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Lessor Mediation Action: to faciliate relations between lanlords and tenants

Summary : In the department of Rhone, some actors in the energy and housing sectors have launched a "research action" concerning mediation between private landlord lessors and their tenants in energy poverty. The program aims to evaluate if this accompaniment encourages the lessors to engage in work on the properties.

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  • Start date : From January 2013 to December 2014
  • Budget : 84000 €
  • Source and details on funding : ANA, in their capacity as a partner of PUCA, in the PREBAT framework




Editorial committee

  • Date of proofreading :  26/05/2014
Opinion of the Committee : Innovative ! Should be generalized !
Solution(s) : Fuel poverty
Country :  France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Stature of the programme :  Local
Participant :  Association, ONG
  • Beneficiaries :  Universal
  • Domain :  Housing, Energy

Reports collected as part of the RESOLIS programme « Energy Poverty »

Copyright: Licence Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ )
To reference a document published by RESOLIS : Solène Bihan Muriel Fusy et , « Lessor Mediation Action: to faciliate relations between lanlords and tenants », **Journal RESOLIS** (2014)

Background to the programme

This project is the winner of an appeal from the PREBAT project. It was born to respond to a recurring and obstructive problem in the help to set up energy renovation work: the tenants are in energy poverty in their property as the power to decide belongs to the landlord for whom renovation work is not always the priority.

Objectives of the programme

Specific objective: to create tools for mediating between the occupying tenants of the property and their private landlords to enable the facilitation of the implementation of energy renovation work and ensuring the maintenance of an accessible rent for the tenant.
General objective: to influence legislators so that they take this problem into account and develop the law in this sense (for example the courtesy order).

Implemented actions

- On site: 40 home visits to carry out an energy diagnosis which must take into account the state of the relationship between the landlords and the tenants.
- Reflection on concrete cases: analysis of 10 cases in which mediation has been attempted and evaluation of the results and external factors (example: influence of the network of the landlord).

Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions

December 2013: 15 diagnosis already launched out of a panel of 17 homes.
- State of the properties: very few examples of indecency or insalubrity, very few with a DPE (Diagnosis of Energy Performance) in place. In the majority of situations it was those that had escaped the normal spotting procedure.
- Analysis: Identification of 5 profiles of lessors who do not have the same interests, categorisation of different types of conflict and solutions provided.

Original characteristics

This program is original as it takes on a problem for which there are currently few solutions. The majority of programs and financial aid for the fight against energy poverty concentrate on the occupying tenants or on the stock of public housing. This experiment aims to reintegrate an abandoned section of the public by creating new tools adapted to these specifics.

Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme

It's a concerted program between the energy and social domains which is constructed in partnership with 8 organisations from the region: the Local Energy Agency in the Lyon Area, HESPUL, FAPIL Rhone-Alps (Federation of Associations and Actors for the promotion and Integration through Housing), APIL (Association of Lyon for Integration through Housing) Regie Nouvelle-HH (Housing Agency for social volunteering), ADIL (Departmental Agency of Information on Housing), PACT (Protection, Improvement, Conservation, Transformation of the environment) and OSL (Social Observatory of Lyon) ... Each brought its understanding in its domain (energy, housing, justice, social, sociological, diagnostics...)


Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :

On the position of mediator: a mediator by definition must be neutral which has been difficult for certain associations implicated on account of their commitment values and in defence of the public.
The limits of meditative action: when one of the two parties conducts themselves in bad faith, the mediation can not bear fruit and the only solution left is the courts.
Indicators: it is difficult to find objective and concrete indicators that can be used to support the need to undertake renovation work or to define a relationship of inter-subjectivity between the landlord and the tenant.

Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :

On the position of the mediator: in certain cases the term "counsellor" has been preferred by the associative actors.
On the limits of mediation: to remove the greatest amount of possible obstacles and because energy poverty is a multidimensional problem, it has seemed necessary to lead an initiative with 3 levers: an engineering of altruistic work, adapted financial aid and the resolution of landlord/tenant conflicts or the provision of better information.
On the indicators: concrete indicators exist like DPE, the comfortable temperature, the state of deterioration of the property... but which remain at times difficult to enforce when the landlords accuse the tenants of mistreating the property.

Suggestions for future improvement :

The experiment has not finished, it is improving as we learn as we go along from the difficulties faced and by adjusting to the responses and responding to the questions asked: how to improve the understanding of the rights and duties of each person, what are the inciting levers for landlords, in what way can mediation and support encourage the process and lead to subsequent building work?

Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :

As for many other programs, the principal factor of success put forward is the partnership and complementarity of skills of each party.

Ideas for basic or applied research topics, that could be useful to the programme :

We could for example explore the subject of mediation between private landlords/tenants on the angle of social psychology, in the field of applied research or active research.
ALE are already working on other themes with researchers and students from GREPS (a research group in social psychology from the University of Lyon 2).

To know more

Twitter account : https://twitter.com/ALEAggloLyon

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