What help can we offer you?
We operate under a Legal Aid Contract and offer housing advice to individuals who qualify for Legal Aid. Our specialist Housing advisors provide a Countywide comprehensive casework service and representation at Northampton County Court as appropriate.
We offer advice to tenants about a wide range of housing matters including:
- Housing Repossession Proceedings
- Eviction Proceedings
- Rent Arrears
- Introductory Tenancies
- Anti Social Behaviour Proceedings
How can you access this service?
Appointments with our specialist advisors are available at our offices in Northampton Wellingborough and Rushden and also at our outreach office at the premises of the Citizens Advice services in Corby and Kettering.
If your problem is urgent, we will try to see you before any deadlines that you must meet. For non-urgent problems, demand for our service may sometimes mean that you have to wait up to 3 weeks for an appointment.
Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme
We provide on the day representation in respect Repossession and Eviction hearings for tenants and home owners arriving at the court without representation at the following County Courts:
Northampton County Court – Tuesdays (rent cases) and Thursday (mortgage cases)
Peterborough County Court – Wednesdays (rent and mortgage cases)
Cambridge County Court – Mondays (rent and mortgage cases)
Milton Keynes County Court – Tuesday (rent cases) Thursday monthly (mortgage cases)
Drop-In Advice Services
Rushden Advice Centre
Thursday 10.00am – 1.00pm
Wednesday 10.00 – 2.00pm
In 2019/20 we provided specialist Housing advice for 1,444 people and provided representation for 1,519 Re-possession and Eviction cases at the County Court with an 98% success rate at keeping people in their homes.
“I wouldn’t have managed at the court without your help and because of your support I have been able to keep my home. Thank you so much for such a professional service.”
Miss H is a single woman with no dependent children. She is living on Income Based Job Seekers Allowance and the Local Housing Allowance. Miss H is an assured shorthold tenant which began by way of a six month tenancy on 20th March 2007. It had continued as an assured periodic tenancy to date. Rent is £525 per calendar month. There were no rent arrears.
Miss H attended at our Service because she received a Form 6A Notice Of Seeking Possession (“NOSP”) dated 5th June 2018. The NOSP has since expired and court proceedings were issued by the Landlord for recovery of the property. A possession hearing was listed at Northampton County Court.
Miss H was advised that because a deposit of £250 was paid by her, but never protected under one of the three authorised tenancy deposit schemes, the NOSP was invalid and any claim for possession by the landlord should be dismissed.
The landlord’s argued that the deposit was received prior to the introduction of the rules relating to the holding of the deposit monies in registered scheme providers. Miss H was advised that her landlord had a 30 day window to protect the deposit when the law changed in 2015. As the landlord did not protect the deposit Miss H was advised that her landlord could not rely upon the NOSP dated 5th June 2018. No subsequent NOSP will be valid either unless and until the deposit has been repaid in full back to Miss H. On this basis Miss H was entitled to not only seek the strike out of the possession proceedings but also a compensatory award of up to three times the amount of the deposit.
The Court ordered that by reason of the Housing Deregulation Act 2015, the landlord had until 23rd June 2015 to protect the deposit but failed to do so. By reason of these failings in respect of the deposit the NOSP is invalid and the landlord’s application was struck out. In addition, the landlord was ordered to pay the client damages in the sum of £250.
The stress Miss H’s landlord had been causing her was greatly reduced and she was able to concentrate on moving forward in her life without the prospect of losing her home unlawfully. Miss H is now in a position where she feels well enough to look for some part time work so that she can become more independent.