A new scheme linking tenants with lawyers has promised to level up the legal playing field.
Online claims management firm Veriwise and online portal Clerksroom Direct have teamed up to provide all Veriwse clients with legal representation from more than 1,000 specialist barristers, at no cost. When using the service, tenants will be represented in court and at formal meetings and in the drafting of legal letters and documents.
Veriwise takes on housing disrepair claims, deposit disputes and illegal eviction claims on behalf of renters, negotiating with councils or private landlords to fix the issues and claim compensation for renters. In cases of non-compliance, the firm will now present the case to legal counsel who can take the case to court to ensure the landlord complies and pays any compensation.
The firm pays on a conditional fee arrangement; it seeks compensation and costs from the defendants both pre-litigation and requests for costs awarded from the courts, dependant on each case.
Veriwise founder Ajay Jagota believes many people know that most problems simply disappear as soon as they get a barrister involved – but most of them don’t live in rented properties. He says: “We’re giving people the expert legal back-up they need to make sure their landlords or letting agents fulfil their legal obligations and ensure they receive any compensation due, something wealthier households take for granted.”
Clerksroom CEO Stephen Ward adds: “Clerksroom is a technology solution designed to give people direct access to barristers, so we’re a natural fit with Veriwise who are doing the same thing for renters.”