The laws governing housing matters are changing and evolving. These changes include housing possession proceedings, unlawful eviction, homelessness, harassment and housing disrepair.

Harassment:

 Harassment may occur in any social context. It could occur at work, home, in a family or relationship. Living with a nightmare neighbour or the rogue landlord can feel frustrating and will affect the quality of life. If you feel alarmed by your neighbour, we can assist you in obtaining an injunction to curb any act or omission that causes you alarm and distress.

Housing possession proceedings:

There are several estates and interests in land. Individual type of estate and interest enjoys different legal privileges. There are two estates in land namely freehold and leasehold. Tenancy is a form or leasehold estate in land.

There are different types of tenancy and the security of tenure on each type of tenancy differs. Regulated tenancy, secure tenancy and assured tenancy are the tenancy with the strongest security of tenure.  These types of tenancy are lifelong tenancy.

There are tenancy with procedural security of tenure like the assured shorthold tenancy, starter tenancy, introductory tenancy and demoted tenancy.

The government introduced flexible tenancy, which are a sort of fixed term tenancy, granted by the local authority and social landlords. Thereby curtailing the notion of lifelong tenancy. This type of tenancy enjoys procedural security of tenure.

The flexible tenancy operates side by side with other types of tenancy including regulated tenancy, secure tenancy, assured tenancy, introductory tenancy, starter tenancy, demoted tenancy and assured shorthold tenancy.

To seek possession of a property of defend possession of a property involves specialist skill. More importantly, it involves putting a roof over one’s head and the experience of landlord or tenant going through possession proceedings can be traumatic and expensive.

A tenant facing eviction or possession proceedings may become depressed and traumatized process and the prospect of becoming street homeless.

It is important to choose a lawyer who is skilled and knowledgeable in identifying the security of tenure that you enjoy in your home and make the law work for you.

Blackbird Solicitors can offer eligible clients free legal aid advice, assistance and representation at court.

Unlawful Eviction:

If you are a residential occupier and your landlord or agent changes the locks to your home without a court order or withholds necessary service required for the occupation of the property as your home, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

We will offer eligible clients with free legal aid advice on the available legal remedy and seek the compensation and a remedy that is due to you.

For clients who do not qualify for public funding, we can discuss alternative funding options. Please contact us to discuss the options open to you.

Homelessness:

 A person is homeless if he/she has no accommodation where he/she has an interest to occupy or where he/she cannot access their accommodation or where it is not reasonable to occupy the accommodation.

It is not reasonable for a person to continue to live in an accommodation where it is probable that it would lead to domestic violence or other violence to the applicant or any person whom he/she normally resides with.

There is an overhaul of the local authority’s duties towards a homeless person.

Local authorities now have a legal responsibility to actively engage with eligible homeless applicants. Local authorities must work with homeless applicants to agree and create a strategy or plan to help eligible homeless applicants. The homeless applicant must in turn cooperate with the local authority by implementing the homeless plan.

Eligible homeless applicants are entitled to a temporary period of accommodation regardless of whether they have priority need for homeless assistance.

The local authority must investigate the reason the applicant is homelessness.

Where the applicant is homeless and has a priority need for homeless assistance, the local authority should provide a temporary accommodation for that applicant.

Once the local authority accepts a homeless application, and completes its investigation into the reason the applicant is homeless, it will make a decision in writing notifying the applicant on the duty owed him/her. The local authority may reach a positive or negative decision.

Where the council makes a negative homeless decision, the applicant has limited time to request for a review of the council’s decision.

If the homeless decision is positive, the local authority will notify the applicant and discharge its duty by providing the applicant with a suitable accommodation.

If you are at risk of being homeless, homeless, at risk of domestic violence or other violence in your home, living in an unaffordable, inadequate or poor housing condition, we will provide you with adequate and prompt advice and assistance.

Where you also have received a local council’s decision that you do not have priority need for homeless assistance or that you are intentionally homeless or you were offered a property that you consider unsuitable, contact us for advice.

Housing disrepair:

 Tenancy agreement, like any other contact, contains the terms of the contract. Most tenancy agreement, have express terms that stipulate the landlord’s repairing obligations. In addition to the express terms, there are statutory obligations on the landlord to carry out certain repairs to the tenanted property. These statutory terms are referred to as the implied terms.

Where the landlord fails to carry out repair expressed in the tenancy agreement or implied by the statute within a reasonable time of being informed of the disrepair, the tenant can seek a remedy in the court for repair to be carried out.

In addition to an order for repair, you may be entitled to compensation.

A tenant cannot claim compensation for those housing defects for which are not the landlord’s responsibilities under the tenancy agreement or implied by statute. A tenant may seek redress where a defect is not actionable under the Housing Act 2004 and Environmental Protection Act 1990.

 

You need an experienced solicitor who can make the law work to your advantage and get you the right results and compensation.

Ready to take action?

Drop us a line today for a free consultation!