Legal Aid is available for possession claims, homelessness, eviction and unlawful eviction, re- housing, disrepair, judicial review.


1. Possession claims

This includes defending possession proceedings from both public and private landlords

Funding is available for counterclaims, including disrepair counterclaims.

Funding is available regardless of the grounds for possession as long as there is a defence.

Assistance  for mortgage  repossession  cases  is  also  available  (but  these cases  are  now classified as ‘debt’ cases and subject to the telephone gateway)

Legal Help is available as soon as possession is being sought, ie. when a notice is served.


2. Homelessness

Funding is available to assist clients with their homeless applications

Funding is also available for provision of accommodation through community care services and for accommodation for asylum seekers

This includes requesting reviews of negative decisions or requesting reviews of suitability of accommodation

Funding is available for County Court appeals


3. Eviction and unlawful eviction

Funding is available for assistance in setting aside a warrant of eviction

Funding is also available to bring a claim for unlawful eviction


4. Re-housing

As long as the client falls within the definition of homeless then assistance can be provided in relation to their application for re-housing.

Therefore, funding should be available for anyone living in unsuitable accommodation wanting a transfer as it will not be reasonable for them to occupy their current accommodation and so they will be ‘homeless’.


5. Disrepair

Where there is a serious risk of harm to the health and safety of a client or their family legal aid is available to pursue a disrepair claim

Funding does not cover any claim for damages in civil proceedings.

Legal  Aid is  therefore  only  likely to  be  suitable  for very urgent  injunction cases where compensation is minimal.

Legal Help can be used to investigate prosecutions under the Environmental Protection Act but alternative funding will have to be used to take the case to Court.


6. Judicial Review

Funding is available for housing judicial review cases.

Note, however, the coming changes to judicial review – providers will only be guaranteed payment if they are granted permission to bring a claim, payment for cases that settle before this will be at the discretion of the Legal Aid Agency.


7. Other cases

Funding   is  also   available   for  anti-social   behaviour   cases  and injunctions   concerning harassment in the home.

Exceptional Cases

Funding  is available  for cases no longer in scope where failure  to provide funding  would breach the applicant’s Convention rights under the ECHR

There have been very few successful applications so far

Funding is only likely to be available in extremely rare circumstances.


Financial Eligibility

Assessments of client’s capital is needed,  even where the applicant is in receipt of Income

Support, Income-related JSA or Income-related ESA.

The Legal Help forms contain a checklist for acceptable proof of income

If your client is unable to provide sufficient proof, eg because they are homeless, or particularly vulnerable, you will need to contact the LAA directly to ensure funding can be provided.


Telephone Gateway

Mortgage possession cases are now classed as ‘debt’ cases. If the case is urgent, emergency legal aid can be granted.

If the case is suitable for Legal Help only, the client must contact the telephone gateway who will determine whether the client needs face-to-face advice.