An alternative to formal litigation in court is the use of a mediator to resolve landlord/tenant disputes. Mediators are appointed by the Human Rights and Fair Housing Commission - external link and are trained in landlord/tenant law.
The Pacific McGeorge Housing Mediation Center (HMC) - external link also provides free housing mediation services for landlord/tenant disputes involving eviction notices where at least one party qualifies for pro bono representation.
The purpose of mediation is to assist parties in finding a mutually agreeable solution, and then assist them in writing the terms of the agreement as an enforceable contract. The landlord and tenant must mutually agree to mediation, and the formal rules of court do not apply to the mediation process. Parties may contact the Mediator's Office or the Pacific McGeorge Housing Mediation Center to make arrangements for mediation before the court hears their case. Alternatively, the court will give parties an opportunity to meet with a mediator at the time of trial.
The advantages of mediation include:
- instead of a judge, you decide the outcome of your case.
- you can discuss many issues that may not be admitted in court.