The Court Duty Scheme is a little known but incredible service which provides last-minute emergency advice for people who are facing eviction.
When repossession cases are being heard in Brighton, Lewes or Hastings Courts, our specialist Housing Advisers can step in to protect people and ensure they know their rights. These clients have usually never sought advice or representation before meeting our advisers that morning. Often alternatives to eviction can be worked out, debt payments can be renegotiated, and people can stay in their homes. This was the case with Sarah, whose story is below.
Sarah is a housing association tenant with young children who was facing eviction after getting behind with her rent. She is a single parent and had been forced to take time off work due to family bereavement and health issues. Despite this, she had agreed repayment terms with her landlord and had kept to them, but her landlord still took her to court to seek possession.
Despite the rent arrears being quite high, the court duty adviser was able to stop the possession order going ahead, and negotiated affordable weekly repayments towards the arrears, This meant Sarah was able to manage the debt, and she and her family could stay in their home.
The Court Duty Scheme is freely available to all. For people on the brink of losing their home, this service can offer a reprieve by giving them access to justice when they need it most.