Sandwell Homes offers a mediation service through working in partnership with Mediation First Ltd.
The mediation service is for neighbours who have fallen out with each other.
The team are trained to help find lasting solutions acceptable to everyone involved. They offer a fast and confidential service which is free to Sandwell Homes tenants.
If you are a council tenant contact your Housing Officer at your Housing Service Centre. They will put you in touch with the mediation team.
The mediators will arrange to visit you and your neighbour separately. They will ask you to tell them about the trouble you have been experiencing and you can ask them any questions about the mediation service. Everything you tell them is in the strictest of confidence.
If you both want to go ahead with mediation, the mediators will arrange to meet both you at a neutral place. This will not be in either of your homes. The mediator will ask you both to take turns to:
You will both be asked to think about ONE problem and compare views. You will be asked to make suggestions to solve the problem and discuss each other’s concerns. From this it may be possible to work out an agreement to settle your differences.
You don’t even have to sit in the same room as your neighbour. We offer shuttle mediation where you don’t talk directly to each other but the mediator carries messages between you.
It is the parties involved that make the decisions. No one tells you what to do you get to decide how to sort things out.
What are the alternatives?
Experiencing difficulties with neighbours can affect your health. It can cause stress, anxiety, depression and anger – which can sometimes lead to violence.
Legal action might be appropriate in some cases. However this can take a long time and be expensive – and it may not provide the ideal solution. The law tends to force one person to win and the other to lose. This may not be helpful when people have to go on being neighbours and you may not get the result you want.
If you decide to choose mediation it would not affect your liability to take legal action in the future if you wanted to.
Tackling the problem yourself – we will help you and offer guidance on how you can do this, without making things worse.
More than half the people who choose mediation manage to agree on at least one thing. If it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean you can’t try to solve problems a different way.