On 1st August 2023, the new Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service (HLPAS) commenced in England and Wales. The service replaces the Housing Possession Court Duty Service, which only offered advice and advocacy on the day of a possession hearing.
HLPAS will provide legal advice to anyone at risk of losing their home or facing possession proceedings. The service also extends to providing representation at court hearings and is available regardless of the individual’s financial circumstances.
In order to access the advice, tenant’s will need to provide a copy of the notice from their landlord. At this stage, if there are any issues with the notice itself, it is likely to be flagged by the service’s housing experts.
If the matter cannot be resolved before the court hearing, some tenants will also have access to representation on the day of the hearing. With the possibility of more tenants being represented at possession hearings, there is a greater costs risk to landlords.
It is now more important than ever for landlords to seek legal advice when attempting to regain possession of their property. This will ensure that a valid notice is served on the tenant and that the correct documents are filed with the Court. Section 21 possession proceedings can be decided on the smallest issue, particularly when an error is on the landlord‘s part.
It is crucial to ensure the correct documents are provided to tenants, therefore, landlords are also encouraged to seek advice when setting up a new tenancy, especially if they are not using a fully managed lettings service.
If you require advice on this topic or any landlord and tenant issue, please do not hesitate to contact Georgia Riley on 01206 239773 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Georgia is a solicitor in the litigation department.
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