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Land Registry

The Government department that records property dealings such as sales and mortgages on most land in England and Wales. Land Registry fees have to be paid when buying a property.

Law Society

The regulatory and representative body for solicitors in England and Wales.

Lay adviser

A person who is not legally qualified to provide legal advice, but who is assisting a party in proceedings.


Another term for a tenancy. Commonly, it is used to refer to long-term contracts between freeholder and leaseholder, for example a 99-year lease for a flat.


The right to possession and use of land for a fixed period of time. The lease is the agreement which creates the right. The person who has the lease-hold is the tenant or lessee. The person who grants the leasehold is the lessor or landlord. Most flats are sold as a leasehold.

Legal aid

Range of legal services available to eligible people otherwise unable to meet the costs of legal advice and representation at court. The different legal services provided by authorised providers under legal aid can range from basic legal advice or letter writing to full representation through the court system.

Legal help

One form of civil legal aid services, which covers advice and limited assistance on legal problems short of representation, such as diagnosing the problem, providing written and oral legal advice both, drafting letters, negotiating and obtaining information from third parties.

Legal representation

One form of civil legal aid services, which in housing cases can take the form of Investigative Representation, Full Representation or Emergency Representation. It generally covers a solicitor's representation for a person to court proceedings, or for a person who is contemplating taking proceedings.

Legal Aid Agency (LAA)

Executive agency of the Ministry of Justice administering funding for civil and criminal legal aid in England and Wales. The LAA was formed on 1 April 2013 and replaced the Legal Services Commission.

Legitimate expectation

Where a body has made a promise or adopted a practice, an individual should be able to expect that the promise will be kept or the practice followed.


A bank, building society, or other financial institution that provides mortgages or other loans.

Letter before action

A letter written by a potential claimant to put another party on notice of her/his intention to commence proceedings, and allow the other party an opportunity to act or change her/his decision or otherwise reach a settlement on the proposed claim.

Letting agency

An agency that advertises property to let on behalf of landlords. Letting agents find tenants for a property and sometimes manage the property on behalf of the landlord.

Licensed conveyancer

A person who is not a solicitor, but who is qualified to do the legal work involved in buying and/or selling a property.


A person who rents accommodation but is not a tenant. Licensees usually have less security of tenure than tenants, eg a licensee may live in a hostel or bed and breakfast hotel.

Litigant in person

A party who is not represented by a solicitor in a court case, and conducts her/his own case.

Litigation friend

A person who conducts proceedings, whether as a claimant or a defendant, on behalf of a 'child' or 'patient' as defined by the Civil Procedure Rules.

Local connection

A link with a local authority area for the purposes of receiving housing assistance from the local authority. For a homeless applicant a local connection can be gained through living in the area, having family in the area, working in the area, or other reasons.

Local housing allowance (LHA)

Local Housing Allowance scheme is an alternative method of calculating housing benefit for most private tenants. LHA is paid at a flat rate depending on the area in which the claimants lives and the sze of the claimant's household. Subject to means testing, households of the same composition and who live in the same area will receive the same amount, regardless of the actual rent, size or desirability of the accommodation they live in.


A person who rents accommodation in the same house or flat as the owner of the property, and shares facilities with her/him.

Lodging schemes

Lodging schemes operate a register of people willing to rent out a room in their home. Local authorities or voluntary agencies may manage schemes. Low-level support may be provided on some schemes.

Looked after, accommodated or fostered

For the purposes of entitlement to services under section 24 of the Children Act 1989, this is a person under the age of 21, who (after the age of 16, but while still a child under the age of 18) was, but is no longer:

  • looked after by a local authority (this can include a young person who was accommodated by the local authority for just one night)
  • accommodated by, or on behalf of, a voluntary organisation or in a private children's home
  • accommodated for a consecutive period of at least three months by any health or local education authority, or
  • privately fostered.