The ideal outcome is that you can reach an agreement through mediation, but sometimes you may not be able to.

When you reach an agreement

Once you reach an agreement, the mediator checks that everyone fully understands what they’re agreeing to. The agreement is written down as a mediated order. The landlord and the tenant may need to sign the order, but generally the mediator has the authority to certify that both parties have understood the agreement. Each person is given a copy of the mediated order for their records. For telephone mediation, you’ll be sent a copy.

In most cases, the order needs to be made legal and binding. The mediated order is sent to the Tenancy Tribunal to be signed and sealed by a Tenancy Tribunal adjudicator.

When a mediated order is legal and binding, it will usually say what happens if either person does not stick to the agreement. The mediated order can then be enforced as if it was an order of the Tribunal. For example, if the order is about money owed and the money is not repaid, court collections can enforce the order.

If the mediation is about money owed, a landlord and tenant can agree at the mediation to enforce the debt with an attachment order. An attachment order is where payments are taken directly from the wages or benefit of the person who owes the money. This agreed attachment order is recorded in the mediator’s order.

Decisions the Tribunal can make tells you more about the different kinds of mediator’s orders.

Enforcing an order from the Tribunal tells you how to enforce the mediator’s order if it is not complied with.

Enforcing an attachment order has information about this process.

If you don’t reach an agreement

If both parties don’t agree to a solution in mediation, the application may be referred to the Tenancy Tribunal for a court hearing. The Tribunal is part of the Ministry of Justice. At the court hearing, an adjudicator will make a final decision.