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rent relief mediation during COVID-19 – not as scary as it may appear

27 August 2020
cain sarah mitchell passlow
Read Time 3 mins reading time

With the Federal Government extending its JobKeeper scheme until March next year, it’s likely the provisions around handling rent relief will also be extended.

For landlords and tenants unable to reach agreements on rent relief, this means they’ll probably need to engage in mediation.

lead up to the day

Either party can initiate the mediation through the Office of the Small Business Commissioner.

All that is required is a succinct outline of the issues at hand and relevant documentation (rather than formal submissions by the parties), with the aim being for mediation to be cost effective for all involved.

Generally, the waiting time between submission of the application and the day of mediation is 3-5 weeks. But with the number of applications increasing, that delay may extend beyond five weeks.

Once a date has been set for the mediation, the mediator will contact both parties, who will be given a further chance to submit any additional documents to discuss on the day.

During this period, you do not need to liaise with the opposing party if you do not want to.

the day

The mediator introduces themselves and outlines the way the mediation will proceed and in particular their role.

This generally involves a statement from the mediator that they are determined to help both parties reach an amicable result that is palatable for both.

The mediator is not a judge and allows the parties to do all the talking. However, there is a rule that when one party is talking, the other is to remain silent.

The mediator helps keep everyone on track with the issues at hand. In this context, it would be negotiating some form of rent relief that works for everyone.

In our experience, we found the mediator was very helpful in getting the parties back on track when things were not looking like resolving and it appeared likely that the parties would end up in a Tribunal or Court.

The parties were reminded of the costs involved which refocused the parties on achieving a resolution at mediation.

In our case, after six hours of negotiations, a settlement was reached and a Deed negotiated shortly after the mediation.

overall

Mediation will not work for everyone. Preferably Landlords and Tenants should come to an agreement on appropriate rent relief without needing to mediate.

However, if rent relief negotiations are ongoing with no end in sight, mediation may be a suitable option for you and is relatively cheap.

Mediators appear determined to bring the parties together and settle their differences and if both parties come to the mediation in good faith and with a willingness to listen to the other party, mediation has a very good chance of resolving the issues.

The parties can then get back to their business and avoid further distraction and cost associated with the ongoing dispute.

what MK can do for you

If you are a Landlord or Tenant who has not been able to come to an agreement on rent relief during the COVID-19 period, we can help with your mediation application and assist on the day of the mediation if required. We can also advise you as to your rights and obligations under the Code and relevant state-based Regulation.

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rent relief mediation during COVID-19 – not as scary as it may appear

27 August 2020
cain sarah mitchell passlow

With the Federal Government extending its JobKeeper scheme until March next year, it’s likely the provisions around handling rent relief will also be extended.

For landlords and tenants unable to reach agreements on rent relief, this means they’ll probably need to engage in mediation.

lead up to the day

Either party can initiate the mediation through the Office of the Small Business Commissioner.

All that is required is a succinct outline of the issues at hand and relevant documentation (rather than formal submissions by the parties), with the aim being for mediation to be cost effective for all involved.

Generally, the waiting time between submission of the application and the day of mediation is 3-5 weeks. But with the number of applications increasing, that delay may extend beyond five weeks.

Once a date has been set for the mediation, the mediator will contact both parties, who will be given a further chance to submit any additional documents to discuss on the day.

During this period, you do not need to liaise with the opposing party if you do not want to.

the day

The mediator introduces themselves and outlines the way the mediation will proceed and in particular their role.

This generally involves a statement from the mediator that they are determined to help both parties reach an amicable result that is palatable for both.

The mediator is not a judge and allows the parties to do all the talking. However, there is a rule that when one party is talking, the other is to remain silent.

The mediator helps keep everyone on track with the issues at hand. In this context, it would be negotiating some form of rent relief that works for everyone.

In our experience, we found the mediator was very helpful in getting the parties back on track when things were not looking like resolving and it appeared likely that the parties would end up in a Tribunal or Court.

The parties were reminded of the costs involved which refocused the parties on achieving a resolution at mediation.

In our case, after six hours of negotiations, a settlement was reached and a Deed negotiated shortly after the mediation.

overall

Mediation will not work for everyone. Preferably Landlords and Tenants should come to an agreement on appropriate rent relief without needing to mediate.

However, if rent relief negotiations are ongoing with no end in sight, mediation may be a suitable option for you and is relatively cheap.

Mediators appear determined to bring the parties together and settle their differences and if both parties come to the mediation in good faith and with a willingness to listen to the other party, mediation has a very good chance of resolving the issues.

The parties can then get back to their business and avoid further distraction and cost associated with the ongoing dispute.

what MK can do for you

If you are a Landlord or Tenant who has not been able to come to an agreement on rent relief during the COVID-19 period, we can help with your mediation application and assist on the day of the mediation if required. We can also advise you as to your rights and obligations under the Code and relevant state-based Regulation.