Dispute resolution options

There are three options available to landlords, tenants and third parties for resolving disputes.

If you are landlord or tenantin dispute, or are a third party, there are three options available to resolve the dispute:

  • Self resolution
  • Mediation
  • Adjudication

Self-resolution

If a dispute does arise, landlords and tenants are encouraged to try and resolve it immediately through open and fair communication as it is usually quicker, more cost effective and often less stressful. The key is at the start of the tenancy be clear about each other's rights and responsibilities.

Where possible, if a problem arises, discuss it promptly. Always keep lines of communication open, listen to what the other party has to say, and address the complaint in a timely manner. It is important that both the landlord and the tenants know their rights and carry out their responsibilities. It is important to make any requests in writing and keep records of all communication. If you are unable to resolve the issue or are unsure about the options available, contact the RTB.

Free Mediation 

Mediation is a free service provided by the RTB to tenants and landlords who have an issue with their tenancy.

The aim of mediation is to give landlords and tenants a shared understanding of the issue so they can work towards reaching a mutually satisfactory outcome and agreement. The mediation process is not based on examining evidence or determining who is right or wrong, but rather how parties can resolve the issue by working together.  It is confidential and the outcomes are not published on the RTB website.

Telephone mediation is a simple, convenient and efficient option for resolving issues. It is available at a time that is convenient to both parties. An independent and trained mediator will work with each party separately to reach a mutually acceptable agreement in a short period of time.  As a result, most disputes are resolved quickly and without hassle. 

If neither party withdraws from the agreement reached during mediation in the 10 day 'cooling off’ appeal period, the agreement will form the basis for a binding Determination Order. This gives the outcome of a case and sets out both the terms to be complied with and timescale for compliance.

If a mediation is not successful, one or both parties can apply to have the dispute dealt with by a Tenancy Tribunal. 

Adjudication

At adjudication, both parties present their evidence to an independent adjudicator who makes a determination on the issues in dispute. The adjudicators’ decision is called a Determination which is drafted into a legally binding order called a Determination Order. This order is binding on the parties concerned.

RTB adjudication proceedings and the subsequent adjudicator’s report are confidential to the parties. However, the subsequent Determination Order in the case will be published on the RTB website and will list the names of the case parties and the rental property address. 

Apply for Dispute Resolution Service

Click here to apply for Dispute Resolution