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Greenwich Housing Rights Opening Times

We do not see clients at our Woolwich or Bromley offices without a pre booked appointment. If you want to meet with an advisor face to face, please attend one of the Advice Hubs.

Existing Clients: Please contact your caseworker on the email address or telephone number provided.

If you are not an existing client, you can get help by either completing an online contact form, telephoning our advice services or attending an outreach session.

Telephone & Email Housing Advice

Telephone: 020 8854 8848

Email: [email protected]

Monday & Tuesday 2pm – 4pm

Wednesday 10am – 12pm

Thursday 10am – 4pm

Friday 2pm – 4pm

For Emergency Advice when we are closed:

Civil Legal Aid (must be eligible for legal aid) 0345 345 4345

Shelter Helpline 0808 800 4444

Greenwich Council Emergency Duty Team 020 8854 8888

If you are sleeping rough or concerned about someone who is sleeping rough,

please contact Streetlink 0300 500 0914

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Ian Webb from Greenwich Housing Rights Represents Squatters in Baring Hall Hotel after court mistake

A judge has told squatters they can remain in Baring Hall Hotel for the time being, after a possession order was refused. 

Two squatters attended a hearing at Bromley County Court on Monday (February 12), after the developer which owns the listed building sought permission to evict them. 

But the case was adjourned because the court listed the hearing one day too early, meaning the squatters had not been given the required three days’ notice. 

“I feel aggrieved at the way this has turned out today,” said Gary Mallon, from Baring Hall Hotel Ltd. 

“The system doesn’t seem to protect the owners of buildings like this that have been occupied by squatters.”

The two squatters who attended gave their names as Sarah Freeman, 21, and Michael Johannes, who would not give his age. 

The pair declined to say where they have lived previously or whether they were occupying the property out of necessity. 

“We have no ill intention,” said Mr Johannes. “We agree with saving the hall. We like what this man is doing. But we have had a horrible Facebook campaign against us.”

A Facebook group called Save The Baring Hall Hotel has seen posts calling the squatters “scum”, with one person writing: “We should get a mob together and get rid of them.”

“People have been spying on us, filming us without our consent,” said Ms Freeman.

“We have had false accusations,” said Mr Johannes, who insisted squatters had caused no damage to the property. 

“I can understand why people are upset,” he said. “However, it has been a bit dehumanising.”

“We just want to save the Baring Hall Hotel,” said Ms Freeman, although she would not elaborate. 

This Is Local London: Baring Hall Hotel Ltd sought an interim possession order at Bromley County Court, against squatters who allegedly moved in last monthBaring Hall Hotel Ltd sought an interim possession order at Bromley County Court, against squatters who allegedly moved in last month (Image: Charles Thomson)

Mr Mallon, who owns ten pubs across south east London and Kent, said he finally purchased the property in 2023, having first expressed an interest in 2016. 

The listed building, which is a stone’s throw from Grove Park station, was built in 1882 and had sat empty for 14 years. 

He plans to refurbish and reopen it as a pub, a nine-room hotel and a community centre. 

He told the News Shopper that while he does not yet have planning permission, he is confident he will get it and in the meantime he had engaged contractors to start “tidying up” the site, parts of which were “extremely derelict”. 

But when the contractors arrived one day last month, the padlocks had been changed and the building had been occupied. 

A legal notice had been attached to the gate, warning against unauthorised entrance. 

The notice said it had been posted by a Simon Philips, but Mr Mallen had observed multiple people at the site, so Baring Hall Hotel Ltd sought an interim possession order against Mr Philips and persons unknown. 

If granted, the squatters would have had 24 hours to vacate before police were entitled to forcibly remove them. 

Mr Philips did not show up for the hearing but Mr Johannes and Ms Freeman did. 

Duty solicitor Ian Webb, from Greenwich Housing Rights, represented them. 

At the outset, he said there had been “insufficient time” between the notice of the proceedings and the hearing. 

This Is Local London: Judge Raymond Koh said he had no choice but to adjourn the hearing because the squatters had not been given sufficient notice of the hearing at Bromley County CourtJudge Raymond Koh said he had no choice but to adjourn the hearing because the squatters had not been given sufficient notice of the hearing at Bromley County Court (Image: Charles Thomson)

The law says that three days’ notice must be given. 

The notice was served on Wednesday, February 7, and the court listed the case for Monday, February 12. 

“Three days doesn’t include weekends, as you know,” Mr Webb told Deputy District Judge Raymond Koh. 

He said an interim possession order was “a very draconian measure” and the judge should not permit it if the defendants had been given insufficient notice. 

Baring Hall Hotel Ltd’s lawyers said the court had chosen the date and simply told all parties when it was.

But, Mr Webb said: “The claimants have a full legal team. They should have noted that the hearing doesn’t provide for three clear days.”

Barrister Stephen Boyd, for Baring Hall Hotel Ltd, urged the judge to grant belated permission for short notice. 

“These are professional trespassers,” he alleged. 

“You can see that from the notice. It’s not a property that has been haphazardly occupied as a one-off. They know exactly what they are doing.”

But, said Judge Koh, “Even if that were the case, they are still entitled to three days’ clear notice.”

He adjourned the case until the first free date after four days – meaning it will not be rescheduled until at least next week. 

In the meantime, Mr Mallen said, there were seven contractors unable to work and he was racking up significant bills. 

“The cost of evicting them is just such a waste of money,” he said. “I could have done so much to the building with the cost of this. It’s bonkers.”

Original Article here:

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StreetLink is a platform that connects people rough sleeping in England and Wales to support provided by local authorities and charities. This includes anyone who is sleeping outside, preparing to bed down, or sleeping somewhere not designed for habitation, such as a car. To make these connections, the platform relies on alerts submitted by members of the public and people sleeping rough.

The street link App which is no longer available as of 29th September 2023 to report instances of rough sleeping. 

Please note that the StreetLink App will no longer be available however the website is still available, and they have launched a QR code that can be scanned for an alert to be made using a smart phone. 

What’s staying the same?

StreetLink is still a vital service in helping end rough sleeping and its purpose remains the same – to enable members of the public to connect people sleeping rough in England and Wales to local support that meets their needs.

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Face to Face Outreach Housing Advice Sessions

There are a number of Face to Face Advice Sessions across Greenwich providing advice on a range of issues, including Housing and Welfare and Benefits. An advisor from Greenwich Housing Rights, will be present at the below advice sessions where possible.

You are advised to attend as early as possible, as due to high demand, sessions may be closed earlier than advertised.

Monday 10 am – 12 pm The Forum Advice Hub

The Forum, Trafalgar Road, Greenwich SE10 9EQ

Tuesday 10:30 am – 1:30 pm Migrant Hub Advice Hub (Migrants only)

Woolwich Common Community Centre, Leslie Smith Square SE18 4DW

Wednesday 09:30 am – 12pm Moorings Advice Hub

Moorings Social Club, Arnott Close, Thamesmead SE28 8BG

Wednesday 10am – 12pm St Mary’s Community Centre Advice Hub

St Mary’s Community Centre, 180 Eltham High Street, Eltham SE9 1BJ

Thursday 10am – 12pm Glyndon Community Centre Advice Hub

Glyndon Community Centre, Raglan Road, Plumstead SE18 7LB

Friday 09:30am – 12pm Clockhouse Advice Hub

Woolwich Clockhouse Community Centre, Defiance Walk, Woolwich Dockyward

SE18 5QL