Currently, the law doesn’t allow a single parent with a child born via surrogacy to obtain a parental order, leaving their family legally vulnerable.
- Value for money — RPs are required to demonstrate compliance with the regulatory standards, under which they are required to “understand the costs and outcomes of delivering specific services and which underlying factors influence these costs and how they do so” (Regulatory Framework – Value for Money Standard). Contractors should be prepared to provide this information when contracting with RPs.
- Disposals of assets - consent needed — until 6 April 2017, RPs are required to obtain consent from their regulator for all disposals or charging of social housing properties. Even after 6 April, it is still likely that an RP will need to prepare a post-disposal report to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), meaning that the RP will still need to ensure that they comply with any HCA regulations. When you enter into a commercial contract relating to land or the development of such, you should be aware of the consent/reporting requirement, which may have additional time constraints.
- Best terms — Most RPs are also charities (either registered or exempt), and therefore any disposal should be for the best price and on the best terms reasonably obtainable (unless the disposal furthers the RP’s own charitable aims). The Governance & Financial Viability Standard prohibits RPs from entering into arrangements that inappropriately advance the interests of third parties (or could be seen to do so). This means that an RP has to be able to justify why they agree to onerous or unusual commercial terms.
- Probity requirements — RPs receive a significant amount of their income from public funds. This means that they are under increased political and public scrutiny, not only in relation to how they use their resources, but also in relation to the way in which they conduct their business. In particular, there are restrictions on their ability to contract with connected persons, and most RPs will have specific policies which set out the parameters within which they can contract externally. Such policies will set out the conduct that an RP expects to be demonstrated by its contractors, and they will expect you to have knowledge of, and comply with, their policies. You should also declare, where applicable, any connections with the RP’s directors or staff.
- Procurement — RPs are 'contracting authorities' for the purposes of European Union (EU) procurement law. This means that RPs are required to advertise contracts with a value over the relevant thresholds across the EU, and to carry out a formal Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) compliant tendering process. The relevant thresholds are currently (excluding VAT):
- contracts for supplies and services: £164,176;
- contracts for works: £4,104,394; and
- concession agreements (works or services): £4,104,394.
The regulations are complex, but there are exceptions that allow RPs to enter into contracts without carrying out a full tendering procedure. This makes it worthwhile for you to explore whether any exemptions apply that might allow you to approach an RP with a proposal directly.
To find out more information relating to this article, please contact Laura Golightly.
The national study, Why Asthma still kills, involved a detailed examination of the circumstances surrounding 195 deaths from asthma in the UK in 2012.
Our Housing team are delighted following a formal tender procurement process to have been appointed to three lots under the new multi-million-pound legal services framework for The Riverside Group.
Necrotising Fasciitis, more commonly known as the ‘flesh-eating disease’, is a significant medical condition that requires urgent treatment.
Many of us who have been following the unfolding Inquest, are not surprised that the Coroner found gross and significant failures on the part of those caring for him.
Transferring out of SHPS will not be suitable for every housing association. So what should housing associations do?
In all the action to remove defective cladding, leaseholders have been the elephant in the room. Whilst social landlords might have adopted a wait and see approach private landlords do not have that luxury.
We welcome the Labour Party’s commitment to doubling the size of the co-operative economy. We wholeheartedly support the ambition to grow this vitally important part of the economy.
It was first referred to in the Charities Act 2006 (which was subsequently replaced by the Charities Act 2011) but it has finally been announced that charitable companies are able to convert to a charitable incorporated organisation (“CIO”).
The Private Members Bill Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill 2017-19 now has Government support and was debated at second reading on Friday 19 January 2018.
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.