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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Law Society calls for more Legal Aid help to tenants facing eviction

The legal industry says the end of the eviction ban must be the moment to ensure the widest number of tenants across the country have “access to justice.”

The Law Society of England and Wales says there is a need for wider reform.

“Possession proceedings must be made more workable in anticipation of the huge increase in cases, the established backlog and the difficult circumstances facing landlords and tenants” according to Law Society president Simon Davis

“However, in order to protect vulnerable tenants it is vital that legal advice is available to all tenants.”

He says changes to the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme - processes undertaken for possession - do not go far enough in ensuring all tenants are afforded legal protections. 

And he adds that “Legal Aid deserts persist in Cornwall and Telford” with the industry concerned about the sustainability of the scheme.

Davis continues: “It is unacceptable that, in the face of a pandemic and difficult economic prospects, tenants are being left without representation during possession proceedings.

“The changes to the possessions procedures are a positive step, but they cannot replace legal advice in achieving access to justice. More needs to be done by government departments to support tenants at this time, to prevent them losing their homes and to stop an increase in homelessness

“They will also have a limited impact where mandatory evictions, such as section 21s, remain available to landlords. Allowing judicial discretion in all current possession proceedings will help to reduce homelessness and encourage better relationships between tenants and landlords. This must be considered if these changes are going to have the intended impact.”

Poll: Do you believe more tenants should get Legal Aid to fight evictions?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

  • icon

    Yes, there are starving lawyers who need taxpayers’ help. We must keep them in employment.

  • James B

    And their motivated not by the fees at all

  • jeremy clarke

    Why would there be any need to defend a tenant who hasn't paid their rent or a tenant where the landlord wants his own property back? Sounds like a money spinning scheme for lawyers to me!

  • icon

    Hey great idea!! Why not forget the legal aid and do it for free, as landlords we are expected to house them for free so lawyers can defend them for free if they feel so strongly about it. What no takers????

  • icon

    Spot on Leon Coy! I second your motion.
    Lawyers should be allowed to fight for Free from personal-not LLP of their Business accounts to defend the tenants & landlords.
    Then it’s a fair Justice for All - The Landlords, Taxpayers & Tenants.

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