Landlord-Tenant Mediation Board
The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Board was established by the City Council in 1981 to offer voluntary mediation services to the tenant-landlord community. Those services were extended on May 20, 1987 by Title 15.09 of the Culver City Municipal Code to provide mandatory “good faith” mediation of rental disputes relating to rent increases in Culver City.
Purpose and Objective of the Landlord-Tenant Mediation Board
1. To build and strengthen communications between tenants and landlords.
2. To reduce tensions in the rental housing market by providing a means for tenants and landlords to resolve disputes related to rent raises.
3. To educate the rental community about tenant and landlord relationships and the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords.
The Culver City Landlord-Tenant Mediation Board consists of nine members: three tenant representatives, three landlord representatives, and three member-at-large representatives.
All Board members are selected and approved by the City Council. They receive professional training in mediation and arbitration.
If a tenant is notified of a rent increase the tenant feels is excessive, he/she may file a request for mediation through the Housing Programs Office.
Under Title 15.09, if a tenant files a request for mediation within 15 days of receipt of a notice of increase, the landlord must attend a mediation session in “good faith” before the rent increase effectively raises the rent.
Participants in the mediation session will be the tenant, the landlord or his/her duly authorized representative, and a three-member panel of mediators from the Board. Together, they will discuss the rent related dispute in order to reach a resolution of the issue.
Mandatory mediation does not require an agreement be reached, only that the matter be discussed in “good faith.”
If the landlord refuses to participate in “good faith” mediation and then seeks to evict the tenant for non-payment of the new rent amount, the tenant may use the landlord’s refusal to participate in the mediation process as a legal defense in court. The tenant must continue to pay the unraised rent amount.
Mandatory mediation does not apply to single-family homes, condominium units and properties containing less than two rental units.
If a tenant files a request for mediation after the 15-day filing period, the liaison will contact the landlord, and if the landlord agrees, a voluntary mediation session will be scheduled.
With the consent of both parties, arbitration services are also available.
Mediation – A process that provides for the intervention of an impartial third party who assists conflicting parties in reaching a mutually acceptable settlement of their differences.
Arbitration – A process whereby all parties agree to submit their disputes to an impartial third party who is empowered to render a final and binding decision based on the facts and evidence presented by the parties.
There is no charge for mediation/arbitration services through the Landlord-Tenant Mediation Board.
ALL PROCEEDINGS OF MEDIATION SESSIONS ARE PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL
If you need additional information or an Application for a Request for Mediation, please contact Tevis Barnes at (310) 253-5780.