A Southwark eviction gone very wrong

A man has succeeded in his claim that Southwark Council acted unfairly, negligently and unlawfully by conspiring to evict him and covering it up with a series of lies after his eviction. All of his belongings were removed and destroyed, and he ended up being street homeless for over a year.

The man was a tenant in Peckham for 23 years and had been in rent arrears. The Council had obtained a Possession Order in 2006 and wanted to enforce this by obtaining a bailiff’s Warrant. Because the Order was over six years old, the Council should have applied for permission from a Judge to evict the tenant. However, this was not done and the Court office simply issued a Warrant for the tenant’s eviction.

The Court concluded that the Council had failed to follow its own procedures relating to evictions and storing and disposing of belongings. Officers in the Council had decided to evict the tenant at all costs, whether lawfully or not, and they knew, or ignored the fact that all of the tenant’s belongings were going to be destroyed.

This was an extraordinary case with unusual circumstances. If your landlord has applied for a Warrant to evict you, you may be able to apply to Court to stop or delay the eviction and it is not late to take action. There are certain things that your landlord must do in order to lawfully evict you, especially if your landlord is a local authority or housing association.  Please contact us to see if we can assist you.


LONDON SOUTH BANK UNIVERSITY in partnership with Philcox Gray, Wainwright & Cummins, Anthony Gold and Hanne & Co

Drastic cuts to legal aid mean there is an ever increasing demand for free high quality social welfare law advice. So the innovative London South Bank University Legal Advice Clinic (LAC) is a vital new resource for the residents of one of London’s most deprived boroughs. What is innovative about the project is that it’s a drop-in face-to-face service. That’s great for clients who can get the advice they need immediately, and it’s great for students who are plunged straight into the advice process – always under the close supervision of university-employed solicitors or shadowing local solicitors at specialist evening advice sessions. Philcox Gray, the first firm to offer our services at the specialist evening sessions, are proud that our support for the project has been fundamental to its success.

The LAC operates out of dedicated premises on campus and is open during the University term-time. The current term runs 23rd September – 10th December 2014, and the daytime drop in opening times are:

  •  Tuesdays 10am – 12 noon
  •  Wednesdays 10am – 12 noon and 3pm – 5pm
  •  Access to the evening sessions is via initial assessment at the daytime drop-in sessions

Sessions can get busy and the LAC cannot guarantee to see everybody, so you should arrive early to avoid disappointment.

The LAC’s free drop in service provides basic information on any legal topic and generalist advice on social welfare law matters (except immigration). Clients are signposted and referred to local advice agencies and legal services. In appropriate cases clients are referred for specialist legal advice on family, housing and employment matters at specialist evening sessions. These specialist sessions are staffed by local solicitors who are shadowed by law student volunteers.

The Clinic has had impressive results for clients (over 1200 since it opened in September 2011) and is an inspirational learning experience. One law student described her involvement with enthusiasm:

“No other legal experience I have done has given me this level of responsibility and client contact. Working at the clinic has really boosted my confidence.”

Alan Russell Senior Lecturer, Solicitor and Director of the Legal Advice Clinic asks if such projects can plug the gap left by the attack on access to justice in his article at http://l2b.thelawyer.com/home/opinion/cut-the-gap/3003937.article

The answer? Well – such services can help, and Philcox Gray, along with other local solicitors, are committed to the project’s future.

Clients can contact the LAC at:

London South Bank University

Legal Advice Clinic

Caxton House, 13-16 Borough Road

Southwark SE1 0AA

T : 020 7815 5450

E: legaladvice@lsbu.ac.uk


(Please note the LAC does not give advice by phone or email)