Susan HailwoodAssociate/Senior Training Manager
I trained to become a solicitor at Stephensons Solicitors. The firm was a very traditional, client focussed high-street legal aid firm that provided much needed legal advice and representation to communities that lived local to their numerous offices.
I moved from Stephensons Solicitors to become a specialist housing solicitor for Shelter legal services in Manchester city centre in 2005 in order to develop expertise in housing law.
At Shelter, I gained extensive experience of working with tenants, homeowners and homeless people and became a supervising solicitor in 2013.
I have specialised in the field of landlord and tenant/housing law, homelessness law and housing related public law and anti-social behaviour (inclusive of applications for injunctions/committal applications) for over 18 years.
Having engaged in housing law specialism since qualification, I am considered to be an expert in the field. I have had significant experience of representing clients with legal cases in both the County Court and the Administrative Court and have also represented hundreds of individuals under the housing duty solicitor schemes at numerous County Courts across the North West.
I first joined AWH Solicitors in March 2018 as part of a programme of development and growth within the housing disrepair department and have recently become responsible for all training/technical issues within the housing disrepair team.
- Legal Practice Course at Chester College of Law
- Law Degree from Liverpool John Moores University (LLB Honours)
I feel very privileged to have spent the last 18 years;
- striving to ensure that my clients and their families have a decent home to live in, that it is maintained to a reasonable modern-day living standard, where they can feel safe, happy and secure; and/or
- ensuring that I prevent them from losing that home, or from losing their liberty/receiving a fine, for allegedly breaching their housing related obligations.
Helping clients with housing related problems can sometimes mean representing some of the most vulnerable individuals in society and I am very keen to ensure that there is fair access to justice, particularly for those individuals that may struggle to deal with everyday life without a little help, assistance and guidance.
I am also very passionate about trying to ensure that the need for a social conscience remains at the forefront of the minds of the legal profession of the future and I am committed to nurturing and encouraging the Housing Disrepair team members to remain client focussed, whilst also providing first class legal representation as a result of a good training programme and support.
I have always held a strong desire to try to help others who find themselves in troublesome circumstances which have proven too difficult for them to deal with/resolve, by themselves.
I get great satisfaction and a feeling of pride when work that I have undertaken on behalf of a client brings a successful outcome and a client has a home in which they feel safe, settled and more able to cope/move forward with their lives unassisted.
Assisting a vulnerable mentally unwell man, who had lived in appalling conditions for in excess of 16 years in his rented home. The roof of the property was significantly damaged and was continuing to leak, the resulting water damage had brought down the ceiling in both bedrooms (rendering the rooms unusable & causing damage/loss to all furnishings therein) and through the beds, continuing through the floors/ceiling of the rooms below and was progressing to continue dripping through to the living room.
The client was living & sleeping in a chair in his living room.
Settled – all repair works completed, temporary decant accommodation for duration of repairs in suitable alternative home (assistance with removals/costs thereof met), with permitted return to the newly repaired home upon completion of repairs, with substantial damages claim for inconvenience and distress and associated losses.
Assisting an individual who had been street homeless for 4-5 years [with his street dog] in bringing a challenge against his Local Authority’s decision to reject his Homelessness Application on grounds of lack of vulnerability, successfully resulting in him being offered a permanent home, which he still lives in several years later.