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 More legal aid for tenants facing eviction - proposals unveiled

The government is proposing that tenants facing eviction receive additional legal assistance through an enhancement of the current free ‘on-the-day’ law advice given by the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme.

A statement from the Ministry of Justice says that the HPCDS’ vital role means “the continuation of the service is of paramount importance”. 

The MoJ, in a consultation process which finishes in the New Year, proposes that changes to the HPCDS are made as follows:


- to remodel and rebrand it to become a new Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service (HLPAS), incorporating both the existing service of advice and representation at court but also early legal advice before court;

- expanding the scope of legal aid so that HLPAS providers can offer early legal advice on social welfare law matters to individuals facing procession proceedings;

- contracts for individual courts rather than larger geographical areas;

- allowing providers to claim for the court duty fee in addition to a Legal Help fee for follow on work;

- introducing a set attendance fee for all schemes, replacing the existing nil session payment.


This is a follow up to an earlier consultation made prior to the pandemic - that process was scrapped because possession proceedings changed dramatically during Covid.

You can see and comment on the new consultation here.

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    Any legal aid for landlords? Mmmmm..

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    it means more money for lawyers


    And they know how to milk the system

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    More tax payers money going to scroungers and wasters.


    I do think that's a bit strong Robert calling lawyers and solicitors scroungers and wasters, greedy parasites certainly .



    Only the scroungers element was aimed at the legal aid funded lawyers with their rent dodging clients being the wasters!

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    Extending the duty solicitor scheme is not all bad. I do a lot of evictions always for none payment of rent. I find the court duty solicitor system beneficial if can get my tenants to use them as it speeds up the eviction process. I get the duty solicitor to do all the talking, the judge rarely questions what the duty solicitor says and I get my possession order. Judges until they get to know me are often very suspicious of landlords and do not like me representing myself.

    The only drawback is I have to agree to a suspended possession order (I only get possession if the tenant fails to pay the rent going forward and a nominal amount towards the arrears) which the tenants never complies with and as soon as they default i apply for the bailiffs if the tenant has not left.

    The problem is where the tenant defends themselves the judges usually adjourns the hearing if the tenant comes up with any defence or says their lawyer cannot make the hearing. No proof is required all the tenants has to do is make an allegation and the judge adjournes the hearing which gives the tenant another six to eight weeks occupation and they are never paying during this period. The streetwise tenants do the same again and gets another adjournment and so on!

    By the tenant using the duty solicitors it prevents spurious defences providing I agree to a suspended possession order and to put right what the tenant is complaining about, if they are, which is often the first I have heard about it. For example the tenant alleges his 'cooker has not worked for years and made numerous complaints,' this is why he has not been paying his rent. We have never heard about his cooker not working, usually the tenant has said there has been no problems and promised to pay the rent a number of times but failed to do so that's why I am evicting them.

    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO Daddy

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    I haven’t been blogging for a while because no one taking a bit of notice of what we say taking up my time although I usually read the comments. This morning is something else regarding Duty Court Solicitor free for Tenant. Those guys could be very high ranking standing-in for the day, never mind representing yourself even with your own legal person, the Duty Solicitor will wipe the floor with them. Stop all this nonsense time wasting and costs we don’t want to be anywhere near a Court we have a business to run. We have more than enough to deal with already with over Regulated. Council requirements, licensing, mees etc. just re-instate Section 21 to do the job it was
    supposed to do before being nobbled.


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