The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
For anyone who is currently restrained by their Rules, Articles or constitution from holding their General Meeting or have held such in breach of their governing documents hoping for minimal reprisals, help is on the way!
The Government yesterday (20 May), presented a (Corporate Governance and Insolvency) Bill to put in place a series of measures to help; including allowing organisations including companies, Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) and Registered Societies, to hold General Meetings (GM), including Annual General Meetings (AGM) even where the governing documents do not permit such to be held virtually and in some cases, explicitly require a minimum number of Members/Shareholders to be physically present.
Whilst not law yet, the proposals temporarily allow organisations to hold an AGM or GM during the six months from 26 March to 30 September virtually and the measures are also to be applied retrospectively.
For those forced to postpone AGMs due to be held after 26 March, they will also be given a limited period after the Bill is passed to hold those AGMs for a maximum period of up to eight months; Regulations to follow.
Whilst these measures will be welcomed by many, they are temporary and will not alleviate these issues for the long term. Rules, constitutions and Articles should therefore still be reviewed and amended to ensure that the organisation can continue to function in the long term.
For any advice in respect of the Government proposals, governance arrangements generally or to seek advice about changing your governing document, please contact Sarah Patrice or a member of the governance team.
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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