HCLC housing solicitor Jamille Mohammed (pictured right) was recently on duty at Clerkenwell & Shoreditch County Court. This meant that he was required to advise, assist and represent anyone attending the court that day who didn’t already have a solicitor. As always, there were lots of people waiting and Jamille prevented a number of defendant tenants from being evicted.
One housing association tenant had substantial rent arrears and could not demonstrate mitigating circumstances or the ability to manage her tenancy going forward. In simple terms, she had buried her head in the sand. Luckily, she had turned up at court for her hearing and Jamille was able to identify some housing benefit discrepancies that might help her fight the possession proceedings being brought against her. Jamille successfully persuaded the judge to adjourn the client’s hearing for 28 days to allow HCLC to investigate further.
The client formally instructed HCLC and Jamille soon got to work in partnership with HCLC’s welfare benefits advisor Marcin Brajta (pictured right). Jamille and Marcin found that the client had been entitled to almost £6,000 in backdated benefit. They quickly helped her to claim it, meaning that that the client was no longer in arrears with her rent.
At the next court hearing at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court the housing association withdraw the possession proceedings against the client.
This example again demonstrates the importance of court duty representation and also how joint work across departments at Hackney Community Law Centre can achieve excellent results for those we represent.
Well done Jamille and Marcin!