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Mediation

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Overview


If you and your neighbours are not getting along together or you are experiencing any kind of harassment, we always try to help resolve disputes in a friendly and calm way in the first instance. In order to do this Birmingham City Council has a Mediation Service. You can request advice online by clicking the above button. We work with neighbours to help them come to a solution that they are happy with and which meets their needs.

The are many benefits to the mediation process:

  • It can be effective at first stage;
  • It can prevent escalation or recurrence;
  • It seeks to find a win / win solution;
  • It helps to establish a common ground;
  • It helps people to jointly make realistic, workable agreements;
  • It is relatively quick and has a high success rate.

Often mediation is all that is needed for neighbour disputes to be resolved satisfactorily.

Mediation is a voluntary service which is now available for residents throughout Birmingham regardless of whether or not you are a council tenant, a home owner, a Housing Association tenant, or a tenant of a Registered Social Landlord or private landlord.

If you are experiencing problems with your neighbours that you feel could be resolved by mediation you should contact the following departments for further advice:


  • Council Tenants [whether you or the other party is a tenant] :

Contact your Local Housing Team.

  • For Home Owners, Housing Association Tenants, Registered Social Landlord Tenant or a Private Tenant :

Contact the ASB helpline on 0121 303 1111 and you will be referred on to BASBU.


Mediators are:

Independent – they don't make a report on you

Impartial – they don't take sides

Experienced – they have worked on cases just like yours

Approachable – they will listen to you and help you to get your point across.

Essential Information
  • Experiencing difficulties with neighbours can affect your health. It can cause stress, anxiety, depression and anger – which can sometimes lead to violence. Legal action might be appropriate in some cases. However this can take a long time and be expensive – and it may not provide the ideal solution. The law tends to force one person to win and the other to lose. This may not be helpful when people have to go on being neighbours and you may not get the result you want. If you decide to choose mediation it would not affect your ability to take legal action in the future if you wanted to. Tackling the problem yourself – we will help you and offer guidance on how you can do this, without making things worse.

    More than half the people who choose mediation manage to agree on at least one thing. If it doesn't work for you, it doesn't mean you can't try to solve your problems in a different way.


  • Step one

    If you are a council tenant contact your local housing team. They will put you in touch with a mediation team. If you are a non council tenant call 0121 303 1111.

    Step two

    The mediators will arrange to visit you and your neighbour separately. They will ask you to tell them about the trouble you have been experiencing and you can ask them any questions about the mediation service. Everything you tell them will be treated in the strictest confidence.

    Step three

    If you both want to go ahead with mediation, the mediators will arrange to meet you both at a neutral place. This will not be in either of your homes.

    The mediator will ask you both to take turns to:

    • Talk about your view of the problem;
    • Say briefly what has happened;
    • Talk about what you want to do about it.

    You will both be asked to listen without interrupting while the other person is talking.

    Step four

    You will both be asked to think about ONE problem and compare views. You will be asked to make suggestions to solve the problem and discuss each other’s concerns. From this it may be possible to work out an agreement to settle your differences.

Frequently Asked Questions
    • We can only investigate incidents that happen in Birmingham. If the incident happened somewhere else, then you should notify the relevant local authority, or the police.

    • It is if neighbours are not getting along together or a tenant is experiencing any kind of harassment, we always try to help resolve disputes in a friendly and calm way in the first instance.

    • You don't even have to sit in the same room as your neighbour.

      We offer shuttle mediation where you don't talk directly to each other but the mediator carries messages between you.

    • It is the parties involved in mediation that make the decisions. No one tells you what to do - you get to decide how to sort things out.

    • The housing department or registered social landlords have a responsibility to investigate ASB that is caused by or affects their tenants.

      They have powers to enforce ASBOs or enforce tenancy conditions if necessary.

      They may work with BASBU to resolve issues.

    • In some circumstances the councils service may be able to help resolve problems before they become full disputes. Even if there is a history of problems between the parties, Mediation can be useful in helping to resolve them.

    • Mediation is a voluntary service which is now available for residents throughout Birmingham regardless of whether or not you are a council tenant, a home owner, a Housing Association tenant, or a tenant of a Registered Social Landlord or private landlord.