Critical need for housing legal aid as evictions and repossessions continue to rise – Law Society

Housing legal aid is increasingly out of reach for those who need help to keep a roof over their head, the Law Society of England and Wales has warned.

Quarterly statistics from the Ministry of Justice for April to June 2023, show that mortgage possession claims increased by 15% and landlord possessions (evictions) increased by 24% compared to the same quarter last year.

All landlord possession actions, including eviction orders, have increased compared to the same quarter in 2022. Thirty-three per cent of all landlord possession claims were social landlord claims and 32% were private landlord claims.

With rising evictions and repossessions, housing legal aid must be available for those who cannot afford legal help.

Law Society President Lubna Shuja said: “We have long voiced our concern about the lack of housing legal aid.

“The increasing cost-of-living and rising interest rates have heavily impacted people’s ability to afford their homes, so it is critical people are able to access legal help for their housing issues.

“Yet our research has found that 25.3m people (42%) do not have a local legal aid provider for housing advice.** More and more firms can no longer afford to offer this service, as legal aid rates have decreased by almost 50% since 1996.

“We are pleased the government recently launched the Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service (HLPAS) which provides free, non-means tested legal advice to vulnerable families facing eviction or repossession. However, without providers there to do the work this service will not be effective.

“The government has been unable to find providers for their HLPAS scheme in several major cities, notably Liverpool and Hull.***

“Without easy access to providers, the scheme does little to help people at risk of losing their homes. And with increasing demand, the few providers remaining will not have the capacity to take on new clients.

“Furthermore, families can only access this early legal advice service once a landlord or mortgage lender has given notice of intention to pursue repossession – leaving many already on the backfoot and in desperate need of advice.

“It is unacceptable that housing legal aid is not available for many people facing eviction or repossession.

“There must be immediate investment in housing legal aid to help people stay in their homes.”


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    No, there is a critical need for more housing. It needs to be of the right type in the right location.

    The “free market” does not take account of societal need, just maximum profit.

    Leaving it up to profit-driven developers was a huge mistake.

    If there was the right amount of appropriate housing stock then prices wouldn’t be so wild, pressures wouldn’t be so great and there would be a safety net in place.  Accordingly there would be little need for legal aid.

    Like so many things, the UK has spent the last 50 years selling the family silver and outsourcing everything.

    The money has gone into the pockets of the already wealthy who could take advantage of the process.

    The “haves” now definitely have, and the “have nots” definitely have not.

    1. jan-byers

      All nonsense.

      If developers did not make a profit there would be no new housing.

      1000’s of people would not have a job.

      No one works for nothing – we all work to make money and look after ourselves and our families.

      If govt tried to build, housing they do not have the skills or knowledge.

      The real problem is the UK hugely overpopulated.

      Really is as simple as that.


  2. Woodentop

    And so it starts. Housing crisis now want to help keep tenants in properties that either they cannot afford or behave, and the landlord cannot afford to keep due to increasing and future increasing costs.


    Everyone is entitled to legal advice but the advice I see is how to delay for as long as possible, costing the landlord financial loss, only to agree in the end …… the tenant has to leave. Result = Landlord gets burned and wants nothing to do with tenants and sells up adding to the nuclear fallout and misery for so many people with housing shortage.

  3. PossessionFriendUK39

    Leftie  lawyers asking for more Legal Aid  funding, –  is a like pigs asking for a bigger trough  !

    1. Anonymous Coward

      That’s what it looks like on the surface, and it’s what we’ve been told it is.

      But, it turns out that it’s been orchestrated. People in power have quietly arranged this for us over a very long period of time.

      The “Leftie Lawyers” wouldn’t need to have their noses in the trough if the situation didn’t exist.

      And “Leftie Lawyers” haven’t had the power and authority to generate the problem in the first place.

      So, what is the root cause.

      It is a succession of vested interests that can generate long term profits from the situation, not a short term buck.

      We have spent decades getting here, slowly, slowly, bit by bit.

      The country is in the thrall of some very wealthy, powerful individuals and organisations.  It has not been run for the benefit of us all, that’s for absolutely sure.

      1. jan-byers

        Exactly who told you that’s what it is?

        Can you post the link?

        Another conspiracy theorist.

        It is not in the thrall of anyone but companies exist to make a profit.

        That is how they invest in the business and pay staff who have mortgages to pay and food to buy.

        I have my own business – I do it to make money for me and my family – not as a hobby.

        Since the dawn of time some people do better than others – we are not all equal in abilities – motivation – drive – ambition etc


  4. Will2

    How can the Law Society be so naive? or maybe they are not and just trying to be commercial and boost the demand for their members services! As Fagin said you have to make a penny or two!

    It is a plain fact that 10 years ago there was plenty of rental property available as the open market was working fine. Then the modern class of politicians came about without life experience and interested ONLY in buying votes rather than having the true interest of their electorate at the front of their little minds. It is the rapid start and spread of landlord bashing by Governments and Shelter that have generated the current crisis.  Rather than work with landlords the opposite occurred.  I can remembering telling my local conservative councillors that abolition of S21 meant I would never again vote tory and explained why it was unecesary and would be devasting for the rental market. That landlords, in the main, did not evict good tenants. The very people who were their life blood. However all politcal partys have followed their dogmar believing their policies were right despite not understanding the housing markets. Politicians have over regulated being too thick to understand if you take away investors ability to control their investments they would eventually sell up. The Renters Reform Act going through Parliament is taking away the Landlords ability to control their investments. This has now caused Landlords to sell up en mass and get rid of perfectly good tenants to achieve a sale. Politicians are too thick to see the truth with the Tories seeing a “Blue Mist” and “killing the markets with friendly fire!”. To add to it interest rates have been badly handled for years and has culminated at the worst time.

    The Government throw more money at trying to manage their failures now backed by the Law Society wanting their members to be ambulance chasers to reep the rewards of bad politics. Labour most foolishly want the more of the same as do the Greens and Lib Dems. It is a housing suicide society where the idiot’s spin propogates more nonsence and doomed housing for the public. Add the thousands of small boat people NOT controlled by the Government and jumping the queues for housing and health eccentuating their problems.  They have destroyed the very confidence generated by the Housing Act 1988 (that re-started a new era Housing Rental System) following the previous Government screw ups in history when the Rent Act 1977 killed the previous PRS.  Government and opposition policies have caused this housing crisis and throwing money after solicitors and the judiciary with do nothing but make richer lawyers and courts that can’t cope! It will further encourage ivestors to leave.

    Politicians of all colours have caused this crisis and are wholly & totally at fault. Until they come to terms that they have screwed up by trying to be popular with tenants (to get votes) has not worked and the opposite is the result. Most tenants of course will not understand as Shelter and the Government have lead them the wrong way.  As for landlords I guess give up, get out and leave the idiot politicians to clear the do do from their own door step. Oh happy days!

  5. PRS is fun

    I think it is fair that people can access advice. But legal aid… we are talking about an arrangement that both parties are entitled to bring to a close, so does it really follow that there is a moral imperative to use chicanery to delay and hunt for loopholes? These people were sold a false dream by the state, not by the housing provider.


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