03 December 2008
A: As a general rule, mediation is a voluntary process in which the parties voluntarily discuss resolution of issues, with no requirement that an agreement be reached. Pasadena has developed a required mediation process in which landlords and tenants must participate in a city sponsored mediation program. If a landlord refuses to participate, then the tenant can then raise the non-participation as a defense in a legal action. Not all matters are subject to mandatory mediation;a breach of a rental agreement such as non payment of rent, or unauthorized subletting, or the tenant’s failure to vacate after serving a termination notice are not subject to mandatory mediation. Rent increases, complaints relating to the condition of the rental premises, security deposit disputes, and claims of retaliatory or wrongful termination would be subject to mediation in Pasadena. Remember, you are obligated to participate in mediation in Pasadena, but you do not have to reach an agreement unless you choose to.