Wronged by HA and want to prosecute. Any suggestions for solicitors in the midlands? — Scope | Disability forum
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Wronged by HA and want to prosecute. Any suggestions for solicitors in the midlands?

TEZZ01UK
TEZZ01UK Community member Posts: 8 Listener
Hi I`m Tezz, I`m 49 and I have rheumatoid arthritis and had it for 10 years. Me and my Wife, who also has her own disabilities are in need of some help.
We have an issue where we have been wronged by our housing authority, and even though we have evidence of actual wrongdoing we cannot seem to get the right help. Now, we have been down all the routes, Law societies, C.A.B and even the Ombudsmen. Now we want to prosecute. The problem is though, we cannot find anybody to help us achieve this. We desperatly need the name of a Solicitor firm in the midlands that can help. We are currently waiting..in a que system with Solicitors Duncan Lewis of l
Leicester, but they have not responded in any meaningful way. I`m told we have to wait and see. We dont know what to do, any advice would be welcome. Thank You.


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Comments

  • Rosie_Scope
    Rosie_Scope Posts: 1,618 Scope online community team
    Hi @TEZZ01UK, welcome to the community. Sorry you're going through so much at the moment trying to find legal advice.

    I hope some of our members might be able to offer some more solid leads, but I just wanted to say hello and welcome you to the community. Just so you know, I'm going to rename your post and pop it over to our housing section so that more members with the right experience can find it and offer their advice. I hope that's okay.

    Fingers crossed you're able to find the right solicitors soon.
    Rosie (she/her)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • TEZZ01UK
    TEZZ01UK Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi Rosie,
    Thanks for the warm welcome. I was hoping that there would be someone within the SCOPE organization who could help us. I have clear evidence of breaches of our rights as disabled tenants but getting someone to care about it is not happening. This is a fairly big case, and need expert discussion with someone who can stand up for us.
  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 355 Pioneering

    @TEZZ01UK    

    I'm sorry to hear about your housing issues. To find a solicitor in the Midlands, consider checking the Legal Aid Agency, or online legal directories like the Law Society. Additionally, there are organisations that provide free advice and can guide you to specialist solicitors, offering insights on legal aid. Here's a link that could be helpful in this regard. 

    https://www.lawworks.org.uk/legal-advice/individuals/blac-library-birmingham

  • TEZZ01UK
    TEZZ01UK Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    MW123 said:

    @TEZZ01UK    

    I'm sorry to hear about your housing issues. To find a solicitor in the Midlands, consider checking the Legal Aid Agency, or online legal directories like the Law Society. Additionally, there are organisations that provide free advice and can guide you to specialist solicitors, offering insights on legal aid. Here's a link that could be helpful in this regard. 

    https://www.lawworks.org.uk/legal-advice/individuals/blac-library-birmingham

    Trouble is all those services do is pass me onto various links about who can help and so-on. So it becomes a circle of links that take days to communicate to me. I already know I have a solid case as I was told so by my local Councilor.
    Its the Specialist solicitors that I need, or an advocate to get me there.

    I will have a look at the link you provided.

    Thank You

  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 355 Pioneering
    @TEZZ01UK

    Considering that your local Councillor has affirmed the strength of your case, consider reaching out to them once more for support in locating a specialised solicitor or an advocate. They may possess local connections and can offer more specific guidance. 

    The usual timeframe to secure an appointment with a specialist solicitor is generally around 14 working days, occasionally longer based on their current caseload. To hasten the process, consider reaching out to solicitor's offices in your area directly.  Provide a concise summary of your issue and inquire if they are aware of a firm with a solicitor specialising in the particular area of your complaint. Solicitors in your locality often maintain professional networks and might be able to provide helpful recommendations.


     

     

  • TEZZ01UK
    TEZZ01UK Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    edited January 9
    Hi MW123,
    I really do thank you for talking with me on this.
    However Me and My Wife did all of those in early Dec23, between 3 Councillors all they can suggest is that We go to CAB or that they will write a strongly worded Email to my Housing... which is not what we needed to hear. This is why We have come to SCOPE, but it seems even they will not reply to me if it`s a Legal Issue or about Advocacy. So my only questions, Can somebody point us to a solicitor directly that specializes in these type of matters. Remember that this is not a Housing issue in the traditional sense, but many people are focused on that word "Housing" When its so much more. Or point us to an Advocate.

