Court Duty Service: Real Life Story 2

This week (Monday 27th to Friday 31st October) BHT is running a campaign to raise awareness of our Court Duty Service run at Brighton, Lewes, Eastbourne and Hastings County Courts. Whenever a housing possession case is listed to be heard, one of our solicitors or advisers will be present to advise and provide some representation to the defendant. Unfortunately, not everyone attends these possession hearing. This campaign aims to encourage people to get advice and, at the very least, attend Court and get advice and representation from our solicitors and advisers.

The following account, the second in this series, is by someone whose family home was saved by our Court Duty Service just before Christmas last year:

It was a week before Christmas and we had rented out a property using some of our wedding money to pay for the deposit and rent.

The landlord said we were in arrears which we fiercely disputed. The BHT adviser asked us if we had brought any paperwork with us to prove that we had paid the rent but we hadn’t, we had nothing at all. Time was limited before our names were called and the adviser was working fast to gather as much information from us as she could.

The adviser told us that it would be tricky to save our home without any paperwork to prove our case and both our hearts sank. The thought of losing our home just before Christmas was heart breaking, but we had already prepared for the worst; taking down the Christmas decorations and telling the children that we may not be in our family home for Christmas this year.
It was all very sad and we just couldn’t believe it had come to this.

Our adviser battled hard for us that day, claiming that we needed time to get some legal advice and to fight our case.

The Judge agreed and adjourned the case with each side having to file and serve certain information by certain dates.

We left that court room feeling a little bewildered and confused until our adviser explained what had just happened. She had saved our home – for now- and we have never felt relief like it.

She explained that we needed to gather evidence by a certain date and she referred us to a BHT solicitor who took our case on.

Being able to go home and tell our children that we would be in our home for Christmas was the best Christmas present we could have asked for.

A year on we are still in the same house and looking forward to spending another Christmas here.

(Read another account of how BHT’s Court Duty Service saved someone’s home)


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