On 1 August 2023, the government introduced the Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service (HLPAS) – a scheme which provides free legal advice for all tenants in England and Wales. The scheme, which is not means tested, intends to help around 38,000 people a year who are facing eviction or repossession.
The HLPAS will be available upon receipt of written notice that someone is seeking possession of a properties in the private rented sector and properties subject to a mortgage. The scheme will also provide in Court duty emergency advice and advocacy to anyone facing possession proceedings.
Housing experts are equipped to provide advice on a number of issues, such as:-
- Illegal eviction
- Rental arrears
- Mortgage arrears
- Issues with welfare benefits payments
- Debt concerns
- Disrepair and other problems with housing conditions
The HLPAS comes after introduction of the Renters (Reform) Bill 2023, which is currently in its second reading at the House of Commons.
In light of this additional assistance offered to tenants, it is increasingly important that landlords seek legal advice from the outset to ensure that the notices they are serving are valid and that they can rightfully seek possession of their properties through the Court process.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.