Landlord/Tenant Mediation – Success Story
By Veronica Hyde, Fair Housing/Mediation Coordinator
On October 1st 2007, a participant came into the Landlord/Tenant Mediation Office at Lima Allen Council on Community Affairs (LACCA) office seeking to mediate a dispute between her landlord and herself. The participant explained that she received an eviction notice after requesting the replacement of her fuse box. The participant explained that she usually paid her rent on the date that her SSI check was received. The woman said the check happened to come in on a Monday after the 1st, which fell on a day that the owner’s office was closed. The participant said the owner always accepted her rent on the date that her check came in. She felt as if the owner was retaliating against her for the repair work. The participant said her landlord ended up replacing the fuse box and re-running some of the wiring in the house. The participant explained that the old fuse box could not hold the wattage needed to run she and her roommate’s oxygen tanks. The participant explained that she and her roommate have been renting the house for one year. Both women have been diagnosed with terminal diseases. The participant said it was both of their dying wishes to live the remainder of their lives in this home, and die together as friends. The staff at LACCA explained the Fair Housing Law to the participant, and informed her that she could file a complaint under the protected class of handicap. The woman said she was not strong enough to go through the process of filing a complaint and following through with the investigation. The woman preferred to mediate the dispute. LACCA staff contacted the woman’s Landlord and explained her concerns. Staff informed the landlord about the Fair Housing Law. The Landlord said he thought the power kept shutting off due to a tanning bed in the house. The owner was not aware of the oxygen tank needs. The owner agreed to settle the dispute by the signing of a Conciliation Agreement.. The owner agreed to terminate the eviction without penalty, and accept the tenant’s rent. Both parties were satisfied with the results. Since this dispute settlement, the owner has called our office two times to request dispute resolutions with other tenant’s.