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).
The area associations need to focus on now is developing their policies (on discretion and sales). In its guidance the NHF has provided a list of policy areas to consider and issues to take into account when drafting policies.
As solicitors to the VRTB Pilot we are in a good position to help; policies need to take into account potential complaints and challenges so need to be carefully drafted.
It is for each association to consider their own policy. The NHF list is not exhaustive, for example, the Demolition Notice procedure does not apply to the VRTB so capturing properties affected by potential redevelopment proposals is important.
We can help you develop your policy through an interactive tool we have developed right through to the final policy and board reports.
You may be familiar with the sales process for the RTA and/or (P)RTB but the VRTB sits outside the statutory process. The NHF has provided a note of the key sales stages but you will need to adapt your existing sales process to accommodate these, and think carefully about the form of the offer/contract.
For example, the section 125 restrictions on service charge provisions do not apply to the VRTB: what service charge information (if any) would you provide?
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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