator would act as a go between. Shuttle mediation can be used where sitting together may not be appropriate. We also offer an online option to carry out mediation, this can be carried out by using ‘Near Me’ or ‘Microsoft Teams’.
In exceptional circumstances we can also carry out telephone mediation when other options are unsuitable.
The meeting gives everyone involved the chance to talk over any issues and hear how the situation affects all parties. This is an opportunity to resolve the situation and reach an agreement that is acceptable to everyone. Any agreement you reach is private and confidential. The Mediation Service does not pass specific information to anyone, although with your permission we may advise the Local Housing Office or referrer that an agreement has been reached.
What happens at the meeting?
The meeting is very informal, and the Mediator will ensure that everyone feels comfortable before starting. Each party will get an opportunity to speak without being interrupted about what has been happening, how this affects them and what they would like to see in the future. Mediators do not make the agreement; any points of agreement are decided by you and your neighbour. You can also decide on how you will communicate with each other in the future.
The Mediator provides a written copy of the agreement and both parties sign this. This is a gesture of goodwill and not a legally binding document or contract.
What if the agreement is broken?
In most cases where both parties are committed to the process any agreement reached is maintained. However, if either you or your neighbour feel the agreement has broken down, you should contact your Mediator and discuss what has happened and try to find a way forward.
Mediator’s role at the meeting?
Mediators are there to provide a safe and controlled environment and ensure the meeting is carried out in a calm and respectful way. They will ensure each party has equal time to speak and highlight positive points and common ground.
What else do I need to know?
Your Mediator is impartial and not there to take sides. Yhat else do I need to know?our Mediator has no power to enforce your views or wishes on your neighbour.
- your chance to voice how you feel but also listen to what your neighbour feels as well
- about the future and how you will avoid or deal with situations that may arise
- about you and your neighbour moving forward and improving the enjoyment of your home
- is voluntary, either party can decide to withdraw from the process at any stage
- you and your neighbour both share responsibility for agreeing a solution
Mediation is not suitable for those wishing to resolve legal disputes or resolve points of law, such as title deeds or criminal matter.
If you are interested in Mediation, please contact North Lanarkshire Council’s Mediation Service at Community Safety Hub, Housing Mediation Service, PO Box 8921, Coatbridge, ML5 9AG.
You can also telephone on 0300 123 1382 or email Housingmediation@northlan.gov.uk