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Option Homes Ltd - News- Legal Advice Sources for Tenants – Part 2

Legal Advice Sources for Tenants – Part 2

Date Added 28/05/2016

In a recent blog we discussed three of the best free sources of legal advice for tenants, which included contact information for the Citizens Advice Bureau and the housing and homelessness charity, Shelter. There was also information about how to identify and contact your local council who also has a statutory duty to provide advice for people in the area they govern.

However, these three sources of advice, as good as they are, are not the only places a tenant can go for help sorting out any issues they have with a bad landlord or bad housing conditions. Not all of the following are completely free, though some are, but they are all excellent places to seek advice for whatever issues you need to overcome with your tenancy.



Check if Your Area has a Local Law Centre

You can visit a Law Centre for free legal advice, and if you are lucky then the centre nearest to you will also have a housing law specialist on site to help you. Even if there are no specialists on site, the Law Centre staff will be well trained and very knowledgeable. They will also be able to represent you during any legal proceedings, though check on the availability of this before you rely on it as Legal Aid is constantly being reduced by our government and many Law Centres are struggling to make ends meet financially. You can search here at the Law Centres Network to identify your nearest branch.



Explore Possibilities via Law Works

Law Works is an organisation that can help arrange legal advice (for free), although they only do it for cases they deem suitable by their requirements. It`s always worth checking out to see if any of their services can help you in your time of need.



Take Advantage of Free Interviews with Solicitors

Many solicitors will offer potential clients a free interview where you can get some initial advice on your housing problems. They may be able to quickly look over a contract or advise on a particular issue you are dealing with. You can then decide whether it`s worthwhile continuing to use their paid services. Some solicitors will not provide a free interview, but will have an alternative ‘fixed fee` interview, so you will know in advance exactly how much it will cost.



Additional Sources of Legal Housing Advice

Check any insurance agreements you have as there may well be a clause stating that the insurance company will cover any legal expenses in any appropriate case. If you are a member of a union, then explore any possibilities that they can help you too.

Finally, while these aren`t exactly places you can go to for advice, you can bring any complaints you have to the attention of the UK`s Property Ombudsman or the Property Redress Scheme. Also check if your landlord or letting agent is a member of ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) or RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) as you can bring a legitimate complaint to their attention as well.
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