Business Insider Interviews Pullman & Comley’s ADR Practice Chair on Rent-Dispute Compromises
Business Insider recently interviewed Robert L. Holzberg, retired Connecticut Superior Court Judge and leader of the Alternative Dispute Resolution practice at Pullman & Comley, for an article on how landlords and tenants can amicably reach rent-dispute compromises during these pandemic times.
The story was inspired by a mock virtual mediation video created by Pullman & Comley, and by the fact that about one-third of small businesses are struggling with rent payments and finding themselves in arrears. Holzberg offered three helpful tips to both landlords and tenants involved in this type of situation.
The first is to be prepared to compromise. "Both sides need to take a hardheaded, cold-eyed view of their case, and understand what their needs are, and what their realistic expectations can and should be,” Holzberg says.“ If either side is looking for a winner-take-all solution, it’s simply not going to work.”
Holzberg’s second piece of advice is to understand the landlord’s obligations. “The goal is to try to find some area of compromise in which both the landlord and the tenant can at least satisfy some of their basic needs at the moment," Holzberg says. “If the demands at the beginning of the mediation are polarizing, which they often are, then that can create certain bumps in the mediation process.” As the story points out, landlords rely on rent not only for income but also for their own mortgage payments.
The third bit of guidance Holzberg shared was to consider involving a private mediator. It could bring about a resolution much quicker than a court system operating with significant backlogs, and it also could save money in the long run.
Business Insider subscribers can read the full interview.
Pullman & Comley’s mock mediation video is also linked in this more general Business Insider article about how businesses are surviving the pandemic.