Having nowhere to live is a terrifying thought, but there are laws that are meant to protect you from being homeless, especially if you are a vulnerable person: for example, if you are young, pregnant, or being threatened by someone.
Acting quickly is important if you are homeless or facing homelessness. The sooner you get help the more likely you will be able to find somewhere suitable to live, or to prevent your home being repossessed.
At Citizens Advice Portsmouth we may be able to advise you on all aspects of housing including: rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, tenancies, housing benefit, rent problems, establishing 'fair rents', advice on eviction and problems with neighbours. If your problem is complex we can arrange an appointment with a specialist adviser. We press for changes in housing law by using our knowledge of how people are affected by the current rules.
We offer General Housing Information via our Information Service, but if you’re on a low income and need specialist help (such as in cases set out below), please call our partner, Swain & Co Solicitors LLP, on 023 9248 3322 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm to arrange an appointment.
Swain & Co’s solicitors and advisors have expertise in offering advice in housing law. They are one of few firms offering such an expertise and are committed to ensuring people’s housing needs and rights are recognized.
They can help with a variety of housing-related issues, for example:
- Are you being threatened with repossession?
- Are you homeless or are there reasons why you cannot continue to live in your current property?
- Is there a serious risk of harm to the health or safety of a member of your household because your rented home in a serious state of disrepair?
- Is your landlord taking action against you for alleged anti-social behaviour?
- Do you require protection from harassment in your own home?
Our colleagues from Swain & Co can see you at our Ark Royal House offices by appointment on Fridays. They also offer appointments on other days at their office in Havant. You can telephone them directly on 023 9248 3322.
Swain & Co also operate the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme at Portsmouth County Court, where they can provide free advice and representation to people at risk of losing their home as a result of rent or mortgage arrears. Please contact them directly for information as to what days the scheme is operated.
For self help in dealing with housing problems, visit the housing section on the national Citizens Advice Adviceguide website at www.adviceguide.org.uk.
Other useful contacts if you have housing related problems are:
Shelter 080 8800 4444
Leasehold Advisory Service 020 7383 9800
Portsmouth City Council (023) 9282 2251