Mediation 

Mediation is a process whereby a neutral and impartial third person acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute without prescribing what it should be. It is an informal and non-adversarial process intended to help disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement. 

Working Together

Mediator's Role and Mediation Concepts 

The role of the mediator is to reduce obstacles to communication between the parties, assist in the identification of issues and explore new alternatives. The mediator must facilitate the conversation between the two parties through voluntary agreements resolving the dispute. Mediators must allow the two parties to come to an agreement themselves while using the mediation concepts of communication, negotiation, facilitation and problem-solving techniques. 

Basic mediation concepts are: 

  • self-determination 

  • the needs and interest of the parties 

  • fairness

  • procedural flexibility 

  • confidentiality 

  • full disclosure 

Mediation is often seen as the alternative to a formal trial in court. The public should view mediation as an alternative to talk about their issues and concerns and make decisions about the dispute with the help of a third party (mediator). The objective of the mediation is that all parties come to an agreement through a conversation facilitated by a neutral person who focuses on solving your dispute through all obstacles. However, the mediator is not allowed to provide therapy, counseling or legal advise to any party. 

Does the public know about mediation practices? 

According to a recent study by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, there were 97% of participants with at least some familiarity with negotiation, 90% of participants who has some familiarity with litigation, and almost 80% of participants who had some familiarity with arbitration. However, there was 24% aware of evaluative mediation and 24.5% aware of facilitative mediation practices. The purpose of this research study was to show how many community participants in the study knew of these dispute resolution processes. 

 

Many of the community participants had knowledge about and experienced with negotiation and litigation practices from their personal experiences. Many of the participants reported less knowledge and experiences relating to arbitration and the two forms of mediation. Even when community participants reported knowledge and awareness of the types of mediation and arbitration, their answers were typical misconceptions about the process. 

Networking Event

Why choose mediation? 

  • Mediation gives all parities the opportunity to have a conversation with someone who is a neutral third party or impartial to their disagreements. 

  • The disputes that the parties have with each other can be decided through their own self-determination and not by a judge or jury. 

  • Mediation is confidential and will not be released to the public record 

  • Mediation agreements are enforced and must be kept as a legally binding agreement 

  • A mediation can help parties communicate with each other and set up a schedule for a conversation 

  • Mediated agreements help parties create flexible solutions that work around their life schedules

  • Mediation is not a trial or arbitration 

  • Mediation can save participants time, money and resources 

  • The mediation agreements that parties make during mediation is set and is not determined by a judge or jury, if the parties can not agree, then they will go to trial court for a ruling 

  • Mediation gives parties the chance to deeply understand why their issue happened in the beginning and how they can look forward to the future 

 

Handshake

The Art of Persuasion 

Persuasion is a form of influence, persuasion involves careful preparation and proper presentation of arguments and supporting evidence in an appropriate and compelling emotional climate. 

Critical steps for effective persuasion 

  • Understand others motivations and needs 

  • Establish credibility 

  • Frame for common ground 

  • Engage in joint problem solving 

  • Support outcomes with logic and reasoning 

Frame for common ground

Self-represented disputants must seek to find a common ground on their claims. Dispute resolution tactic like rationality, ingratiation, coalition building and quid pro quo bargaining (exchange) are necessary to gain a persuasive point of view on the specific claims of the other party. Rationality uses reason and logical perspectives, facts or data to build the bases of your claim. Small claims disputes with financial creditors are dependent on the two parties rational approach to finding a legally binding agreement. When individuals use rationality that is based in facts, they create respect and mutual understanding in a settlement. It is best policy to be open and honest about the presented facts and data to first identify the key problem and make negotiations to a resolution. 

Eviction Dispute: 10 Guidelines to aid tenants and landlords dealing with evictions 

Mediation practices can be helpful when dealing with a self-represented tenant and landlord dispute. During these mediation practices it is recommended by the American Bar Journal to follow these 10 guidelines 

  1. Tenants should receive reasonable notice of any breach of their lease and the chance to correct the problem before they face eviction. 

  2. Courts should provide emergency procedures to tenants who have been locked out or unlawfully excluded from their homes. 

  3. Tenants should not be evicted without the opportunity to present their defense in a hearing before a judicial officer with appropriate legal training.

  4. Tenants facing eviction should receive ample opportunity to prepare for their hearing, including through formal discovery. 

  5. Courts should require landlords and tenants to participate in eviction diversion (mediation) programs before litigation. 

  6. Tenants facing eviction should have access to qualified counsel in all proceedings. 

  7. Tenants facing eviction for nonpayment of rent should be able to maintain their housing by paying the full amount owed to their landlord before a final judgement. 

  8. Tenants should be able to appeal an eviction judgement without facing undue bond requirements. 

  9. Tenants should not be evicted or not be given the chance to renew their lease without a good cause. 

  10. Courts should seal the names of defendants before a final judgement in eviction cases as well as when eviction cases are dismissed and have additional procedures for protecting the privacy of defendants who can demonstrate good cause.

Eviction disputes are important across the state of Florida because in the past fiscal year 2020-2021 there were a total of county civil filings for 92,124 eviction cases. County civil filings for eviction cases often leave people without their homes and no where to go. Eviction cases are important to prevent by using these 10 guidelines. 

Tenant Responsibilities 

According to Section 83.52, F.S. a tenant, at all times during the tenancy shall:

  • Comply with all building, housing and health codes.

  • Keep track of the quality of certain appliances, electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and other facilitates and appliances 

  • Keep the dwelling clean and sanitary.

  • Remove garbage from the dwelling in a clean and sanitary manner.

  • Keep plumbing fixtures clean, sanitary, and in repair.

  • Use and operate in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators.

  • Not destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the premises or property belonging to the landlord nor permit any person to do so.

  • Conduct himself or herself, and require other persons on the premises with his or her consent, to conduct themselves, in a manner that does not unreasonably disturb the tenant’s neighbors or constitute a breach of the peace.

  • Establish the rules of residence that can help determine the validity of your conduct while on the premises of the property

  • Determine the rules of guests on property, length of their visitation and time period of their return to the property for continued visitation

  • Understand your responsibility for the utility services and coordinate with tenant management for the utility bill (if applicable) 

  • Follow the rules for smoking and nonsmoking rooms or you can be subjected to a formal warning or a notice of eviction due to breaking the tenancy contract

  • Follow the rules for pets in the apartment or you can be subjected for a formal warning or a notice of eviction due to breaking the tenancy contract 

In these instances, we understand the various rules of tenancy and the legitimate process of apartment management services.