How we operate
1. If telephoning, our reception takes basic details (or we consider your Notification Form) to see if we think we can help.
2. One of our very experienced legal team will telephone you to obtain more information and confirm if we are able to help.
3. If we can help you a copy of the “No Win No Fee” Agreement will be sent to you with the initial appointment letter.
4. One of our experienced legal team will visit you at a mutually convenient time to inspect your property and explain the “No Win No Fee” agreement to you and give preliminary advice as to whether we think we can help further as soon as possible thereafter.
5. A Senior Lawyer will review the report of the inspection and write to you to confirm either:
(a) We are not able to help further (in which case you pay nothing) or
(b) We can help and we have sent a Notice to the Landlord giving 21 days to put your house in a fit state, so that it is no longer dangerous to health.
6 (a) If all the work is done within 21 days we close our file (and you pay nothing) or
6.(b) If your house is still not in a fit state at the end of 21 days we will issue court proceedings on your behalf (it is rare that you will have to attend court yourself, since almost all court hearings are dealt with by our very experienced solicitors on your behalf).
7. We negotiate with the Landlord or their Lawyers to ensure either the items are dealt with properly or a Court Order is agreed to set a timetable as to what is needed. Only in exceptionally rare cases are the court asked to settle disputes between the two sides.
8. If the Landlord accepts responsibility for the problems and puts things right, or agrees to a Court Order, the Landlord pays your legal fees and you pay nothing.
9. If the Landlord disputes responsibility and persuades us that they are correct, court proceedings will either not be started or withdrawn (given our experience in these matters such an event is not usual). In these circumstances you pay nothing.
10. If the Landlord does not obey the Court Order within the time limit or at all, we will issue further court proceedings for you to ask that the Landlord be punished for not doing what the Court ordered. The Court has power to fine the Landlord and can impose a daily penalty for every day the order remains in breach thereafter. If the proceedings are successful the Landlord pays your legal fees, if unsuccessful you pay nothing.
IMPORTANT: The procedures described in these notes are to help potential clients to decide if they want to seek our help. The proceedings described are brought in the local Magistrates Court, using S82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which are designed to prevent Landlords from letting residential occupiers live in unhealthy conditions, by forcing them to put things right. They are not intended to be a route to claim compensation.
We rely throughout the proceedings on your co-operation with both ourselves and the Landlord and his workforce.
The full details of our Conditional fee agreement (commonly referred to as a “No Win No Fee” Agreement) will be explained to you before you enter into it, including the consequences if you unreasonably do not accept our advice or behave unreasonably.