Free legal advice if you have a housing problem
Legal aid for housing problems
You might get free legal help if you:
have a serious housing problem
get benefits or have a low income
What can legal aid can help with?
The most common housing problems legal aid could help with are:
stopping or delaying eviction from a tenancy
repossession because of mortgage arrears
illegal eviction and landlord harassment
challenging a council decision on a homeless application
You can sometimes get help if your home has serious repair problems.
Who can get legal aid
You can usually get legal aid if you get:
universal credit (UC)
pension credit guarantee
income related employment and support allowance (ESA)
income based jobseeker's allowance (JSA)
If you do not get any of these benefits, you might get legal aid if your monthly income before tax is less than £2,657.
You can only get legal aid if have less than £733 a month after paying for your housing and other essential expenses. The legal aid agency works this out.
Your partner's income, savings and assets count if you live with them. You need to show proof of your income and savings to your adviser. For example, bank statements.
Savings and other assets
You cannot get legal aid if you have £8,000 or more in savings or other assets.
Anything of value, such as property, cars or jewellery counts as assets and are included in working out if you should get legal aid.
The home you live in
You might not get legal aid if you have too much equity in your property.
Equity is the money you'd get after selling your home and paying off your mortgage and secured debts.
Secured debts are loans that are registered on your home.
Not all equity counts. £100,000 of equity in your home is ignored. £200,000 is ignored if you're facing repossession for mortgage arears.
The legal aid agency might ask you to pay back some of the cost if you get to keep your home. But you do not normally have to do this until your home is sold.
How to find a legal aid adviser
Our local services offer legal aid.
Find your closest Shelter service to see if we can help.
Other organisations that give help through legal aid include:
You can find a full list of legal aid providers on GOV.UK.
Some advice agencies give free advice even if you cannot get legal aid.
Legal help over the phone
Civil Legal Advice (CLA) gives telephone advice and casework.
A CLA adviser can:
give you advice
help you with court documents
put you in touch with a local service who can help you in court
speak to the council for you if they're not giving you the right homeless help
Last updated: 27 November 2023