Homeowners Relax and let us take the strain.
Homeowners Relax and let us take the strain.

How does dispute resolution work?

Struggling to resolve your complaint?

Alternative dispute resolution could be the answer, avoiding legal proceedings, and reducing cost and stress. It’s simpler than you think. And it can be quite quick too. Here’s how it works.

Step 1

Complaint made

Complaint is made against the seller. The seller has 14 days to acknowledge your complaint.

Step 2

Seller responds

Upon receipt of the complaint, the seller has 56 days to either resolve your complaint, request an extension, or advise deadlock is reached and signpost you to an approved ADR provider. Sellers using Dispute Assist can offer our assistance after 28 days.

Step 3


Once a dispute has been raised, Dispute Assist will look to mediate the case informally in the first 7 days.

Step 4


If we cannot resolve the case in the first 7 days, we will move to our formal conciliation stage. We have up to 90 days to resolve/close the dispute. We averaged 4.4 days in 2021. Our goal to work with you both to prevent the need for costly, time-consuming litigation.

Step 5


Once we have resolved, the case will be closed and both parties will receive communications outlining what has been agreed and the timelines involved.

Step 6

Expert determination

If at the end of the process, agreement cannot be reached, at our discretion, we may provide both parties access to our exclusive Expert Determination panel, independent from Dispute Assist, who will hear the case and issue a decision legally binding on both sides.

Through our process, our officers use a range of tools and resources to ensure they, and both parties, have all the information they need in order to reach a sensible outcome. Both parties also have access to our independent contractor network if required, in order to fulfil any remedial works.

To gain a deeper understanding of the array of services we provide, please click the link below. This will provide you with comprehensive insights into the diverse range of solutions we offer.

If you’ve got questions we’ve got answers.
If you’ve got questions we’ve got answers.

Commonly asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers. If you need more information, please call us on 0161 676 0919 or email us below.

Email us
What are your business hours?

We operate Monday - Friday, from 09:00 to 17:00. We are closed on Bank Holidays.

Where is your main office?

We operate a fully remote workforce, with a head office based in Manchester.

How much does ADR cost?

Dispute resolution is often free to consumers, when it involves a company displaying the Dispute Assist badge, or who confirm that we are their providers. 

What is mediation?

Mediation is designed to bring about a mutually agreeable solution between both parties within a speedy time frame. The process is voluntary and is non legally binding on both parties.

What are the main advantages of using dispute resolution?

Both parties can negotiate using an impartial mediator in order to try and resolve the dispute.

It can prevent the dispute being elevated to legal proceedings/court which can be an expensive and lengthy process.

It can prevent further stress, upset and frustration.

ADR is quick so should reduce the time to resolve the dispute.

Who should attend the ADR process?

The company the complaint is against and the customer who has made the complaint. If the customer wishes to have a representative to act on their behalf, they will be required to provide authorisation to do this.

What happens if agreement is made on some issues, but not on others?

It depends on the circumstances as the purpose of mediation is to gain all the necessary information to gain an amicable conclusion between both parties, therefore, neither party can keep adding to their complaint as this can and will frustrate the process.

However, if there are further issues encountered when the contents of the agreement is being carried out, this will need to be reported to the mediator and a new agreement will need to be drafted and signed by both parties.

What is the difference between mediation and conciliation?

In ADR, mediation involves an impartial professional guiding parties towards a mutually agreeable solution through open dialogue, without legal binding. This 'soft' process challenges viewpoints and fosters compromise. At Dispute Assist, our mediators specialise in home improvement and renewable energy disputes, ensuring efficient, industry-focused resolutions.

Conciliation, a more assertive ADR approach, brings parties closer to resolving disputes outside court. An experienced officer proposes potential solutions if parties struggle independently. Dispute Assist excels in this, leveraging our industry-focused ADR Officers to facilitate fair settlements by drawing on their industry expertise.

What happens if my dispute is not resolved?

A couple of choices here. Continue utilising our service where we will escalate your dispute to arbitration or expert determination.

Alternatively, you can progress to the more expensive litigation route.

What is the maximum amount of time that can pass for a dispute to be raised?

6 years.

Is ADR compulsory?

Under the Consumer Rights Act of 2015, traders are required to 'signpost' consumers to an ADR provider in the event of a dispute.

Do we have to prepare anything in advance of using ADR?

Consumers and installers and businesses must provide the dispute resolution officers with evidence.

The officer will ask both parties for this information if required. On some occasions it is not always required if the complaint is something that can be done with just a couple of phone calls.

How long is the process likely to last?

The ADR process has a 90-day resolution time with extensions if necessary and both parties agree.

However, at Dispute Assist our aim is to resolve complaints quickly and fairly and our average dispute resolution time is industry-leading at just 5.6 days.

Will the agreement be binding on both parties?

Any compromise agreement is binding on both parties providing both parties have read, digested, and signed the agreement.

Should the dispute be escalated to arbitration or expert determination, the outcome is legally binding on both parties.

Expert inspections that help you resolve any dispute.
Expert inspections that help you resolve any dispute.

Independent inspections

Do you simply need an independent inspection?

Our services provide unwavering support across diverse situations, ensuring transparency, accuracy, and reliable insights when crucial.

Access our network

Engaging means accessing a tailored framework for claims, legal actions, home projects, or moves. Our commitment remains steadfast.

Clarity and insight

In vital moments, we offer clarity and align offerings with values, providing expertise and empowering insights for confident decisions.

Virtual inspection

£99 (+ VAT)

Quick to arrange

Recorded and file provided

Suitable for minor complaints

Used to validate complaints before going formal

Standard inspection

£300 (+ VAT)

Our most popular inspection

Within 7 working days

Onsite inspection

Digital report supplied

Useful for insurance claims, disputes or evaluating a new property

Expert inspection

From £750 (+ VAT)

Within 14 working days

Onsite inspection

Useful for legal interpretation

Compliant with Section 35 of court procedural rules

If you’ve got questions we’ve got answers.

Find out more



Dive into our latest blogs for valuable industry knowledge and expert perspectives.

Read more


Explore our Careers page for exciting roles and join a dynamic team committed to making a difference. Your journey starts here.

Read more
Get in touch

Get in touch

Let’s Connect! Have questions or want to learn more? Reach out to us today. We’re here to assist you.

Contact us