We have a limited number of staff working in the office, with most working at home. You can contact us by phone on: 0208 863 4355 weekdays from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will only meet clients in the offices of Harrow Law Centre in exceptional circumstances. We are constantly reviewing our policies as health and safety advice changes.
Harrow Law Centre’s housing campaigner, Jackson Caines, has been working with tenants of Trident Point, a block managed partly by housing association Metropolitan Thames Valley. With his assistance, the tenants have formed Trident Point Action Group and launched a public campaign exposing the many problems in the block and setting out seven demands.
As a result of the campaign, Metropolitan Thames Valley agreed to an online meeting with residents of Trident Point. This meeting, chaired by Jackson, was well attended and gave residents the opportunity to discuss each of their demands in detail with representatives from Metropolitan Thames Valley and management company Y&Y.
Following the meeting, Trident Point residents have seen immediate benefits, including cosmetic improvements to the communal areas of the block and new lights in the bin shed. More complex issues, such as structural damp and heating issues and replacement of the lifts, are to be addressed by Metropolitan Thames Valley in an action plan due in March.
The campaign has been covered by news website MyLondon.
If you live in a badly-managed block and want advice on how to run your own tenant-led campaign, you can contact Jackson at email@example.com.
Posted inHousing|Comments Off on Harrow Law Centre helps housing association tenants demand better conditions from their landlord
A new research report, Education Law and Youth Criminal Justice System, has been prepared by Harrow Law Centre lawyers Ruba Huleihel, Annahita Moradi and Naomi Trewinnard, in cooperation with Shaw Trust and Harrow Youth Justice Service.
It aims to be a useful reference guide for professionals working with young people who may be facing exclusion due to their involvement with the youth justice system, and for education providers to improve their understanding of the issues involved.
The report’s publication follows a successful roundtable discussion held online in July 2021 which brought legal experts, youth justice system professionals and education practitioners together to explore the intersection between exclusion and the youth criminal justice system.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has published a detailed article looking at how tenants who have suffered financially during the pandemic are losing their homes in a matter of minutes, with judges often powerless to prevent evictions being ordered.
If you are worried about an eviction notice, contact us. We will do our best to advise you or tell you where you can get help if we cannot take on your case.
Possession case studies
Harrow Law Centre has been continuing to assist tenants through the pandemic. Here are two summaries of recent cases where our solicitors were able to help people stay in their homes.
Case 1: SF
SF was an Uber driver who lived with his wife and three children in a three-bedroom semi-detached house in Harrow. SF initially instructed Harrow Law Centre in February 2020 after his landlord had issued a possession claim at Watford County Court because of rent arrears. SF had initial advice from a Duty Solicitor from Shelter at a first hearing and required a Legal Aid Solicitor to defend the claim. He had fallen into rent arrears due to the six weeks it takes to receive your first Universal Credit payment. In addition, he had incurred over £800 on replacing a boiler after the landlord had failed to repair it. SF’s finances had also suffered due to the absence of nightlife during the pandemic, which significantly reduced his income.
HLC instructed a surveyor to inspect SF’s property and the defended the possession claim based on the surveyor’s report, which indicated that there had been issues relating to the boiler, defective windows and a water tank in the loft (which was not covered properly posing a health risk). SF also applied to Harrow Council for a discretionary housing payment, which cleared several thousand pounds of the arrears. After this payment, the landlord agreed to end court proceedings, enabling SF and his family to remain at the property.
Case 2: SS
SS was a waiter and father of two who had lived with his wife and children in the same property in Brent since 2009. In 2019 SS’s landlord started a claim to recover possession of the property under section 21, which is a form of no-fault eviction. (The Government has pledged to scrap this but so far have delayed in doing so.) Section 21 is a no-fault procedure because it permits the landlord to recover possession where the tenant has not breached the tenancy agreement. A landlord is, however, required to comply with numerous legal requirements (which most clients are unaware of), including the provision of a valid gas safety certificate, the government ‘How to Rent’ booklet and protection of the tenancy deposit (including specific information about the deposit). As a waiter, SS was furloughed during the pandemic but managed to maintain rent payments so there were no arrears.
When SS instructed HLC it transpired that SS’s tenancy deposit was not protected and that the gas safety certificate had expired. HLC filed a defence with Willesden County Court on this bases following which the landlord did not pursue his claim further. SS was delighted with the outcome.
Posted inUncategorized|Comments Off on New research exposes court failings during pandemic
Harrow Law Centre has been assisting Afghan nationals to secure asylum in the UK since we opened our doors eleven years ago. We are very concerned about the current situation and will continue doing all we can to assist those fleeing persecution.
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What is this? This is a free online service for children and young people. You can ask us questions about your rights (for example during a protest or if you are stopped and searched) or if you’re going through something and you want to know if we can help. If we can’t answer your questions ourselves we’ll be sure to put you in touch with an organisation that can help.
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Thanks to the Legal Education Foundation for their support.