Demand for legal aid for tenants dealing with eviction

Demand for legal aid for tenants dealing with eviction

0:03 AM, 27th October 2023, About 8 months ago 14

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An association is demanding the government give more legal aid to tenants facing eviction.

The Law Society warns tenants on low incomes will be unable to afford legal advice if they face eviction.

The association is urging the government to invest in the legal aid system and the courts.

Access to housing legal aid becomes vital

According to the Office of National Statistics, 42% of the population are unable to access a legal aid provider in their local area.

During the second reading of the Renters’ Reform Bill, the government confirmed the delay of Section 21 until it has improved the state of the courts which are currently suffering from significant backlogs.

Law Society president, Nick Emmerson, said: “We welcome the Renters’ Reform Bill and are pleased the government recognises the need to ban ‘no-fault’ evictions.

“However, we remain concerned about the government’s ability to ensure tenants can enforce these newly afforded rights under the bill.”

He added: “With the cost-of-living crisis and high-interest rates, renters may be unable to afford legal advice if they face eviction. For renters at risk of losing their home, access to housing legal aid becomes vital.”

Access justice and are protected when facing eviction

Mr Emerson added the court backlog will only worsen if tenants can not access legal aid.

He continued: “Renters who are unable to access legal aid will be forced to represent themselves which will place additional pressure on the courts and exacerbate court delays.

“We urge the government to invest in both the legal aid system and the courts to ensure renters can access justice and are protected when facing eviction.

“Without immediate investment, the Renters’ Reform Bill’s commitment to progress and reforming the rental market will be in vain.”


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Comments

markyboy

0:42 AM, 27th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Am I missing something?

Surely if I initiate the the legal process to recover my asset for any reason, as agreed with the tenant when they initially rented my property for a fixed term, why should there be any reason for the tenant to renage on this agreement and get public funding to try to prevent my lawful posession of my property ignoring the private, and mutually agreed legal contract we both signed and agreed to.

I did not make any agreement for anybody to have a SRS style contract for any of my properties, so nobody should try to enforce SRS conditions on our agreement after both sides agreed the original t&c.

Does this mean my new tenants can only be accepted if there's a clear and definite exit for them, eg international students.

LL Minion

8:32 AM, 27th October 2023, About 8 months ago

public funding can be applied for if the tenant's income and situation warrants it to be APPLIED for (dont forget it is not always given) . You may have a tenant that;s circumstances changed from when the tenancy started meaning they could now apply for help.

There is of course a whole conversation to be had on WHAT legal aid should be used for (which is the bigger quesion here!) and yes I agree, defending something like an eviction due to rent arrears/similar where the person broke the contractual agreement with the supplier. should not be the case.

Trouble is a supplier of a house for rental is NEVER seen as purely a contracted supplier . Housing has been made too political for that now - we are the bogyemen!

Old Mrs Landlord

10:28 AM, 27th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to Markyboy: yes, you are missing the fact that Mr Emerson is talking about conditions under the provisions of the R(R)B which, once it is enacted, will bring an end to fixed term tenancies, making them all periodic. He, on the other hand, seems to be missing the latest help for tenants, giving them recourse to free legal representation and advice from the moment an eviction notice is served. Or am I missing something?

Reluctant Landlord

11:27 AM, 27th October 2023, About 8 months ago

what is the actual deal with Legal Aid when it comes to possession claims anyway?
It can't surely be available for every low income tenant when given a S8 now is it?

As there is an ability to defend a S8 is it immediately granted and only then the tenant is assessed to see if circumstances warrant a certificate being issued? Its always been a mystery to me how it is applied for, how it can be granted etc.. anyone out there able to shed some light on this please?

Blodwyn

13:27 PM, 27th October 2023, About 8 months ago

The new President of the Law Society is, according to the published info at his election, a specialist in international capital markets transactions and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Fluent in Japanese. Ergo, renters' friend? Nobody can know who or what may have put the Legal Aid stuff in his mouth unless they unmask themselves. How about equal help for the (some are) really poor private landlord whose main income is rent and state pension?
Mr President, may I suggest you speak for ALL under the law, please may we all have equality of arms and equal access to justice, as envisaged by Lord (Harry) Woolf whose invited reforms have been rubbished by every government since he offered them? .

Paul Essex

14:06 PM, 27th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Let me correct the title.

Solicitors demand to stick their nose in the trough.

Tenants never actually win, they will still be evicted just causes everyone more stress. The only winners are the legal profession and the so called charities.

Old Mrs Landlord

14:12 PM, 27th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reluctant Landlord I would suggest your first port of call should be Shelter's website as they provide advice to tenants on how to stave off or at least delay eviction..

LaLo

17:40 PM, 27th October 2023, About 8 months ago

The authorities aren’t soft. If the cost of legal aid should work out cheaper than the overall cost of rehousing a tenant then there’s a good chance it’ll happen. Choked up courts are a godsend for the authorities as it delays the problem and by that time Labour’ might be in = 3 year contracts, £100,000 fines and more! Take a look at their manifesto pages 14 - 15.

Michael Booth

8:11 AM, 28th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by markyboy at 27/10/2023 - 00:42
System is designed to inconvenience landlords has much has they can and give the solicitors another nice little earner under the guise of wanting to help.tenants.

Paddy O'Dawes

10:31 AM, 28th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Booth at 28/10/2023 - 08:11
I think you over estimate how much legal aid will provide to solicitors in terms of funding. I doubt anyone wanting to earn a living would like to take on legal aid cases, that is if you can find a practice which facilitates legal aid. Alternatively the non legal aid private solicitors LLs will require to rebuff will not be cheap. Again this is not a method of providing equality of arms its a financial disincentive to engage in any form of proceedings. The bigger concern would be if there are suddenly DBA and CFA industries setting up shop in the legal profession to address this. If there was ever a time to ensure your legal insurance s up to date and you understand all the fine print...

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