Free housing law clinic at Sussex University

The University of Sussex has launched a free legal clinic to give local people expert housing advice.

Residents can contact Sussex Law School and receive legal support at no cost on a wide range of housing issues including evictions/possession, disrepair, anti-social behaviour/neighbourhood nuisance, landlord harassment, tenancy deposit and leasehold disputes.

The housing clinics, held on the University’s campus, are intended to benefit both the clients, who have no other means of paying for legal advice, and the students, who are learning about the real and practical applications of their studies.

The legal advice is provided by Sussex Law School students in partnership with solicitors with expertise in housing law issues.

This is part of the University’s Sussex Clinical Legal Education (SCLE), which has been helping people with family law and employment law advice over the last 12 months.

The clinics are in addition to two projects, announced last October, which saw the Law School team up with the Brighton Housing Trust and Justlife Brighton to establish two advice projects. The first gives students the opportunity to assist the public with legal, administrative and research tasks, including County Court visits and clerking.

The second project raises awareness of legal rights among people living in temporary accommodation. It involves students attending a drop-in service run by Justlife, and talking to service-users about legal problems they may be experiencing in areas such as housing, welfare benefits and community care.

The Law School has helped dozens of people with family and employment legal issues since it started almost a year ago, with the weekly sessions fully booked.

Appointments for the housing law clinic can be arranged online or by emailing housinglawclinic@sussex.ac.uk.

People can also call 01273 876797 and leave a brief message outlining their situation, plus a name and contact number. A student will then call back to arrange an appointment.

Local people can also make an appointment with the family law and employment law clinics by emailing lawclinic@sussex.ac.uk or calling the hotline on 01273 876797.

Update on old railway allotments development

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Old railway allotment site

The development of land at the old railway allotments continues to cause consternation among residents – with concerns about:

  • breach of s.106 agreement, which sets a planning condition that no slow worms should be harmed
  • breach of the wall adjacent the footpath for site access – which is not part of the development site
  • safety of users of the station and using the bridge for access between Springfield Road and Ditchling Rise

The matter was discused in detail at our Drara meeting this week.

Following reperesentations from the community on both sides of the tracks, a slow worm survey is now underway to check for any remaining reptiles – who may have survived excavations to date. Residents affiliated to Drara and Srara are busy researching issues around the development to ensure any work going forward is legal, safe and has minimal additional impact on our local environment.