Close Close
Get in touch today, feel free to ask us anything

Call Us

Tel 0300 131 7300


Islington & Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA)
102 Blackstock Road
London N4 2DR

0300 131 7300

Welcome to Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association

0300 131 7300


Be cautious about instructing a legal firm

Old looking books and an open notepad with a pen on it

We’ve seen a lot of discussions lately between housing associations about legal firms targeting residents about disrepair claims.

This article provides important information to consider before contacting a legal firm and explains how to raise an issue with us or complain about a service we provide.

We can’t advise whether employing a legal firm is right for you. However, we recommend you seek independent legal advice and take your time before deciding.

What is the issue?

You may have seen adverts online or on the TV, received a random phone call or received information in the post from a legal firm or solicitor promising to get you a substantial amount of financial compensation for issues with where you live. Often, they will claim to offer a free service, which is supposedly ‘no win, no fee’.

While genuine and reputable legal firms can assist you if you want to challenge something under UK Law, many of these unsolicited approaches are not what they seem. Some firms deliberately target vulnerable residents and hide the true cost of their legal services in longwinded, difficult-to-understand or difficult-to-find terms and conditions.

Possible problems with using a legal firm

While you think you might not have to pay legal fees, it’s not uncommon to face a hefty legal bill regardless of whether your legal case is successful

Even if you win, residents are often surprised by how little compensation they receive after paying legal fees. If you do receive compensation, it is likely that the original issue hasn’t been resolved, and you still have to live with the problem.

Sometimes, a notice from a legal firm might be the first time a housing provider is aware of the issue. Even if the issue is resolved, residents can face legal costs to withdraw their claim, leaving them significantly out of pocket and potentially in debt to the legal firm.

Reporting legal firms

If you are concerned about a legal firm that has contacted you without your permission or have used one and are unhappy with the outcome, consider reporting them to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), The Law Society or Trading Standards.

However, be aware that membership in some of these bodies is voluntary and legal firms and solicitors may not be registered with them.

What to do if you have an issue where you live

If you have a problem with your home, experience anti-social behaviour or struggle to make payments, contact us. Please tell us so we can work with you to resolve it. The easiest way to contact us is to call 0300 131 7300 or email

Reporting a repair

If you have a repair or maintenance issue where you live, you should report it to us by calling 0300 131 7300 or email

This allows us to provide you with a reference number for the repair, assign it to a contractor to get it fixed and keep you informed of progress.  

Making a complaint

We work hard to deliver the best service to all our residents, but sometimes, we don’t get it right. That’s why we have a formal policy and process for handling and resolving complaints.

You can make a complaint to us in several ways, but we advise you to call us on 0300 131 7300 or email This will ensure your complaint is logged correctly so that we can investigate the issue and work with you to resolve it quickly.

Resolving your complaint

Wherever possible, we would like the opportunity to resolve any issues you have through the complaints process outlined in our complaints policy (pdf, 762kb).

Our policy follows the guidance set out by the Housing Ombudsman, and after stage 2 of our complaints handling process, if you’re still unhappy with our response, you can escalate it to the Ombudsman.

What happens to my complaint if I contact a legal firm?

If you instruct a legal firm to take on your complaint, we can no longer manage your complaint through our complaints process. This may make resolution more challenging. Additionally, once the matter enters formal legal proceedings, our staff may be unable to discuss your complaint directly with you.

Is contacting a legal firm the right approach for me?

Ultimately, contacting a legal firm about a disrepair case is up to you. We can’t advise whether this is the right or the wrong approach, but you shouldn’t rush into making a decision. Seek independent legal advice, such as Citizens Advice, before signing anything.

More information

More information can be found in our complaints policy (pdf, 762kb). If you have any questions, call 0300 131 7300 or email

To report a repair for the first time or to request more information about an existing repair, call 0300 131 7300 or email  

Read more news stories

Report a repair

Pay rent online

Get involved