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Pre-Trial Mediation for Tenants


Tenant Right Attorney in San Francisco, California


Landlords and tenants both agree to take on certain rights and responsibilities when they enter into a tenancy agreement. Landlords are expected to comply with landlord-tenant laws. On the other hand, tenants must obey the tenancy rules mentioned on the lease or rental agreement. Failure to do so may lead to landlord-tenant disputes. Maintaining effective communication between the two parties is the easiest way to avoid the most common disputes. Many factors could contribute to landlord-tenant disputes. Non-payment of rent, repair issues, and potential eviction are some of the legal issues we want to avoid. There may be disagreements, but these are best handled outside of court. In most cases, disputes between the landlord and the tenant can be resolved through mediation. Credible San Francisco tenant right lawyers can help you understand how mediation works in solving landlord-tenant disputes.

Experienced Tenant Rights Attorney You Can Trust

At Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, P.C., our tenant right lawyers have been providing legal assistance in handling landlord-tenant disputes and other real estate law issues for decades. Whether you are a tenant, rental apartment owner, landlord, or property manager, we will provide legal support in resolving your landlord-tenant issues and real estate concerns. Our legal team works diligently to protect legal rights and achieve the goals of our clients.

Schedule a consultation with our San Francisco landlord-tenant dispute lawyer today!

What is Mediation?

If a landlord and tenant have a dispute, both parties must communicate about the situation and try to work out a solution that both sides can live with. If you’re unsuccessful in negotiating a settlement with your landlord, consider mediation by a neutral, third-party mediator. Both negotiation and mediation will be cheaper and less stressful than a lawsuit. A reliable tenant right lawyer in San Francisco can help you determine the best solution for your landlord-tenant dispute.

Mediation is a way for landlords and tenants to solve a legal problem without going to trial. It usually occurs after a court case is filed, but it can also happen before a court case begins. The mediator is trained to look at how both sides see the case to help them come up with an effective solution.

What is the Role of a Mediator?

The mediators are neutral parties. They are trained by the court to help people reach agreements in compliance with the landlord-tenant law. At the beginning of the mediation, the mediator will explain how the mediation process works. The mediator usually writes down whatever agreement you reach. The mediator cannot be a witness for your case or give you professional legal advice. In this case, our competent San Francisco tenant right lawyers at Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, P.C. can provide the legal assistance that you need in solving your landlord and tenant disputes.

Mediators have no power to impose a decision. However, they help the parties work out a mutually acceptable solution to their dispute. Whether you decide to agree and how you agree, depends on your choice.

How Does Mediation Work?

Mediation in landlord-tenant disputes is fairly informal. By agreeing to mediate a dispute in the first place, you and the landlord implicitly agree to solve legal problems on your own. At mediation, both parties have an opportunity to tell their side of the story. The mediator helps the landlord and tenant reach an acceptable agreement. A settlement agreement states what each party will do to resolve their dispute.

When preparing for mediation, both parties must prepare the necessary paperwork and documentation related to their dispute. The mediator acts as a go-between for the parties, explaining concerns, perhaps pointing out strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case, and reviewing the potential results, including certain terms in the agreement. What each party says during mediation is confidential and cannot be used in court against each other.

Some courts have people available to help you meditate on your trial date. If the landlord hasn’t started an eviction court case yet, then you can both write up an agreement and make sure you each understand what to do. Before the trial starts, a mediator can help the tenants and landlords agree about when the tenant will move out, pay the landlord money, or if the landlord will make repairs to the rental property. This can protect the tenant from getting an eviction judgment. On the other hand, if the landlord has started an eviction court case, you should both write up a more formal agreement, called a Stipulation and Order to file with the court.

The landlord and the tenant must attend the mediation. If an agreement is reached, the terms must be put in writing. Both parties must sign and follow this agreement. When a court case is already filed, if any party violates the settlement agreement, the other party may request a hearing from the court. If the parties cannot reach an agreement at mediation, the case can be filed in court or if already filed, will be sent back to the court for a trial where a judge or jury decides the outcome.

There are some situations when negotiation or mediation may not be appropriate. For instance, if your landlord has discriminated against you based on your race, your sex, or some other unlawful reason, it is advisable to file a fair housing complaint or a lawsuit with the help of San Francisco tenant right lawyers.

Call a Reliable and Trusted Tenant Right Lawyer Today!

Mediation is a problem-solving process that requires a thorough discussion of a legal issue, exchange of information, ideas, proposals, and the opportunity to seek creative solutions to the dispute. In mediation, both sides meet with a neutral person who is trained to help people agree. Everyone works together to reach an agreement instead of having the judge make a decision.

Generally, parties do not need legal representation to go to mediation. However, hiring an experienced San Francisco tenant right lawyer at Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners, P.C. can help you ease the burden of resolving the dispute. Our San Francisco real estate law firm will help explain the process, time frame, and costs of the different dispute resolution options available to you. Attorneys and clients should discuss opportunities for the range of possible outcomes, the issues on which the client may have greater or lesser flexibility for settlement, and the minimum terms and conditions the client will accept.

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“The truth is, 99 percent of cases do not go to trial. The two sides eventually come to an agreement and settle. We know this from the thousands of cases we have handled. Therefore, we critically analyze our client’s situation to see if we can help them find an agreement earlier rather than later. The difference will mean enormous savings in time and legal fees.

We will do everything in our power to successfully resolve your landlord-tenant case or real estate dispute in as little time as possible. We have the resources to take on complex real estate cases and the size to keep you from becoming more than just a case file.”

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Steven Adair MacDonald
& Partners, P.C.


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