When Conflict Affects Your Housing

Trailblazer

In private rented accommodation and arguments putting your housing at risk?  

It’s not easy to find an affordable home to rent in Brighton and Hove, so anything that makes it hard to stay in your home is a real worry.  

Are you sharing with housemates or in a place where your neighbours are uncomfortably close? 

Are there arguments and complaints that make you feel uncomfortable in your home or may put your tenancy at risk 

Are you finding it difficult to communicate with your landlord 

We can help 

Brighton and Hove Independent Mediation service is funded by Brighton and Hove City Council to offer mediation services to resolve conflict that is affecting your housing. This free service is available to you if you live in: 

  • Private rented accommodation in Brighton and Hove, or 
  • Supported Housing in Brighton and Hove 

Top Tips

Please visit our Top Tips for Neighbour Disputes page. This has a short video and and tips about  managing conflict with neighbours. This guidance applies  to  housemates  as well as  neighbours. 

Our support 

We have a team of trained and experienced volunteer mediators who can work with you to find ways to resolve arguments affecting you in your home.  

Please note we are not able to offer any face to face meetings due to COVID 19 restrictions. We are monitoring the situation closely and will always put the safety of our clients and mediators first.  For now, we are providing support by telephone and in some circumstances via video conference. 

Mediation 

Mediation is an informal way of resolving disputes. It involves each person understanding a little about the other’s point of view and the ways in which the problem is affecting everyone involved. It is not about deciding who is right or wrong, but about finding a way forward that is acceptable to all.  

Each person has a chance to say what they need to without interruption. Our job is to help those involved to find a way forward. Usually a solution will be found which we will write down to remind everyone what was agreed.  This is known as a goodwill agreement and is not a legally binding document. 

Normally we arrange to meet people facetoface.  one at a time and then together. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 situation means we are unable to do this for now. In some circumstances we can arrange mediation by video conference or by telephone. We will need to talk with all concerned before deciding whether these options are possible.  

 The first step is one to one telephone support.  

We will arrange a time for a mediator to call you. The mediator will:  

  •  Talk with you about the problems you are facing, and help you decide what might be helpful to improve the situation.   
  • Listen and offer you support 
  • Not tell you what to do, or do things for you 
  • Treat everything you say in the strictest confidence (not telling anyone else unless someone is in danger) 
  • Discuss possible options for mediation support.  

 We usually offer up to three telephone support calls and you can discuss the timings of these with your mediator.  

 How we work 

Our service is confidential 
  • We keep all your personal information safe and secure.    
  • We don’t share what you tell us with anyone else   
  • The only exception to this is if we feel someone is at risk of harm.  
Taking part is voluntary  
  • You choose whether to use our service  
  • We will give you clear information and time to decide  
  • We will never pressure you to take part in meetings  
We don’t take sides or give advice 
  • Mediators don’t take sides or make judgements about right or wrong.  
  • We give equal support to everyone involved   

 Accessing our services 

If you are in the situation described at the top of the page and you would like to access our servicesyou can either:  

  • refer your case to us yourself by using this form 
  • ask your key worker or supporter from another agency to refer your case using this form  

If you want to find out more about using our service first, please email [email protected]