Legal challenge to asylum seeker evictions

6 August 2018, 07:13

Home Office

Lawyers representing two asylum seekers facing eviction are expected to launch a court challenge.

Housing charity Shelter Scotland said its legal team will present papers at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Monday.

It comes after accommodation provider Serco issued notices to say it planned to change the locks in cases where asylum applications have been refused and tenants have not moved on.

But the Home Office contractor announced on Saturday it will pause the plan amid the anticipated legal challenge.

The firm said it welcomed the opportunity to gain clarity from the courts, although it said it had legal advice that its approach was "fully within the law".

Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown said on Friday: "Our legal team will be presenting papers to Glasgow Sheriff Court on Monday morning along with the legal services agency who act for a third individual to try and get interim orders that will prevent the lock changes threatened to our clients.

"Our clients are actively working with immigration lawyers to resolve their asylum claims. Interim orders temporarily stopping the lock changes will allow this work to continue with our clients having a home to live in."

Serco will extend the notice period by 21 days for six people currently subject to lock-change notices, and all further notices to other asylum seekers whose applications have been refused will be paused "whilst the law is being tested and clarified".

The company said of the legal challenge: "This should mean that all parties will get clarity as to how the law will apply to people who refuse to move on from the free accommodation provided to them whilst their claims for asylum are being adjudicated."