Eviction Diversion Mediation for

Landlords

The Pinellas Eviction Diversion Program (“PEDP”) is a newly launched initiative of the Community Law Program designed to assist qualified tenants and landlords who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program has several elements which can assist landlords whose tenants have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

PEDP Services

Eviction Diversion
Helps Prevent Evictions

Landlords Agree

Eviction Diversion Works

Frequently Asked Questions

Saves money:

  • You save the costs associated with filing an eviction case that is likely to become contested (filing fees and attorneys’ fees)
  • You prevent the cost of advertising for a new tenant and making repairs or renovations to prepare the property for a new tenant
  • Your income remains steady without a lapse in rental income while trying to locate a new tenant
  • Mediated agreements, which are voluntary, are much more likely to be honored by both parties

Saves time/minimizes stress:

  • Avoid an eviction action which can take months of your time
  • Avoid time spent working with lawyers to resolve disputes between tenants and devote that time to growing your business
  • No time devoted to preparation for contested hearings
  • Avoids the uncertainty and stress of going before a judge
  • End your case with the certainty that you have an agreement in place

Mediation is a voluntary process, but we ask that landlords approach it with an open mind and a willingness to compromise. We do not require a financial commitment.

If an agreement is reached at mediation in a litigated case, we ask that the landlord agrees to dismiss the eviction action and seal the file if the tenant complies with his/her part of the agreement. There are no other “strings attached” for landlords.

  1. You can call us at (727) 582 – 7475 or reach out through the online portal.
  2. A Staff member will ask you for the name & contact information of your tenant, or alternatively, you can have your tenant reach out directly to us.
  3. An Intake Specialist will conduct an intake interview with your tenant.
  4. If mediation is advisable, we will schedule a remote mediation with one of our Contract Mediators. This mediation typically takes 30 minutes to an hour but can last up to two hours.

Our Staff may ask you for:

  1. Your driver’s license (to prove identity) and verification of settlement authority
  2. A copy of the lease with your tenant
  3. A statement, spreadsheet, or ledger of what your tenants owes to you and why they owe it
  4. A W-9 form (for rental assistance payments)

Mediation is a non-adversarial process in which a certified mediator speaks with both parties, listens to their concerns, and endeavors to negotiate an agreement between them. The mediator will clarify the issues, identify areas of agreement, and help develop possible solutions. The mediator is not on anyone’s side and won’t decide who is “right” and who is “wrong.” The mediator will not make a decision on your case, as he/she is not a Judge. Rather, the mediator helps both sides understand each other, brainstorms about solutions, and tries to help the parties reach an agreement to end their dispute.

In most mediations, the landlord and tenant will be in separate “breakout rooms” on Zoom. The mediator will go back and forth between the virtual rooms endeavoring to find common ground with you and your tenant. Mediation is confidential (with certain exceptions), so this means that neither you nor your tenant are to share any communications made during mediation with third parties.

If any agreement is reached, the mediator will generate it, and you and your tenant can sign it. If the case has been filed with the Court, this can be submitted to the Court to end the case. If the case has not yet been filed with the Court, this document becomes a binding contract between you and your tenant.

You will receive a Mediation Intake Form and Agreement to Mediation to complete. Please complete these forms and return to our office via email 24-48 hours before your mediation. These forms will ask you for a complete copy of the lease, a ledger of unpaid rent, and a statement of other issues you may be experiencing with your tenant. Please think ahead about possibilities for the resolution of your contested issues. The more prepared you are in advance, the easier and faster your mediation will be!

If an agreement is not reached at mediation, either party may pursue remedies available to them under the law. It is advisable for both parties to obtain advice from an attorney as to their rights under Florida law.

We encourage active negotiation even if mediation is not successful. You can negotiate an agreement up to the point of going to court, and even after going to court. An agreement can be reached at any point and you can always end your case amicably.