If you want help to resolve problems or disagreements with a neighbour, our Resolve Service offers a confidential and impartial mediation for people in dispute.
Our service is:
· free to Bolton at Home tenants
· confidential and impatial
We have a strong track record for resolving cases, with lasting success, and our customers report high levels of customer satisfaction.
Please get in touch with us if you’re experiencing problems with neighbours such as:
• animal issues
• property damage
• boundary issues
• verbal abuse or threatening behaviour
• adults getting involved when children fall out
• ongoing gossip
• clashing lifestyles
What happens first?
We write to the people involved to arrange a private conversation with us. This will usually take place at the person’s own home.
We don’t take sides and treat what is said to us in confidence, so we’ll initially meet people separately.
Our role is not to judge or advise but to listen, understand how people feel and recommend if mediation is the best way forward for everyone.
It’s entirely voluntary. If someone doesn’t want to take part in mediation they’re entitled to say no. If this happens there are other options we can discuss with you.
If everyone agrees to mediation then we’ll arrange a meeting at a suitable time and place, such as a community centre.
What can I expect from the mediation meeting?
We’ll start by welcoming everyone and explain the purpose is for those involved to reach a written agreement that’s fair and addresses the problems on both sides.
We’ll give people the opportunity to speak, without interruption, about how they see the situation and how they want things to be.
We’ll guide the meeting at all times to ensure people feel supported.
Our aim is for people to commit to a confidential Mediation Agreement. It’s not legally binding, it’s a goodwill agreement that will support everyone to move forward and resolve the situation together.
Why go through mediation?
When people talk and listen to each other in a safe and guided environment it usually results in a solution to the dispute. We can’t promise it will solve all problems. However, when cases reach a mediation meeting, an agreement is usually made and issues are improved if not completely resolved.
Why can’t Bolton at Home take action against my neighbour or must tell them for me?
In neighbour dispute cases, mediation has an important role to play, particularly in preventing issues from getting worse. Our mediators don’t take sides. Mediation is successful because you get to explain the impact of the problem in your own words to your neighbour. Your neighbour can listen, understand your feelings and learn how you’re affected. You need to be willing to listen to your neighbour in the same way. This often leads to answers and a positive way forward.
What if my neighbour isn’t willing?
We’ll see why they feel this way, then encourage them to at least meet with us. We’ll explain the benefits of mediation and be clear on what’s involved to settle any doubts about the process. If they don’t want to take part, or if we don’t think mediation is a suitable way forward, we’ll inform all parties and discuss other options.
What if my neighbour is aggressive?
We’ll always meet those involved separately and properly assess if mediation is the right decision before we bring people together. If there are concerns of aggression then we wouldn’t suggest a mediation meeting and we’d consider other options. No-one is allowed to shout or use threatening behaviour at a meeting. If these rules are broken then we’ll suspend or end the meeting. Please be assured this is very rare.
What if someone breaks the Mediation Agreement?
It’s less common for people not to stick to an agreement but if it’s no longer working as it should, please come back to us so we can review the situation.
Do we need to pay?
Our Resolve Service is free for Bolton at Home tenants and any other neighbours involved in the same dispute. We offer mediation at a cost for other residents.
Being a good neighbour
- Ignore the problem until it’s too late;
- Shout, lose your temper or retaliate, this happens all too often and makes the situation worse;
- Involve other neighbours! Instead, focus on resolving your issue, if others have a problem, it’s up to them to sort it out.
- Be aware - noise or behaviour that is acceptable to you may not be acceptable to your neighbours and vice versa;
- Be tolerant - accept there will be day to day noise, everyone lives differently, a lot of homes are not sufficiently sound proofed;
- If there is a problem, consider speaking to your neighbour respectfully when you are calm to explain clearly how the problem is affecting you. Be prepared to listen to their response and suggest a way of resolving the problem.
Ask for help when you need it by contacting us!
If you're unsure about speaking to your neighbour, or have tried but there's still problems, our mediators are fully trained and experienced in helping people in conflict.
Our service is confidential, mediators are totally impartial and help those involved to see the situation from another perspective.