Law Society urges legal aid for all eviction cases – for the tenant

The Law Society of England and Wales is advocating for increased access to legal aid for tenants facing eviction, citing concerning statistics on the rise of evictions and repossessions. According to recent data from the Ministry of Justice, both mortgage possession claims and evictions have seen significant increases compared to the previous year.

Richard Atkinson, the vice president of the Law Society, highlights the importance of housing legal aid in light of the current economic challenges, such as the cost-of-living crisis and high interest rates, which have left many individuals struggling to make rent and mortgage payments. However, access to legal aid for housing issues has become increasingly limited over the years, with a significant portion of the population lacking access to local legal aid providers.

Atkinson points out that the decline in legal aid rates since 1996 has made it financially unsustainable for many law firms to offer housing legal aid services, leaving those on low incomes without the assistance they need to navigate eviction proceedings. This lack of access to legal aid not only undermines the rights of individuals but also contributes to court delays and exacerbates the pressure on an already strained justice system.

The Law Society is urging the UK government to prioritize investment in housing legal aid to ensure that individuals facing evictions and repossessions can access the necessary legal support to help them remain in their homes. Failure to address this issue, they argue, not only weakens the justice system but also jeopardizes the well-being of those at risk of homelessness.



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