- I own a leasehold house. How much will the freehold cost me?
- How can I buy the freehold of my building?
- I want to extend my lease. Other than the price paid to the freeholder, are there any other costs?
- How long can I extend my lease for?
- Why do I have to extend my lease?
- I own a leasehold house. How do I buy the freehold?
- What will it cost to apply to the LVT?
- Where can I get a copy of my lease?
The LEASE Mediation Service provides a way to settle a dispute without the need to go to court or the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.
Mediation provides an opportunity for the two parties to discuss the problem and, together, work out a solution, in an informal setting. Both parties meet with a LEASE mediator who helps them to clarify the issues, to communicate with each other and to reach an agreement.
Mediation is quick, cheap, informal & confidential.
Disputes between the leaseholder and the landlord or manager, or between leaseholders in the same building, often develop to the point where recourse to the law, the LVT or the court, provides the only practical solution. However, in many cases the problem is capable of resolution at a much earlier stage if the parties involved can simply sit down and discuss the issues. This can be difficult to arrange, emotions may be running high and negotiations may not get very far.
The mediator is an impartial professional, trained to help parties in a dispute to find a mutually acceptable solution, to unlock the entrenched positions and keep everyone focused on working toward an agreement.
How does it work?
Firstly, both parties must agree to attempt the mediation, it is dependent upon a willingness to explore a solution and can't be imposed on the other party. If it is not successful it won't inhibit or limit in any way your rights to more formal routes to dispute resolution. Where a solution is found an agreement is drawn up and signed by both parties.
The situation is resolved by an organised and civilised discussion of the issues and is enforced simply by a voluntary acceptance that the agreement reached shall be complied with by both sides. This can often be more productive that the confrontational situation of the court or tribunal hearing where a solution is imposed, not necessarily agreed.
- The LEASE mediator will contact and, where appropriate, meet privately with each party to identify and discuss the issues and to fully appreciate and understand each respective viewpoint. The mediators are also qualified lawyers, specialising in leasehold law, and will be able to separate out issues only capable of legal resolution, but will not give legal advice to either party as a Mediator.
- At the mediation session both parties meet together, with two LEASE mediators. Each party will be asked to confirm a willingness to mediate and to agree some basic ground rules, to ensure a productive discussion.
- Then each party will be invited to present their views of the dispute, uninterrupted by the other; the mediator will summarise the issues and then encourage both sides to come up with possible, mutually acceptable solutions. This will simply be a structured discussion, ensuring each party listens to and understands the other's point of view, and actively attempts to resolve the dispute.
- This may take some time, a session will normally take up to three hours but this depends on how much there is to discuss and each party's willingness to find agreement.
- Where agreement is reached, the LEASE mediator will help the parties to draw up a formal agreement document and will produce the necessary papers for signature. Where agreement is not possible, either or both parties are free to continue toward LVT or court action.
- Mediation is voluntary, the mediator is there to facilitate the negotiation, not to impose a solution.
Click here to view the application form (PDF - 32KB). To apply for mediation you should print the form, fill it in, and post it to us at the address at the bottom of this page. You do not need to send us the application fee at this point. Where the two parties have already discussed the option of mediation then they can make a joint application. Alternatively, only one of the parties can apply, in which case LEASE will approach the other party to seek their agreement to proceed.
Once we have agreement we will send both parties a questionnaire to complete setting out the general issues of the argument, plus a copy of a draft agreement and the ground rules for the mediation.
LEASE mediation is subject to an application fee of 100 from each party per session (85 plus VAT). We levy a fee because we believe this encourages a commitment from each party to the process. Please note that the fee becomes non-refundable once we have received the fee from both parties.
All mediations will be carried out at the LEASE offices, 31 Worship Street, London EC2A 2DX.
Ground rules for mediation
The ground rules establish the tone for the mediation session and are designed to ensure that the focus is on achieving a mutually satisfactory result
- We agree to speak one at a time and not interrupt each other
- We agree not to attack or use personally-abusive language about the other person
- We agree to listen with respect to the other person and to try to understand their underlying needs and concerns
- We recognise that each person is entitled to their own perspective even if we do not agree with it
- We will focus on the future we would like to bring about and not dwell on what failed in the past
- We agree to think of solutions that will be acceptable to everyone involved with the problem
- We agree to make productive use of our time during the mediation to move forward to the fairest and most constructive agreement we can achieve.
- We acknowledge that the mediators are impartial and will not pass judgment on what anyone is saying
- We agree that we or the mediators can call for a break if we need one
- We agree that either of us or the mediator can ask for a private side meeting if the need arises.
- We agree that the responsibility for settling the dispute rests with the parties,not the mediator