Law for Life recently ran an online training programme looking at Housing rights in the time of COVID-19. The aim of the programme was to enable staff and volunteers with no legal or housing experience to be better able to support their clients, service users, and friends to deal with common housing issues. The videos below made-up part of that programme, and we share them here as they are brilliantly helpful in explaining the issues involved and what steps to take. The programme was delivered for women's organisations and organisations working with refugees but the videos and the law they refer to apply to everyone.
Each of the videos focuses on a different aspect of housing law and uses a Q&A format with a housing legal specialist. For more information about our training please visit this page (add link to the correct page).
Tenancies and other housing arrangements
This video is about the types of housing agreements that exist (concentrating on tenancies and licenses) and the different set of legal rights you have in relation to where you live or stay.
Dealing with Section 21 Evictions
This video - part of our training course on Housing Rights and Women - looks at section 21 evictions.
It explores: what is a section 21 eviction, what happens if you receive one and what rights do you have, as well as how to challenge this type of eviction and the pros and cons of doing so.
Dealing with poor housing conditions and repairs
This video covers issues around dealing with disrepair and poor housing conditions, such as damp walls, broken windows, and leaky roofs. It looks at:
- what repairs are the landlords responsibility to do and which are the tenants responsibility
- strategies and challenges in resolving issues of poor quality housing.
Dealing with local authorities in the context of homelessness
This video explores how to deal with local authorities in the context of homelessness.
You will learn about your rights when asking the council for assistance and strategies for navigating gatekeeping practices.
Dealing with local authorities in the context of homelessness - for refugees
This video focuses mainly on the rights of newly recognised refugees. Issues explored:
- how to deal with local authorities in the context of homelessness;
- your rights when asking the council for assistance and strategies for navigating their gatekeeping practices;
- rules in general, with particular focus on the 28 day move-on period.
Living in temporary accommodation
This video looks at how to cope with life in temporary and emergency accommodation.
Using Judicial Reviews for Housing Problems
This video provides a non technical overview of judicial reviews for community groups, advisors, support workers and anyone without legal training. The video relates specifically to the context of homelessness and temporary accommodation and builds on our prior videos on these topics.
Benefits and housing
This video looks at how to seek financial support, particularly to pay for your rent during Covid-19. For many people this involves applying to Universal Credit for the first time or managing the existing claim in light of the current restrictions and new challenges that have emerged with the current crisis. For a small number of people instead support would come by Local Councils through the Housing Benefit.
Following the outbreak of Covid-19 the government introduced several changes to the Universal Credit system. *The information presented in this video was as up to date as possible as of the 18th May 2020 however it is always a good idea to double check with a trusted resource in case there are any recent updates.*
Benefits and housing - for refugees
This video looks at how to apply for Universal Credit as a refugee who has recently received status.
Issues covered in this video:
- the main requirements for an application,
- how to get an advance payment, and it specifically looks at the housing element of the Universal Credit. This includes some basic information about the local housing allowance and how you may be able to receive discretionary housing payments from your local authority.
This video also briefly covers how to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and the criteria for doing so.