Hackney Community Law Centre warns of rise in illegal evictions

HCLC Illegal Eviction workshop

A law centre has cited an incident in which a refugee was beaten up and told to leave his home on just 24 hours notice as one of a growing number of shocking cases of illegal evictions to have taken place in the borough over the past year.

Hackney Community Law Centre says the number of homeless people awaiting accommodation in Hackney has remained above 2,000 over the last two years.

In an attempt to prevent this figure from increasing still further, the charity is holding a workshop and public education day aimed at raising awareness about the different forms illegal eviction can take.

The workshop will provide information covering areas including: the law regarding the protection of tenants; how to respond if you are, or have been, harassed or evicted by your landlord; and the possible impact of legal aid cuts set to come into force in 2013.

At the workshop event on Thursday 11 October there will be talks from housing solicitors, barristers, representatives from housing and homelessness charity Shelter, and the team leader of Hackney Council’s housing advice and options team.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the problem of illegal evictions may have doubled over the past two years.

Nathaniel Mathews of Hackney Community Law Centre said: “People say that weddings and moving house are two of the most stressful times in a person’s life.

“But being illegally evicted is one of the most stressful things that can happen to a person. Illegal eviction is an offence which is rarely prosecuted.

“This event is a national first, delivering training and bringing together local residents together with other agencies to look at how we can deal with this growing problem.”

The workshop will take place on Thursday 11 October at Hackney Town Hall, Mare Street from 2-5pm. To book a free place to please email Miranda Grell on Miranda@hclc.org.uk or telephone her on 020 8985 5236.