In April, Rhi from South West London Law Centres (SWLLC) presented at the South London sub regional network meeting to highlight how law centres and legal representatives can support collective tenant action. Rhi’s presentation explains the process for seeking legal support from law centres, and also outlines the various topics and issues on which a law centre can offer guidance and support. SWLLC can help tenants collectively organise by:
- Organising estate meetings in South West London and invite a solicitor
- Door knock, poster and leaflet if there is a housing issue
- Share about the issue on social media
- Send press releases about the issue to media outlets
- Teach people how to record issues about their case and situation
- Guide tenants through the complaint processes that are necessary to go through with landlords before the issue can be escalated further.
- Supporting protests, marches and rallies, and acting as legal observers to ensure your rights to demonstration are protected.
- Submitting evidence and speaking with politicians on your behalf.
Although South West London Law Centres is available to support tenants in SW London, there are law centres across the city which do the same type of work, and who can provide similar services to tenants elsewhere.
As Rhi highlights, there are other places that tenants can seek legal support:
Advice Local (www.advicelocal.uk) provides advice based upon your postcode.
Citizens Advice (www.citizensadvice.org.uk) is a national charity and network of local charities that offer free and confidential support across a variety of platforms.
Shelter (www.england.shelter.co.uk) can provide emergency advice for individuals who are unhoused or who are facing homelessness (within two months time).
The next South London sub regional network meeting is 22 November 2022 at 1 pm. The focus of this next meeting will be the cost of living, fuel poverty and food poverty crises. Tenant representatives will have the opportunity to learn about the resources available to communities in South London and will get to speak with representatives from organisations and groups offering such support. If you are interested in attending or would like more information, please email email@example.com with your name, TRA/tenants’ group and London borough.
Rhi also gave a presentation on documenting disrepair and how to escalate landlord complaints. You can find it here.