Leslie Jaji

Leslie Jaji

Leslie Jaji

Solicitor - Date of Qualification: September 2019

Leslie is a solicitor in the Social Welfare department. He represents clients in a range of matters including homelessness, possession claims and challenges to social services.

Before joining TV Edwards in March 2016, Leslie worked at legal publishers Chambers and Partners.

As a paralegal, Leslie supported our Housing and Community Care solicitors with homelessness cases, disrepair and possession proceedings. Leslie then trained at the firm, completing seats in the Housing, Community Care and Family Law teams. Whilst a trainee solicitor, Leslie helped deliver housing advice at a local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Leslie takes a particular interest in access to justice, and human rights, and has been a member of the Law Society’s International Action Team. He has also been an intern at the charity LawWorks, who provide assistance to those ineligible for legal aid, and has volunteered with the Intervene Project, a legal charity that works for the better protection of prisoners and those in police custody.

Leslie is particularly interested in acting for clients in defending possession claims on the basis of rent arrears and clients who need to challenge adverse decisions made by local authorities in homeless applications.

Cases that Leslie has worked on include:

Possession Claims

  • A tenant with disabilities was facing a claim for possession of his local authority home due to £9,000 of rent arrears that had accrued while he was in prison. Leslie acted for the client in defending the possession proceedings. After identifying the failure of the authority to follow its own policy for evicting vulnerable tenants, Leslie was able to negotiate a pause on favourable terms for the tenant.
  • Leslie acted for a client who was due to be evicted as a result of rent arrears of more than £5,000. Leslie issued an application to suspend the eviction date and was successful, meaning that his client and her family could keep their home.
  • Leslie has had regular success in requesting discretionary housing payments to help clients reduce their rent arrears. In one case, Leslie was able to secure a discretionary housing payment of more than £9,500 to assist a client who was suffering from a severe mental health condition. In another, Leslie was able to secure a discretionary housing payment of nearly £5,000 to help reduce the arrears of a client who was a single mother with a serious physical health condition.

Homelessness

  • Leslie acted for a client who had refused an offer of accommodation made to discharge the main housing duty. The client had refused the accommodation without viewing it because it was outside London. Leslie was able to identify a procedural defect in the way the offer of accommodation was made that rendered that property unsuitable. The local authority then withdrew its decision to discharge the main housing duty and confirmed it would make another offer to the client.
  • Leslie acted for a client who had been found to be intentionally homeless after being evicted due to rent arrears in excess of £10,000. Leslie was able to obtain evidence to show that his client was suffering PTSD at the time the arrears arose. Leslie was then able to successfully argue that his client’s poor mental health at the time meant that she could not deemed intentionally homeless. The local authority subsequently accepted a full housing duty towards her.
  • In another case where his client had been found to be intentionally homeless, Leslie was able to identify that the client was a victim of domestic abuse and obtain evidence to demonstrate that. He was then able to successfully argue that it was not his client’s deliberate act that led to the family losing their home but that of the abusive partner. The local authority subsequently accepted a full housing duty towards his client and her children.
  • Leslie acted for a client who had been found intentionally homeless, after being excluded from the family home for assault. Despite his client having been found intentionally homeless twice before, Leslie was able to negotiate with the local authority and his client obtained a suitable offer of accommodation in the private rented sector.
  • Leslie regularly acts for clients who have recently been granted refugee status and have received decisions from local authorities that they do not have a priority need for accommodation. Leslie’s clients have included applicants from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and China.

Client feedback

“I would like to thank my solicitor Mr Leslie for helping my family with our housing accommodation problem and making our dreams come true.”

“I was always so appreciative of the time you took to listen to me on the phone… during an acute time of debilitating anxiety. You’re a very credible, competent and approachable person with sensitivity and compassion, and I wanted to thank you for all your kind assistance in relation to the housing case.”