BPP University law students offer free advice for residential property issues

Law students studying at BPP University are providing a new pro bono legal advice clinic on matters relating to residential property tribunals.

Anyone who has issued, or is thinking about issuing, an application relating to a residential property dispute in the tribunal will be eligible to attend a 20-minute free advice session with us.

Our law students will get details about the case and, under supervision from a qualified solicitor, give advice in person or in writing.

There are six sessions available every Tuesday and, at the first session on May 10, all the slots were filled.

The tribunal deals with residential property disputes, including:

  • rent increases for ‘fair’ or ‘market’ rates
  • leasehold disputes
  • leasehold enfranchisement
  • disputes about park homes
  • improvement notices and prohibition orders where your notice is under the Housing Act 2004
  • disputes about licences for houses in multiple occupation
  • the right to buy your council home being refused because it’s deemed suitable for elderly people

Advice is offered on both the merits of the case and on procedural issues on a range of residential property matters which come before the tribunal.

The service, supported by BPP University staff, is free and enables law students to develop essential skills including client interviewing and advising.

These drop-ins take place at the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) for the London region at 10 Alfred Place, London, WC1E 7LR.

The project is part of the BPP University London Legal Advice Clinic which provides advice on family and housing law.

Tony Martin, Supervising Solicitor of the BPP University clinic, said: “This is an exciting development for us.

“The law and procedure is quite complex in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and many litigants in person struggle with their cases.

“Law students are ideally placed to give advice and BPP University ensures that they are properly supervised and supported.”

Veronica Barran, Deputy Regional Judge, said: “At the First-tier Tribunal in London we are delighted that BPP University is providing a drop-in clinic for our users.

“Landlord & Tenant and Housing are difficult areas of law and unrepresented parties at this tribunal can struggle to put their case and to provide relevant evidence. Respondent tenants can be fearful of losing their homes.

“There are few sources of pro bono or affordable help in residential property cases and our case officers are relieved to be able to tell litigants in person that help is available at the BPP University London Legal Advice clinic in our tribunal centre.

“Judges and members of the tribunal welcome pro bono help as, when parties are more confident and focused, hearings run more efficiently and the overriding objective of dealing with cases fairly and justly is more easily achieved.”

For further information about the clinic, please contact Tony Martin on 0207 0611 314 or email: tonymartin@bpp.com.

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