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How will changes to the legal aid system affect domestic abuse victims who are also private renters?

View profile for Andrew Whitehead
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On 17 October 2022, the government announced an extra £10 million a year will be invested into Legal Aid to ensure this will be accessible to more people. The focus of this extra support is the use of new Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders, which the government committed to introducing in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

Any victim protected by the new notices and/or orders will now have access to free legal advice and representation in court. Domestic abuse victims will also now be allowed to submit evidence from their doctor in support of their legal aid applications.

The effect of this on private renters is that anyone facing eviction or repossession will receive free legal advice before their case is heard at court. This advice will also extend for the duration of the court proceedings and will include representation at any court hearings.

This will help people who are facing the loss of their homes and provide guidance from the earliest point in the repossession process.

Any individual with a re-possession notice will also be given advice on debt and welfare to help with any other issues they may face that is linked to the re-possession process.

These new changes will have positive impacts on those suffering from domestic abuse and ensure that they have access to the legal help that they need.

Further information and useful links regarding how to get help if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse can be found on the government website.

At Stephensons our family law team specialise in helping victims of domestic abuse to obtain these protection orders and notices, they can be reached on 0161 696 6193.