The Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service: What is it and how will it help with the property possession process?

On 1 August 2023, the new Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service (HLPAS) was introduced. Before the introduction of this new service, persons facing a possession action were able to access advice immediately before the possession hearing and have representation in court, but no early advice was given.

HLPAS introduces the provision of early legal advice (from the moment the person is notified that possession is being sought by the landlord/mortgage lender). Under HLPAS anyone at risk of losing their home can receive early advice, long before their case reaches a substantive court hearing. 

HLPAS guidance specifies that it covers: 

  • Possession action 
  • Other housing problems (such as security of tenure, repairs, allocation, and transfers of social housing)
  • Debt advice
  • Welfare benefits (including council tax reductions)

The new service also provides an 'in court' duty scheme to replace the previous court duty advice service.

Charities will, therefore, find that where they are seeking vacant possession of a property HLPAS will be available to tenants. It is anticipated that this service will help with the smooth running of possession matters, as tenants will receive early advice it is expected that situations whereby tenants misunderstand their rights and entitlement to occupy will be diminished. 

If you need to obtain vacant possession of a property, please get in touch with our Charity Property team, who will be happy to help.