Can my eviction case be settled through mediation?

When a California landlord is seeking an eviction of a tenant and the tenant gets the eviction notice, the concerns can be overwhelming. A dispute that has escalated to the point that the landlord and tenant are butting heads might be viewed as needing a judge or jury to settle it. However, there are times when mediation might be preferable. Even if the sides have a trial date, there is a chance that mediation can settle the matter to the satisfaction of all involved and avoid the need to go to court.

With mediation, the sides negotiate and try to come to an agreement. If they are unable to do so, then they can still go to court. There is no downside to at least trying to settle the matter via mediation. Often, a disagreement between a landlord and a tenant is a simple misunderstanding. It could be due to many issues such as repair work, rent, a security deposit, or something less serious. A disagreement can quickly rise in tension until one side is not listening to the other.

With mediation, a calm setting might iron out the disagreement. It can also save time and money. Through mediation, the landlord and tenant can negotiate on their own or they can have a neutral mediator listen to the issues and assist. With mediation, there is an absence of hostility and rancor that is often present when going to court.

If there is a battle between a landlord and a tenant and an eviction notice has been issued, the common belief is that the situation has reached the point of no return. However, it is always possible to agree to a settlement and either part ways or continue with the relationship with both sides satisfied. Speaking to an attorney who is experienced with eviction can help to decide if mediation can help and provide representation if it cannot and the case must go to court.

Source: courts.ca.gov, "Mediation and Settlement in Eviction Cases: Resolving the Dispute Without a Trial," accessed on June 13, 2017

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