What is landlord/tenant (LT) mediation?
LT mediation offers parties an opportunity to discuss and, if you choose, resolve your cases with the help of a neutral third-party (a mediator) in a private forum. If the parties reach an agreement, you can file it with the Court and likely will not need to return to court. LT cases eligible for mediation include evictions, noise complaints, unpaid rent, security deposits, property damage/repairs, nonrenewal of leases, etc. As with other court processes after the case is filed, mediation is free to parties.
How do I go to landlord/tenant (LT) mediation?
Currently landlord-tenant mediation is only available if the case originates in Concord Circuit Court or Claremont Circuit Court. As long as mediation times are available, the court will automatically schedule the case for landlord/tenant mediation once the tenant files an appearance.
Do I have to go through mediation?
Participation in mediation is voluntary. While some landlord/tenant cases are automatically scheduled for mediation, if you do not wish to mediate, you can complete a landlord-tenant mediation opt-out form, file it in court, and serve a copy on the other party. You are also not required to settle and can end mediation at any time. If you do not want to try mediation or do not settle, you will have a hearing on your case.
Who is the mediator and what do they do?
A mediator is a neutral third party who meets with you and ensures each party has an opportunity to raise concerns and be heard. Though some mediators are attorneys, they will not offer legal advice. Rather, mediators facilitate discussions between parties and help promote a problem-solving atmosphere. LT mediators are contracted through the New Hampshire Judicial Branch and are highly qualified professionals with extensive training in landlord/tenant law, conflict resolution, communication skills, and ethics.
What does mediation look like?
In mediation, you will call into a private, confidential conference line. At the start of a mediation session, the mediator will explain the process and answer any questions raised. The mediator will ask each party to share your views and describe what you would like to have happen. The mediator will then explore ways to resolve the matter that are acceptable to both parties. If an agreement is reached, it will be put in writing. You may review it with an attorney and sign it later, or sign it at the end of mediation. If you choose to sign it, the agreement will be presented to a judge who will review it and, if acceptable, approve the agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached between parties, the Court will schedule you for a hearing.
Agreements in mediation can often be more flexible, and parties may discover solutions they did not know were available. Additionally, unless otherwise agreed upon by both parties, mediation is confidential and cannot be shared with the Court. This means that not even the judge can know what was discussed during mediation.
How long should I expect mediation to take?
Most cases are resolved within 30 minutes.
How much does mediation cost?
There is no additional cost for mediation. Mediators are compensated by the Judicial Branch Office of Mediation and Arbitration.
The cost of filing a landlord/tenant claim in Court is $125.00. Additionally, the cost of the form, known as a writ, in which the claim is filed on is $1.00.
I still have some questions. Where can I find more information about landlord tenant issues?
Additionally, for more information concerning the mediation process, call: 1-855-212-1234 if inside the US or Canada. Callers from outside the US or Canada must use the Circuit Court’s toll number: 603-223-0392.
For further information regarding tenant rights, see the New Hampshire Legal Aid website: https://nhlegalaid.org/self-help-guides/housing/evictions
For further information regarding landlord rights, see the Department of Justice website: https://www.doj.nh.gov/consumer/sourcebook/renting.htm