Spotlight on: The LexisNexis ‘Legal Aid Deserts’ Report

Due to the impact of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, landlords and tenants alike are facing extreme challenges.

Under these circumstances, LexisNexis conducted an investigation into legal aid provision across England and Wales. With budgets increasingly stretched, underlying demand has grown, however the cost of travel and representation is a mounting worry.

The results of the investigation, which have been compiled into a report, are stark, revealing that 12.45 million people currently live in ‘legal aid deserts for housing’.

Legal aid deserts mean that people on low incomes facing important legal issues are struggling to get the local face-to-face advice they’re legally entitled to.

For the purpose of the report, the data was compiled by comparing the number of legal ‘incidents’ in an area with the number of legal aid providers, calculated per 10,000 people. The bottom 10% of local authorities were categorised as ‘deserts’.

The regions with the most ‘legal aid deserts’ for housing were found to be the East of England, the South East and the South West. The issue was not limited to the housing sector, with 1.09 million people being categorised as living in ‘legal aid deserts for family’.

LexisNexis note that identifying an appropriate solution ‘is no small feat’ but it is hoped that the report will ‘drive the conversation’ around legal aid.

If you need any advice relating to the issues mentioned in this article, please get in touch with our team of experts.

Law is correct as of 1st December 2022

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure that the law in this article is correct, it is intended to give a general overview of the law for educational purposes. You are respectfully reminded that it is not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No liability is accepted for any error or omission contained herein.

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