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Mediating Establishment and Neighborhood Disputes (MEND) NYC

MEND logo

MEND NYC is a new citywide initiative that provides free mediation and conflict resolution services to address a number of neighborhood disputes that impact New Yorkers every day. This program is an opportunity to create direct communication and compromise, establishing respectful and ongoing relationships that help New Yorkers co-exist peacefully in their communities while ensuring that small businesses thrive.

MEND NYC helps New Yorkers address issues in their neighborhood that may include:

  • Quality-of-life issues between residents and businesses
  • Negotiation between commercial tenants and landlords
  • Neighboring business to business misunderstandings

Read about MEND NYC and some positive outcomes that have been reached in cases similar to yours in this Op-Ed. Sit down and work through that disagreement, New York, New York Daily News, April 8, 2021

Watch a video about MEND NYC. In the video you will hear from a local business owner and a neighbor who lives upstairs from his restaurant. After the neighbor contacted MEND NYC about noise from the business, they were able to solve the issue together using mediation.

Quality of Life Concerns between Residents and Neighboring Businesses

Your conflict may be MENDable:

  • If you are a New York City resident experiencing a chronic or urgent quality-of-life issue such as excessive noise, trash, crowds and you believe the issue is related to a neighboring business; or
  • If you are a small business that is experiencing a heavy volume of complaints from a neighboring resident

In all cases, both parties in the conflict must be willing to enter a discussion with one another and a mediator in order for the conflict to be MENDable.

Communication Between Small Businesses and Landlords

If you are a small business or a commercial landlord and you are experiencing a conflict or a failure to communicate, you may want to use free mediation services provided by MEND NYC to start a dialogue with the other party in order to come to a creative solution that is mutually beneficial for both of you.

Types of cases that are MENDable include those where a landlord and a small business commercial tenant is looking for a free option to help them start a dialogue with the other party before lawyers are engaged. Types of conflicts that can benefit from mediation include, but are not limited to:

  • How to resolve past due rent (rent arrears);
  • How to proceed with rent payments going forward; and
  • How to get out of lease terms (e.g. length of lease).

Business owners should also be aware that the NYC Department of Small Business Services administers the Commercial Lease Assistance Program, which provides free legal services to eligible businesses. There are certain types of issues that a business may face that can be solved through mediation, and without lawyers. In these instances, SBS may refer your case to MEND NYC.

Disputes Between Neighboring Businesses

If you are a small business experiencing a conflict or a failure to communicate with your neighboring business—whether it be about crowds, garbage, or use of space—and you could you a third neutral party to help come to an understanding, MEND NYC can be utilized to help come to a creative solution that is mutually beneficial for both of you.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a constructive conversation between people in conflict facilitated by an impartial third-party professional, a Mediator. It is a voluntary and confidential process that provides participants an opportunity to collaboratively design creative solutions and repair relationships.

Participants, not mediators control the outcome of mediation. Mediators simply help participants communicate their concerns and interests. Mediation is based on the premise that when parties are able to create their own resolutions to conflict based on their needs and interests, the resolutions tend to be more lasting and satisfactory.

What types of conflict do not qualify for MEND NYC?

  • If the conflict is between two residents, such as neighbors in the same apartment building;
  • If the parties are already engaged in an adversarial or formal litigation process;
  • If the landlord and commercial tenant are already in litigation or court process;
  • If a small business is looking for a review of their commercial lease or seeking other types of legal assistance, then mediation through MEND NYC is not appropriate.

Can MEND NYC help businesses reduce fines and summonses?

Businesses should note that although MEND NYC is a program being administered by OATH's Center for Creative Conflict Resolution, participating in the MEND NYC program does not absolve or clear summonses that may have already been issued as a result of the conflict with your neighbor.

This applies even if the summons was issued as a direct result of a complaint the neighbor made. If you have an upcoming hearing at the OATH Hearings Division, you must still participate in that hearing regardless of your participation in MEND NYC. It also means that if you have unpaid violations, participating in the MEND NYC program does not erase that debt.

What are the benefits of participating in MEND NYC?

While the MEND NYC program is distinct from the hearing process related to summonses issued by the City's inspection agencies, mediation between neighbors to discuss and work toward solutions can help prevent future complaints. If parties can resolve their disputes quickly and directly, it will save everyone, time, frustration and resources.

I received an invitation. Is participation mandatory?

Participation in mediation is voluntary. Both parties must agree to participate. If one of the parties declines the opportunity to participate, the mediation cannot occur.

All mediations at this time are being conducted remotely.

Contact Us

Please fill out this online form to request a MEND mediation or email us at to learn more about whether your case may be MENDable and how to request mediation for your ongoing issue. In your email, please include a phone number where you can be reached.

The Office of Nightlife is a non-enforcement liaison between the City, nightlife industry and community. For education and support to assist with compliance, please contact us at

MEND Forms

MEND Mediation Guidelines
MEND Agreement to Mediate Online

OATH and NYC Nightlife logos

This program is a collaboration between the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings' Center for Creative Conflict Resolution (CCCR) and the Office of Nightlife at the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and was launched in summer 2020.