THE HOUSING AND PUBLIC LAW TEAM
OUR HOUSING TEAM
Our Housing Team is proud to be rated “Excellent” by the Legal Aid Agency. We are ranked in the third highest rank in the 2017 edition of the Legal 500 and are described as having an extremely strong and impressive reputation for providing high-quality advice. We act for homeless applicants, tenants and other residential occupiers. We will work with you to identify and achieve the best solution in your circumstances. Most of our clients are eligible for legal aid, but if you are not, we will discuss different ways in which your case may be funded.
The Housing team is led by our Head of Department Rebecca Bahar, consultant Alan Russell and solicitor Poppy Bourke. The department is supported by trainee solicitors Reema Khosla and Gillian Wildgoose.
Our dedicated staff work closely with groups that campaign to protect rights for tenants, safeguard the legal aid system and enable access to justice. We work actively with local advice agencies, and provide advice and assistance to vulnerable individuals seeking help through other local organisations.
HOW WE CAN HELP
We have a wide range of experience in a number of areas, including:
Landlords have a responsibility in law to keep the structure of your building in repair and make sure that heating, hot and cold water, gas, electricity and sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and toilets) are working properly. If you have told your landlord about problems and they have not carried out repairs, you may be able to go to court to issue a claim to make sure that repairs are completed and to seek compensation for any losses, inconvenience and distress.
We can also help if your repairs are really urgent and putting you and your family in danger. We will advise you whether to apply for an urgent court injunction, requiring your landlord to make the necessary repairs.
We have considerable experience in helping clients who are facing possession proceedings – as secure or introductory tenants of a local authority, as assured tenants of a housing association, as assured shorthold tenants of private landlords or as protected tenants under the Rent Act. We can help you to understand any claim which has been brought against you and will work with you to resolve the problem and protect your home.
We can help you at any stage of the process, but the earlier you get legal advice the better. It is particularly important for you to get advice as soon as possible if you are a tenant of a local authority or a housing association and you have been in your home less than a year.
We have considerable experience in suspending warrants for eviction and helping clients who are on the point of being made homeless. We will talk to you and see whether we can help you, and advise on the best way to try to keep your home.
We can advise you at any stage of your homelessness application – if the council will not accept your application in the first place, or if it has refused to house you and you want that decision reviewed or appealed. We have extensive experience of county court homelessness appeals and challenges to refusal to provide interim accommodation.
In some cases, you may be able to get compensation for being unlawfully evicted, and we have a track record of getting significant damages for our clients.
FUNDING YOUR CASE
If you are on certain benefits or have a low income you may be entitled to help with your legal costs through legal aid. When you come to see us for advice we will check whether you are eligible for public funding.
If you do not quality for legal aid we may be able to arrange a different way of paying for your case, such as fixed fees. We will be as clear as possible about the costs of your case and what we will charge.
For cases of housing disrepair, we can offer eligible clients a conditional fee agreement (“no win, no fee”). We will talk to you about whether your case is suitable for a no win, no fee agreement and we will explain clearly to you how this works.
If you have a housing matter that we can assist you with, contact us on 020 3207 2074 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.