Student Accommodation Disputes -Supporting Peer-to-Peer Resolution 

student accommodation disputes

With the fast growing numbers of student accommodation residences being built in the UK University towns and cities, there is inevitably an increased demand for support and effective intervention when students 'fall out' in their living spaces. 

Issues such as who does their share of the washing up, cleaning common areas, playing loud music, respecting others' study needs, sharing bills, and general 'lifestyle difference' conflicts can all arise within shared student accommodation. 

The following is a presentation given to the South West Regional Branch of the Association of Student Residential Accommodation on 9th November 2016 (slides move on every 10 seconds but you can move them on quicker if you use the arrow buttons. Full screen is also available): 

As you will see within the presentation, managing organisations which run student accommodation are faced with various challenges in supporting harmonious and enjoyable living experiences for students in the properties they own and/or manage. 

These include:

  1. Knowing the 'boundaries' to their responsibilities. What are the things a managing agency must take action over and what issues are the responsibilities of residents themselves to resolve? If the boundaries aren't clear there is a risk of getting involved in and thus making more complex, issues that should be effectively resolved via peer-to-peer resolution amongst students themselves.
  2. Once it is clear where the boundaries lie and there is not a responsibility for the managing agent to take action (for example over shared washing up, low level noise that is not deemed 'unreasonable' but is still an issue between residents, shared cleaning of common areas etc.), there is a risk that managing organisational representatives still take actions that keep them involved and thus detract from students resolving their situation 'peer-to-peer'. This can arise simply through the way in which managing staff respond verbally and through their actions to such situations. Whether in ways that expect self-responsibility by students or, instead, 'take over' the problem for them. 
  3. Understanding how the use of language can have a significant impact on which of these outcomes arises is a staff-training issue which can draw upon the skills of mediation and conflict coaching where the mediator is always supporting 'peer to peer' resolution and does not become involved in a dispute themselves. 

Skills that Support Peer-to-Peer Resolution of Student Accommodation disputes

CAOS Conflict Management provides training in mediation skills, conflict coaching skills or can be commissioned to provide shorter bespoke training sessions that introduce successful approaches for supporting peer-to-peer resolution.

All training is experiential and interactive and so attendees get 'hands on' experience of practising these skills so that they can transfer them directly into their everyday working context. 

Please contact us via our enquiry page or telephone us on 020 3371 7507 to discuss your training needs and find out more. 

This is what people say about CAOS training...

"In my 20 years experience as an academic this is the best ‘in-service’ training I have experienced. The quality of the training team’s preparation and the skill with which they conducted the course was impressive."

Dr Meretta Elliott -Senior Lecturer-School of Arts-Brunel University - speaking about a 6-day Mediator training course run by Alan Sharland and colleagues.


"This was not an easy course; the challenges involved in working outside one’s usual mode of operation were considerable, but the upbeat attitude of the trainers and the calm and supportive atmosphere they created meant that I was free to work outside my comfort zone in developing an approach to assisting others deal with their own situations."

Dr Mary Richards - Subject Leader for Drama - Brunel University - also speaking about the Mediator training course.


"This was a very successful workshop, feedback described the day as “fun”, “interesting” and “informative” with a “superb” trainer who had a “very thoughtful approach”. 100% of our attendees said they had enjoyed the course and they would recommend it to colleagues."

Tania Murrell - Business Development Manager, Hillingdon Association of Voluntary Services - speaking about the workshop 'Dealing with Difficult Behaviour' run by Alan Sharland.


Train to be a Mediator with CAOS Conflict Management:


"Alan provided excellent training for mediators at Common Ground Mediation which was challenging but also thoroughly enjoyable.

He led us through various interactive exercises to help us reflect on the mediator's role and impartiality. I would highly recommend Alan as a trainer for mediators."

Morag Steven - Director of Common Ground Mediation, Edinburgh, Scotland.


Here's a Handbook to help you practise more effective communication and to review and improve how you are responding to unresolved conflict:

The CAOS Conflict Coaching Clients Handbook

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