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Housing Solicitor, Suzanne Bird offers advice to tenants faced with the threat of eviction

Speaking on Channel 5 news recently, Suzanne Bird, a solicitor in our Housing Department guided tenants on the best way to deal with eviction. A ban on evictions imposed by the Government remains in place until the end of this month. It was introduced in March to protect tenants as the COVID-19 lockdown was introduced.

Suzanne commented that the best way to deal with the threat of losing your rented home is to “seek an arrangement with your landlord. Don’t ignore your situation, start discussions at the earliest opportunity. In addition, if you are in rent arrears, ask for a plan to be agreed and set up to pay off what you owe.”

Other advice from the Hodge Jones & Allen Housing team includes:

  • If you have a social landlord, ask them for help with any benefits issues.
  • Submit in writing a plan to begin to pay off your debt. It is worth noting that all correspondence should be via formal emails to leave no room for arguments around the facts.
  • Start with your repayment plan as soon as possible ahead of proceedings, even if you haven’t heard back from your landlord.
  • Seek legal advice as soon as you can. With court proceedings taking place over the phone, it is not yet clear what will happen with the duty solicitor scheme of representation, but legal aid is still available for those eligible.

Suzanne Bird is an Associate, at Hodge Jones & Allen specialising on Housing and Social Welfare law. She assists homeless households with gaining their entitlements as well as helping clients with who may be facing discrimination around housing matters

The full piece is available below via the Channel 5 News YouTube channel.