Does Mediation Work For Property Disputes?

Property disputes between neighbors can get very heated. You're dealing with your home, and if it's gotten to the point that there's a dispute, there are usually other conflicts with your neighbors. This means that mediation might actually be the perfect resolution for your situation.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an informal dispute resolution process. It's a negotiation but with the help of a mediator. The mediator is a neutral person who doesn't have anything to do with the case. Their job is to help facilitate discussions so you can hopefully come to an agreement with your neighbor. If you reach an agreement, you can sign paperwork to make it legally binding. If you can't reach an agreement, you can still exercise your original options, like going to court.

What Does Mediation Do?

The purpose of mediation is to find a solution that everyone is happy with. Mediation doesn't end with a winner or a loser. For example, say your neighbor's shed is a little over your property line. Your neighbor might disagree about where the property line is even if you had a survey done. You might not even care that much about the shed except that you don't want to lose your property rights through adverse possession. Your neighbor might think you could be right but not want to admit it because they don't want to have to pay to move or rebuild the shed. The mediator's job is to find out what you really care about so you're not stuck arguing back and forth about whether the shed is in the right spot. They might suggest something like signing an agreement that a neighbor can rent that small space on your property for a small amount until it's time for them to replace the shed because it's old or they need a bigger one.

How Does Mediation Solve Conflicts?

Conflict resolution is the most important part of mediation. Mediation doesn't create any legal agreements you couldn't reach on your own. Instead, the mediator is trained to get through any conflicts that are holding up the agreement. For example, in a property dispute, your neighbor might act belligerently when you try to talk to them, and you might not respond well. Both parties might bring up other problems like barking dogs or where you park your cars. The mediator will either help you work through those issues or convince you to set them aside so you can address the real problem.

For more information, contact a conflict mediation service in your area.