What help is available?
On 1 August 2023, the government launched the Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service, which offers government-funded legal advice and representation (legal aid) to individuals facing possession proceedings which could result in the loss of their homes. A housing expert (funded by the government) will work with you to identify what may be causing someone to seek possession of your home and recommend potential solutions. For example, they may be able to provide legal advice on matters such as:
- illegal eviction
- disrepair and other problems with housing conditions
- rent arrears
- mortgage arrears
- welfare benefits payments
When am I eligible for the help?
Help is available from the moment you receive written notice that someone is seeking the possession of your home. This might be an email from your landlord or a letter from a creditor. Your financial situation will not affect your right to access this support and you will not need to pay. In the event you are unable to resolve matters and you are asked to attend a court hearing, a housing adviser can also provide free legal advice and representation at the court. Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your hearing and speak to the court usher and they will direct you to the adviser.
Find your nearest Housing Loss Prevention Service
Within Somerset, the Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service is provided by Shelter. You can contact them directly on 0344 515 1778.
Alternatively, you can find your nearest Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service provider by typing in your postcode and ticking the box ‘Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service’ at: Find a legal aid adviser or family mediator (justice.gov.uk)