Evicted tenants must be given Legal Aid, insists solicitors’ chief

The president of the Law Society of England and Wales says tenants facing eviction as a result of the ban being lifted over the weekend must have legal representation to fight the move.

Stephanie Boyce says: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been a testing time for landlords and tenants alike. As we mark the end of the eviction ban, we urge the UK government to be cautious of next steps and to act in the best interest of the public.”

Boyce claims arrears have worsened for 40 per cent of those private rental sector tenants who were struggling with debt issues even before the onset of Coronavirus.
She adds: “Legal advice must be available to all tenants facing eviction from their homes, no matter the circumstances surrounding the eviction, particularly when homelessness is a likely outcome. The earlier the advice can be received the better.

“While all efforts should be made to keep tenants and landlords talking and to ensure court litigation is undertaken as a last resort, caution should continue to be exercised around replacing legal advice with mediation.

“While the cases of Covid-19 have significantly reduced, the economic impacts of the pandemic continue. A balancing of tenant and landlord rights, therefore, needs to continue to be undertaken.”

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