Mediation has become such a powerful tool that many governments are now implementing it toward social progress. Here’s an example from the state of Oregon where they’ve established a pilot program to mediate evictions for landlord-tenant cases.
According to the article, they put together a mediation board that helps tenants and landlords resolve rental conflicts. The executive director of the program has a very good observation from the article and says ‘if people are creative and want to talk about it, there are lots of solutions that aren’t textbook’, and that’s exactly what mediation does.
Oftentimes, the parties in a case can really only see certain solutions. There might be very obvious beneficial solutions available to both parties that they just can’t see because they’re looking at it from limited perspectives. It’s not that anyone’s doing anything wrong, it’s just that many parties come to mediation only considering their personal perspective, or they don’t want to “give in” to the other party.
Sometimes you end up better than if you won the case. From the article, one mediation says that ‘the mediator can really think about what the solution is, so everybody walks away feeling like they got what they needed out of the conversation’, and that’s what good mediation does. Certainly, there may be some compromises, but usually, those give-and-take factors are much less than what it would’ve been if you had taken the conflict to court.
Although you have more control over mediation, according to the article, landlords are the most reluctant to partake in mediation. It’s not that they’re opposed to it, it’s that they feel like this is something that could work against them. In actuality, in these cases, the article reports that 41% of the time a move-out date is agreed upon.
Remember the mediator is a neutral third party, they’re unbiased and impartial; that may be a potential hangup where landlords think the mediation will only benefit the tenant. But the mediator is here to serve both parties and come up with a solution for both, not just for one. Mediation benefits everyone involved by saving you and your counterparty time and money, as well as the state because they don’t have to allocate court resources for a dispute that can be resolved outside of the court system.