New Free Legal Aid for Housing Issues Explained

A new initiative backed by the UK government, the Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service, has been launched to provide free legal advice for individuals facing eviction or repossession. The service, launched on August 1, 2023, aims to support an estimated 38,000 individuals annually. The service is supported by an additional £10 million in funding explicitly dedicated to legal aid for housing issues.

An Overview of the Service

The Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service intends to enable individuals facing eviction or repossession in England and Wales to obtain expert legal advice free of charge. This invaluable support aims to help these individuals retain their homes and avoid expensive and drawn-out court proceedings. The service provides advice when a tenant or homeowner receives a written notice of eviction or repossession from their landlord or mortgage provider.

The service is open to all, with no restrictions based on financial circumstances. It will address a broader range of issues, including legal matters related to housing, debt, and welfare benefits that individuals facing the risk of losing their homes may encounter. The comprehensive care provided by this service is projected to assist tens of thousands of families annually, improving their financial status and access to support for improving their health and life prospects.

Accessing the Service

A dedicated webpage for the new service was launched on the same day. This platform facilitates easy access for anyone seeking free legal advice. In addition to legal advice and representation, those benefiting from this service may also get legal representation in court on the day of the hearing if the case reaches this stage.

Comments from Government Officials

Justice Minister Lord Bellamy, commenting on the new service, stated that access to appropriate legal advice as early as possible is essential for those at risk of losing their homes. The creation of this new service aims to decrease the number of people losing their homes, offering them the support they need to resolve their financial issues and prevent their problems from escalating.

Felicity Buchan, Minister for Housing and Homelessness, expressed her commitment to ensuring that households receive the necessary help and support to retain their homes. She further emphasised the government's pledge to spend £1 billion through the Homelessness Prevention Grant, which can be used to prevent evictions by working with landlords. Parallel to this, the Renters (Reform) Bill, currently going through Parliament, will improve tenants' security by abolishing Section-21 'no fault' evictions.

Further Developments and Reactions

The Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service is part of a more significant governmental effort to reduce homelessness and improve private rented sector conditions for responsible renters and good faith landlords through the Renters’ (Reform) Bill. This Bill proposes abolishing “no-fault” evictions, empowering renters to challenge poor landlords without fear of losing their homes.

Rhys Moore, Executive Director of Public Impact at the National Housing Federation, commended the government's effort to provide legal support for individuals facing eviction or repossession. He noted that early access to advice and support is fundamental to helping people navigate the legal system in times of significant stress and difficulty.

The Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service Page

The Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service page highlights that government-funded legal advice and representation (legal aid) is accessible to anyone facing possession proceedings. Once an individual receives a written notice seeking the possession of their home, whether it's an email from a landlord or a letter from a creditor, help is available. A government-funded housing expert will work with individuals to identify the causes that may be leading to the possession of their homes and recommend potential solutions.

For more detailed information on the Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service, please visit the official page of GOV.UK. To find your nearest Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service provider, enter your postcode and tick the box labelled ‘Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service’ at:

View Related Handbook Page

Landlord Wants Tenant to Leave

A tenancy of someone's home, starting on or after 28 February 1997, will in most cases be an assured shorthold tenancy. Take advice early if there are any doubts about what type of tenancy is being terminated. The procedures for ending a tenancy are different, depending on the type of tenancy.