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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Neighbour mediation

With the continued backlog of cases mediation is even more so now than ever the best choice to find a resolution for your dispute. Get your dispute resolved now while you can’t go anywhere you can really concentrate on what’s important and what deserves your time and energy.

Northwest Mediation continues to use Zoom, Skype and FaceTime as well as the phone and emails to resolve disputes should we add we also do live in person mediation too! So please do not feel that you cannot contact us if you would like to mediate but wish to do so remotely.

From the home office window this week I’ve seen two sets of neighbours leave and one new set arrive, I’ve not scared them off with endless talks about the benefits of mediation, honest.

It’s an odd time getting new neighbours and can be unsettling, but in our case it’s more just curtain twitching interesting.

I am reminded of how fortunate we’ve been with most of our neighbours over the years – the one time we had problems and ended up going to the council I wished we could have used mediation, but it was back in my litigation days and given the police eventually got involved I’m not sure it would have worked with mediation.

Living in close proximity to others can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you have the opportunity to build close relationships and a sense of community with your neighbours. On the other hand, disagreements and conflicts can arise, leading to tense and uncomfortable situations.

Neighbourhood disputes can range from small annoyances like noisy pets and unkempt lawns to more serious issues like property damage and harassment. In these situations, give us a call and we can help facilitate a peaceful resolution.

Neighbour mediation is a process where a neutral third party helps facilitate communication and negotiation between neighbours to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Mediation is more effective and less costly alternative to legal action, and it allows neighbours to maintain a positive relationship after the dispute is resolved. Here are some steps to take if you are considering neighbour mediation (seriously if you can't spot the new writer of the blog you're not paying attention):

1. Identify the problem: Before mediation can take place, both parties need to be clear about what the problem is. Take the time to identify the issue and how it is affecting you. This will help you communicate effectively during the mediation process. But don’t feel you have to do an essay on the subject, you’ll know what your dispute is so…

2. Contact me.

3. I’ll talk to you and contact the other party and ask them to agree to mediation: Both parties must agree to participate in mediation. It is important that everyone involved is willing to work towards a resolution and is committed to the process.

4. Prepare for mediation: I’ll take you through what we need to exchange or prepare in terms of a position statement setting out your goals and concerns. Think about your boundaries (both metaphoric and in neighbour disputes sometimes actual boundaries) I’ll encourage both parties to be prepared to listen to the other party’s perspective and be open to compromise.

5. Then you’ll attend the mediation session I’ll facilitate the discussion between you and your neighbour. It is important to remain respectful and open-minded during the process. I’ll help guide the conversation towards a mutually agreeable solution.

6. Once an agreement has been reached, it is important to follow up on the commitments made during mediation. This will help maintain a positive relationship between you and your neighbour and prevent future disputes.

Neighbour mediation can be an effective way to resolve disputes and maintain positive relationships with your neighbours. If you are experiencing a conflict with a neighbour, consider mediation as an alternative to legal action. With the help of a mediator, you can work towards a peaceful resolution that benefits everyone involved it costs nothing to contact me to find out what your options are.

In mediation news this week What helps parties trust a mediator? This article Chicago based Resolution Systems Institute is planning a research project to find out what helps (and detracts) from trust in mediation. In this case they are looking at all stages of mediation but not at the trust between parties but the actual bod doing the mediation.

We all think we come across as perfectly trustworthy individuals, but of course sometimes we don’t pick up on the reluctance, I know I can be seen as flippant so for instance I am live to making jokes or light of matters that don’t “land” with clients, but equally that is my style so it helps to have a sense of humour but make sure it is applied appropriately.

Talking of appropriate mediation there’s a response this week by Aware (in Singapore) that the Ministry of Manpower’s recommendations for all workplace disputes to go to mediation should not apply in cases where the complainant has suffered severe distress and trauma.

With civil cases we don’t necessarily carry out what in family would be a MIAM to assess suitability but in employment cases involving any sort of trauma or harassment I would expect this to be good practice, to meet with both parties early on and assess suitability. As Aware says it’s not a one size fits all and even when we reach the stage where all civil cases in the UK are referred to mediation there will always be some cases that need to be weeded out.

And in one well known case Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trial on allegations of corruption could be going to mediation, protected by the confidentiality of the process that might be an option for the PM.

There are procedural difficulties given the parties involved and the relationship between the attorney general, Gali Baharav-Miara, and the PM which is let’s call it “strained” at best but it may well be the way to go.

It seems odd to me that a politician particularly a serving one (or indeed a former president) should not be tried in public but I suppose if each is to be judged the same as another then there is no reason to prevent them seeking mediation.

The three pillars of mediation remain it’s voluntary (except apparently when it won’t be anymore), it’s confidential, the mediator is independent, by using those pillars to support your work the parties keep control, save costs, save time and energy and reduce stress. Finally this one is mediation, mediator jointly appointed, areas of discussion agreed and intention to be bound by the outcome.

In person or via electronic media as we’ve said before choose to mediate early and resolve your issues effectively, timeously, and with less stress and costs than going to your solicitor so you can get out choose a different path, not quite the road less travelled but perhaps the path less adversarial. You have an interest in the outcome the sooner you get round the mediation table the quicker you can move forward and avoid the grilling a cross examination in court would put you through.

By having a deep and meaningful discussions with parties the mediator elicits what the true “red-lines” are and where there is the potential for compromise, it is with this structured period of reflection that the parties are then able to reach an accord.

The flexible nature of mediation and the possible outcomes make it an ideal way to resolve disputes in an ever-changing world and the open nature of discussions in mediation whilst remaining confidential allows all sides to engage fully in the process and understand the needs of all involved allowing parties to reach a conclusion which both sides can live with and move on.

There are so many situations which could have been resolved by early intervention of mediation it continues to surprise me the lengths the public will go to avoid referral.

Whether you need a mediator to help out with a construction matter in the Northwest, or council’s plans in Cheshire, a civil mediator in London, a commercial mediator in Manchester, a dispute resolution for your family in Liverpool, a neighbourhood mediation in Stockport, then our mediators at Northwest Mediation can help.

Mediation is cheaper, quicker and less stressful than running any case to court, it can help with any dispute whether it's an employment issue or the sale at an under value of a property, a fight with a neighbour, family issues, commercial disputes, civil mediation or inheritance, wills and probate arguments contact me at Northwest Mediation on 0161 667 4418 or via email at

neighbour mediation; commercial dispute resolution; civil mediation; commercial dispute; corporate dispute; commercial mediator; family mediation; inheritance wills probate mediation; property mediator; civil mediator; civil litigation; fast track mediation; injury mediation

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