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Landlords warned over using unregulated solicitors to fill in eviction claim forms

A tenancy mediator has warned landlords that they '� or the '�experts' they hire - risk being jailed for contempt of court by not using a regulated solicitor to fill in possession notice claim forms.

PRS Mediation's Julie Ford (pictured) says that under the Legal Services Act, while landlords and letting agents can complete a Section 21 and Section 8, they aren't qualified to fill in the claim form.

It follows an application in the High Court over a committal for contempt of court for provision of legal services by a person not entitled to do so.

In the case of Baxter v Doble, Sarah Doble Associates Ltd completed a Section 21 as well as the claim form for a Devon landlord and acted as his representative throughout the proceedings.

'She got things double checked by the landlord but the judge said what she was doing was litigation - she shouldn't have been doing it as a paralegal,'� Ford explains.


'This demonstrates that there are lots of people out there who claim to be eviction specialists who aren't regulated solicitors. Landlords need to be really careful about who they're using as eviction specialists. Solicitors are expensive for a reason '� they're protecting you.'�

Giles Peaker, property solicitor at Anthony Gold, says the full-service assistance offered by many '�Evictions R Us' type set ups are now to be clearly understood as conducting litigation.

He adds: 'Apart from giving advice and service of a section 21 or section 8 notice, it is hard to see what more such a '�paralegal law firm' could do in relation to proceedings without running a grave risk of conducting proceedings and committing an offence.'�

However, despite this, the possession claim was successful and the High Court declined to make a finding of contempt.

Watch Julie's video

Read more: Why it's time to police the unregulated evictions firms.


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