    Kind Regards,
    Terry
  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 884 Pioneering

    Hi TEZZ, I think this may be part of the problem :

    A decade of cuts: Legal aid in tatters

    Press release
    31 Mar 2023

    10 years since the government took an axe to legal aid, justice is increasingly out of reach for those in most need, as evidenced by new maps from the Law Society of England and Wales showing expanding legal aid deserts.

    The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) devastated the legal aid system when it came into force on 1 April 2013.*

    LASPO cut large areas from legal aid overnight. People could no longer get help with many family, employment, housing and debt problems.

    The number of legal aid cases to help people get the early advice they need dropped from almost a million in 2009/10 to just 130,000 in 2021/22.

    Over the same period the number of people having to go to court without representation trebled.

    The number of advice agencies and law centres doing this work has fallen by 59%.

    Law centres across the country closed down. Firms were forced to close their legal aid departments.

    This resulted in large advice deserts. Millions of people now live in areas where they can no longer access the help and advice that Parliament has said they are entitled to.

    New interactive maps** show the vanishing availability of legal aid across housing, welfare, education, community care and immigration following stringent and successive government cuts to legal aid alongside stagnant fees paid for expert advice provided by the remaining charities and small firms.

    People living in areas without a major city are particularly badly hit. The southwest, north, northeast and east are bereft in almost all areas of law. Wales also has very sparse coverage.

    Across England and Wales:

    • 53m people (90%) do not have access to a local education legal aid provider
    • 49.8m people (84%) do not have access to a local welfare legal aid provider
    • 42m people (71%) do not have access to a local community care legal aid provider
    • 39m people (66%) do not have access to a local immigration and asylum legal aid provider
    • 25.3m people (42%) do not have access to a local legal aid provider for housing advice, a figure that has grown 5% since 2019

    Law Society of England and Wales President Lubna Shuja said: “Legal aid can be the difference between a family staying in a safe home or being made homeless, having protection from domestic abuse or being trapped in an abusive relationship.

    “Legal aid can help a child with disabilities get the education and support they need.

    “For rights to be real, everyone who qualifies for state-funded legal advice must be able to get that advice when they need it, so that they can uphold and enforce their rights.

    “We have long called for a review of civil legal aid sustainability, so we are pleased the government launched its review earlier this year.

    “However, that review won’t report its findings until 2024. We are unlikely to see any significant changes until at least 2025. This is too long as services are collapsing now.

    “People cannot afford to wait until 2024 for investment. If we want to ensure that support is available immediately for those who need it in these turbulent times, action is needed now.

    “A decade on from LASPO, civil legal aid is facing an existential crisis. The survival of these services is in the balance. People can’t get the legal support they need, when they need it.”

    Notes to editors

    * Until 1 April 2013 legal aid was available for almost all areas of law, except for specified exceptions. Areas removed from scope included most welfare benefit issues, most employment law, private family law (divorce, custody battles), most clinical negligence cases, non-asylum immigration law, some debt and housing cases.



  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 884 Pioneering

    If the Ombudsman can't help then is it an equality matter? 
    That tends to fall under human rights.

    Do you know which law you consider has been breached because that's not clear from your post?
     

  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 884 Pioneering

    A local authority's job is to deliver national policy on behalf of the government.

    The government also funds and advises law centres and charities (including this one) and neither can bring the government into disrepute. 

    So my guess is that any prosecution post-Ombudsman would have to be privately funded.

    (I do believe you - mine shamelessly colluded with my housing association and I didn't think it possible) 

    I hope I've made sense and not made anything worse for you.


  • TEZZ01UK
    TEZZ01UK Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi WhatThe,
    Thanks for the responses.
    Here are some details..
    We want to take legal action against our landlord which is a Housing Association in ********* . We have evidence that needs looking at and advice as to where we stand legally. We understand The Equality Act 2010, Protection of Eviction act 1977, the Housing Act 1985/8 and the Data Protection Act 2018, covers us in our situation. We allege that they have contravened these acts in their actions in which we believe we can prove, and on top of this we have actual proof that "A Person" that works for them lied in a Witness Statement for the County Court. Which I believe is Contempt of Court. We are looking for a no-win no fee or legal aid option. Ideally we would like to have a free consultation hour in which we could at least bring our evidence and discuss our legal options. I do want to point out that we have exhausted all avenues in the complaints procedures including Leicester Law Society advice. The C.A.B, The Housing Ombudsmen and also spoken with our local Councillor and M.P. **** ***** office. The Ombudsmen and our Local Councillor have suggested that we need to take this to court for a resolution.

