Tenants facing eviction to get enhanced legal support
Tenants threatened with eviction are set to receive enhanced legal support under new measures proposed by the government.
The Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS) offers free ‘on-the-day’ legal advice to anyone in danger of being evicted from their home or having their property repossessed, regardless of their financial circumstances.
The government is proposing changes to ensure the scheme keeps pace with developments in the wider justice system.
The new measures include improved access to legal aid, advice and legal representation for anyone at risk of losing their home and facing possession proceedings in court.
Justice Minister Wendy Morton said: “Housing repossession and homelessness are two of the most serious civic problems that any person can experience. This ambitious new model will provide greater support for those who rely on it most, while being more financially viable for providers and ensuring long-term sustainability.”
There will now be a three-month consultation on the proposals, which also include:
- contracts for individual courts rather than larger geographical areas
- allowing providers to claim for the HPCDS fee in addition to the follow up Legal Help fee
- introducing a set attendance fee for all schemes, replacing the existing nil session payment
- introducing reasonable costs for travel as part of the competition element of the bid.
A government paper summarising the responses will be published within three months of the closing date of the consultation in January.
Please contact Janice Young or Jonathan Carr if you would like advice about commercial property law or landlord and tenant issues.