Combating Homelessness, Creating Opportunities, Promoting Change

Brighton Advice Centre

BHT’s Brighton Advice Centre works throughout Brighton & Hove and provides the following services:

Specialist Housing Advice

Court Duty Scheme
Offering emergency advice at court for people facing eviction

Immigration Legal Service

Moneyworks

 

Specialist Housing Advice

Since April 2013, legal aid (which funds some of the work undertaken at Brighton Advice Centre), can now only help with housing problems that meet the following criteria:

  • defending rent possession proceedings
  • unlawful eviction
  • disrepair that causes a serious risk to health
  • help with homelessness (whether actual or threatened)
  • court proceedings for housing related anti-social behaviour
  • injunctions under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997

People accessing advice at the Brighton Advice Centre must be eligible for legal aid. If they are, they will be entitled to legal advice.

Please contact the Brighton Advice Centre reception team using the details below to find out if you are eligible.

You can also click here to use the eligibility calculator

brighton-advice-centre-02To receive help under the legal aid scheme you must bring the following to your appointment:

  • proof of your income for the past calendar month (e.g. your last payslip, a letter confirming your entitlement to benefits, bank statement covering the last month)
  • if you have a partner you must bring proof of their income as well
  • proof of your capital or savings for each account you have in the form of an up to date statement or passbook

In exceptional circumstances, you may not need to provide these documents if the help you need is an emergency and you cannot obtain them.

How to access the service
For an appointment call:

01273 645455

Or call in during reception times between:

Monday to Friday from 9am12.30pm or 1.30pm4.30pm.

If you would like some legal housing advice then come along to one of our drop in sessions:

Monday to Wednesday from 9.15am12.30pm

To contact us via email

Please click here to email the specialist housing advice team

Reception

BHT

144 London Road

Brighton

BN1 4PH

Court Duty Scheme

brighton-law-courts_W300The Court Duty Scheme provides last-minute emergency advice for people facing eviction who have a court hearing.

A specialist Housing Advisor from BHT attends the County Court in Brighton when repossession cases are being heard.

However, we would strongly recommend you contact BHT’s Brighton Advice Centre as soon as you are given notice of possession by your landlord.

This service is available to all tenants facing eviction or repossession who have a hearing listed on that day. Our Housing Adviser or Solicitor might be very busy on the day, so you need to arrive at court about an hour before your hearing is listed.

When you arrive, ask at the court for the BHT Housing Advisor.

 

 

Immigration Legal Service

ILSThe Immigration Legal Service (ILS) provides advice and representation, under the Legal Aid scheme, in all areas of asylum and human rights law relating to Article 3 of the ECHR.

In addition we can provide advice and representation in some areas of Immigration law namely, bail applications, applications made by victims of trafficking, some Domestic Violence cases, and for preparation for a Judicial Review challenge.

In April 2013 Legal Aid for all other areas of immigration law and Article 8 (private and family life) was taken ‘out of scope’ which means it is no longer available.

It is currently still possible to apply for Legal Aid for certificated Judicial Review work in all areas of Immigration and asylum law, and ILS can assist in identifying these cases.

Advice and representation is provided by specialist solicitors and caseworkers to those who are financially eligible for Legal Aid.

We represent clients at all stages of the asylum process, and in bail, trafficking or domestic violence cases, from the initial application to appeals before the first tier and the upper tribunal. We also represent clients in applications for judicial review in the upper tribunal and administrative court in all areas of asylum and immigration law.

We also represent in onward appeals to the higher courts. We also represent clients in matters relating to asylum support, unlawful detention and in the European Court of Human Rights.

We can offer appointments for more complex matters where Legal aid is available for:

  1. Advice and representation in asylum and article 3 applications.
  2. Preparation and representation at asylum and article 3 appeals.
  3. Advice and representation in Bail, Domestic violence cases and for those who have been found to be the victims of trafficking and preparation and representation at Appeals
  4. Advising on the merits of making an application for Judicial Review.
  5. Advice, assistance and representation in the High Courts.

We will organise professional interpreters when necessary.

Home visits can be arranged if you are not able to come to the office.

Our free casework service is available to people who qualify for Legal Aid or who are on a low income and live in the South East.

This will depend on your financial circumstances. To help us decide whether you are eligible for Legal Aid We will need to see evidence of your means (income and capital) for the three last months, and that of your partner, if you have one.

Contact details

BHT are not currently able to provide the Immigration Telephone Helpline.

We are only able to assist people who are eligible for Legal Aid, namely those who are applying for asylum, or come within the following exceptions:

  • spouses who are suffering domestic violence,
  • bail
  • judicial review work

To contact us to see if you are eligible for legal aid and to make an appointment:

Click here to email the Immigration Legal Service

or call into our reception at:

BHT,144 London Road, Brighton BN1 4PH

and leave your name, phone number and the nature of your query.

One of our caseworkers will contact you as soon as they are able.

If you require an appointment at our Hastings / St Leonards on Sea office then please make this clear in your email.

Moneyworks

Moneyworks is here to help Brighton & Hove residents save money, make money and manage their money better. The services are for anyone who is struggling to make ends meet.

For more information about Moneyworks or to get advice, ring our Helpline on 0800 988 7037 or 01273 809288 

Monday: 3pm to 7pm
Tuesday: 10am to 2pm
Wednesday & Thursday: 12.30pm to 4.30pm
Friday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Drop in and appointment sessions run across the city and offer practical help with making your money go further. Come in and see us or click on the links below for trusted online information:

Moneyworks is a partnership of advice agencies led by the Citizens Advice Brighton & Hove (CAB) with Money Advice Plus (MAP), BHT’s Brighton Advice Centre, St Luke’s Advice Service and Possability People – the Community Education Hubs: The Bridge, Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project, Hangleton & Knoll Project, BHT’s Whitehawk Inn and East Sussex Credit Union.

Moneyworks is funded by Brighton & Hove City Council.

Real Life Story

BHT Advice recently helped Jose to keep his home, as was facing homelessness having fallen into rent arrears.

Jose owed his Housing Association landlord nearly £2,500, had become very ill and hadn’t been out of the house for nearly three months except to the corner shop. He had lost his benefits as the DWA said he was fit for work. Jose desperately wanted to work but he got so nervous at interviews that he couldn’t get a job. Then Jose’s father then unexpectedly died and his anxiety got so bad that he couldn’t leave the house.

Jose’s first trip out further than the corner shop was to Brighton County Court, which was where we met him as part of BHT’s County Court Duty Scheme. He was anxious that he would become homeless that night.

After reassuring Jose BHT represented him at the hearing where we managed to persuade the judge not to make any court order so that Jose had time to sort himself out. The Housing Association were not too happy but the judge agreed with us.

We were able to work with others to get Jose to the doctors to get a report to show the DWP why he was not fit for work, and we helped him get housing benefit to pay his rent. An arrangement was made with the landlords to pay off the arrears.

When the matter came back to Court, we persuaded the Judge not to make a Possession Order as everything had been sorted out. Jose was now back on track and still in the flat that had been his home for the past 24 years.

Send this to a friend