    Not a simple housing case, but one that involves discrimination, Intimidation, lies and completely overlooking the fact that we are BOTH disabled and have asked for adaptive measures, which have not been adhered too.

    Hence the need for an advocate or a specialist Solicitor.

    Regards

  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 884 Pioneering

    A Person" that works for them lied in a Witness Statement for the County Court.

    I have falsely signed statements to support eviction proceedings against me just as you describe. The statements listed their (concocted) failed attempts to engage with me when the opposite was true.  

    At two court hearings, this person was rebuked by the judge for the unlawful actions but my HA still tried a third time. Weirdly, they referred me for a social services assessment that time because they considered me a vulnerable person in need of suitable housing..

    You can get 30 minutes of free advice rather than an hour. I think a solicitor has to refer you to the advocate and I haven't succeeded with that. 
    I'm still here as I hope you are in your accommodation. It's not much comfort I know when you want justice.    
     
     
  • TEZZ01UK
    TEZZ01UK Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    Thank You for at least talking things through. I`m hoping to get somewhere, not letting it go now, as we fear for our home.
    Just takes 1 person with the information I have not found myself.
  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 355 Pioneering

    @TEZZ01UK

    In your response to WhatThe, it appears that this legal matter has already gone through the County Court, with one of the witnesses committing perjury. It is advisable to prioritise the discrimination aspect when searching for a solicitor. 

    Emphasising the discrimination angle may increase your chances of finding a solicitor willing to work on a no win, no fee basis. 

    It is unlikely that legal aid or no win no fee solicitors would cover issues related to intimidation, which is a police matter, and proving perjury is challenging unless the falsehood is exposed during testimony under oath. 

    Your situation sounds deeply unfair, and I share a strong aversion to injustice, particularly when it affects those who have limited means to defend themselves. 

    Have you reached out to Shelter that have expert legal advisors on housing issues see link below. 

    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice

  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 884 Pioneering

    I second what MW said about Shelter. 

    (I got my facts wrong - three dates were listed in total, it was the second hearing I attended. HA was rebuked for not discharging the first case)
     
    Shelter gave me free legal advice by telephone and representations under human rights laws which the judge accepted - all through their Legal Aid contract. Apply online first. They posted all the relevant papers to me, they were excellent.   

    I tried and failed to get further assistance to take this any further. 


  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 884 Pioneering

    MW it sounds like their home is still at risk and possibly urgent..

    TEZZ my firm advice is to attend any court hearing regarding the property or the judge has little choice but to make an order. 
    My HA for example didn't provide me with all the evidence they had submitted but I had sight of it all once proceedings began.  

    Shelter were very quick to assign me an advisor and email my defence to the court. 
     

  • TEZZ01UK
    TEZZ01UK Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    They never took us to court, had the paperwork sent to us by their solicitors stating that a court date had been set. Then a day or so later, more bundles of paperwork from their solicitor stating that they were no longer moving forward. So we are not in any trouble ourselves, not done a thing wrong. Our house is at risk because after a mediation meeting and plenty of letters from third parties, ie Mps and Ombudsmen they still carry on like nothing has happened. It looks to us like they want us to vacate, because we have told them personally that we cant take their, pardon me..****, anymore. The day we got the court date letters my wife broke down, had to see her doctor as her anxiety went through the roof.
    So thank You for your concerns on that.
  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 884 Pioneering

    So they were advised that the grounds for possession would not stand up in court, dropped it and hope you'd forget about it?

    Have you lodged a formal complaint with them and asked for an apology and recompense for the distress caused?  

    I imagine it would be very difficult to prosecute them while you live there. 

    Mine seems oblivious to tenant welfare and runs it like a business. They are mostly unresponsive. Housing Associations were forced by the government to reduce rents for five consecutive years. Now there are plans to extend the right to buy to HA tenants. 
     

  • TEZZ01UK
    TEZZ01UK Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    You mention the right to buy, I have been here with an assured tenancy since 1996. Imagine the deduction if we bought it. Maybe one reason the want it back, as its only worth around 130.000. I can imagine why they would like us to "just move out"

  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 884 Pioneering
    edited January 10

    "Economically active" tenants is what they're looking for. Somehow or other the properties will be worth more to them by selling instead of renting.

    And of course it will be public money helping them do so!

    I've had other tenants' rent statements and someone else's Notice of Proceedings sent to me. Careless because they are kept so busy with this. Rent arrears are inevitable under UC so HA's lose income and initiate proceedings. I think they've become desensitised to the harm being caused. 


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