A group of Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) experts from across our various client sectors have gazed into their crystal ball and given us a view on how 2021 is looking.
Can we prevent tenants taking out the Green Deal or can we place conditions on consent?
From a landlord perspective, you will often want to prevent your stock from having non-standard fixtures. Green Deal measures are likely to be classed as improvements under tenancy agreements, for which landlords usually cannot unreasonably withhold consent. We haven’t had any cases yet about what ‘reasonable’ and ‘unreasonable’ means in a Green Deal context. It will be interesting to see how this aspect of landlord and tenant law interplays with the landlord consent which is required to the Green Deal plan (ie. the charge on the electricity meter).
Ultimately, it appears that landlords can refuse the Green Deal plan under the Green Deal regulations but will not usually have the right to unreasonably refuse an improvement. If you are minded to consent to improvements and the associated Green Deal plan, that consent may need to be on condition that a warranty is received for the installation. The warranty should be reviewed from a legal perspective and the expenses for this and your administration can be charged as part of giving consent.
Are we allowed to recommend one or two trusted Green Deal providers in our areas to our tenants?
You would need to consider how you arrive at a position where you can endorse one particular provider over any other. How much control would you want or need over the endorsed provider? If the landlord is receiving some benefit and also has extensive control over the works being carried out, it begins to look like a public works contract and other contractors that haven’t been ‘endorsed’ might challenge on the basis that you have not gone through the proper procurement process. An even more pressing point relates to your reputational issues if the endorsed provider does not perform. The landlord will have only limited control over the quality of the advice provided to its tenants or the quality of the works being implemented. Your tenants will be looking for you to sort out problems if things go wrong with a provider endorsed by you, whether it is your legal liability or not.
How can we most actively participate in the Green Deal?
If you provide works or services in-house and you have spare capacity, you might think about becoming a registered installer or assessor and working as a sub-contractor for your local Green Deal providers.
If you have more ambitious plans for creating economic activity in your area (covering owner occupiers or private landlords' stock as well), then how about creating a Green Deal business? This may involve partnering with a contractor or utility service and this might also attract additional government funding. Be aware of the procurement challenges (you might need to run an OJEU competition for any work or services delivered by the partner) and any trading implications for your charitable status. You are also likely to need your funders’ consent. However, these hurdles will be well worth it if you can help your community flourish by maximising the opportunities for creating training and jobs, and reducing the instances of people living in under-heated homes.
Luton Borough Council was prosecuted by the HSE late last year following an incident at a high school in which an assistant headteacher was attacked by a pupil and left with life-changing injuries.
This ebriefing looks at the proposal to set out 'public procurement principles' in the proposed procurement legislation.
Happy New Year - our first newsletter of 2021! Throughout this year we will continue to bring you news and developments relating to the charities sector.
Local authorities should be wary of reserving contracts for local suppliers, as recommended by Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 11/20. Other contracting authorities may want to maximise their use of this
Most housing practitioners have perhaps been waiting for this news since the latest lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister on 4 January 2021.
Climate change and biodiversity is an area where significantly faster changes are needed on a global and local basis.
Chris Lloyd Smith, Adrian Leonard and Lisa Whitehouse discuss the planning opportunities available to owners of businesses and how to prepare for unforeseen events.
In their 3rd podcast of the series, Chris Lloyd-Smith and Maria Ramon discuss a number of problems with and difficulties that can arise in mediation and the mechanisms they use to overcome them.
Our previous round-up began by sharing the news that two vaccines had shown very promising test results. Here we are, not even a month later, and the first vaccines have already been administered!
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