Is everyone eligible for specialist housing advice?
Our housing department works under a Legal Aid contract so can provide specialist housing advice to people who are financially eligible for Legal Aid. If you are not eligible for Legal Aid we can still provide you with advice, this would be from one of our generalist advisers. The bureau will complete a check during your first visit, f you are in receipt of benefits or in low paid work, you are likely to be eligible.
What should I bring with me when I visit the bureau?
You should bring all documents relating to your problem, in particular any court documents that you have received. To help us check your eligibility for Legal Aid you will need to provide proof of income for the last one month (up to and including the day of your visit to the bureau). Proof of your income includes payslips for wage payments, recent benefit letters or a bank statement for other sources of income (running up to and including the day you visit the bureau).
How important is it that I provide proof of income?
It is a Legal Aid requirement that we obtain proof of income before starting to provide you with advice(except in emergency cases). For this reason it is important that you provide us with proof of your income at the earliest possible time.
I have received an eviction warrant from the court, is it too late to save my home?
No. It is possible to ask the court to stop eviction warrants going ahead, although the court will not be able to do so in all cases. Seek advice immediately.
Are problems with mortgage arrears treated the same way as for rent arrears?
Legal Aid restrictions mean cases of mortgage arrears are not treated in the same way as cases of rent arrears. This means that some of the advice provided on mortgage cases may need to be provided by our Money Advice department, rather than the Housing department.
What can the Housing department do to help me?
Housing specialists are able to provide legal advice, negotiate with someone you are in dispute with, complete legal documents and provide representation at court hearings.