The aim of this project has been to discover how the mix of financial and non-financial factors is taken into account during the housing possession process for both mortgaged properties and rented homes.
The first two stages of the project were funded by the University of Oxford's John Fell Fund, the University of Oxford Law Faculty Research Support Fund and the University of Hull Law School.
Read the full report published in April 2014
Phase 1 of the project involved i) legal analysis; ii) interviewing 23 elite actors and decision-makers involved in housing possession cases; iii) observing court possession days and court duty advice schemes; and iv) analysis of pro-forma court forms and published statistics. The initial research aim was to evaluate the extent to which non-financial considerations (such as the welfare of children, exacerbation of health problems, loss of community networks, etc.) are taken into account in possession cases.
As the research progressed, it became apparent that a key question was to learn more about how these non-financial considerations become known to the key actors involved in the possession process, and in particular the judge. We therefore decided to conduct surveys to obtain detailed information about case management and the legal process of possession including the amount of advice and support available to defendants at court premises. Surveys of court delivery managers and of housing possession court duty schemes were conducted in late 2012-early 2013 (Phase 2).