The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdowns and Brexit are very much evident across the construction industry, not least due to the sharp and continued increase in the cost of materials.
With a large team of housing property solicitors, we are dedicated to delivering high volume transactions, including plot sales.
Our specialist property solicitors have a depth of experience from various sectors, which means we're able to provide you with added value and the ability to draw on commercial experience as well as that from within the social housing sector. Members of our team have worked in-house for social housing providers, as well as large-scale private developers (including the UK top three house builders) and residential conveyancing.
Acting for Registered Providers (RP)
Development work for RPs is one of our largest work areas, and our team has a wealth of experience in social housing development. We work closely with our procurement and construction specialists and draws on specialist planning resource where required to provide a ‘full-service’. We advise on all aspects of development schemes including development agreements, site acquisitions and disposals and ancillary documentation.
Some of our recent cases include:
- Acting on numerous development schemes for our large developing client base including Derwent Living, Waterloo and Midland Heart.
- Advising Rykneld Homes on its first development project, namely a £10.5 million scheme to build over 100 new homes on phased developments at the “Tarrans” and “Killamarsh” sites.
- Advising a service provider for those with learning disabilities and autism on a procurement challenge.
- Working with Knowsley Housing Trust to sell housing units through a shared ownership lease, as well as open-market sales. As this was part of a joint-venture agreement and another solicitor was acting for the private developer, we developed a bespoke lease and ensured a swift sales process.
Shared ownership and staircasing services
In addition to this scheme, we have also worked with Knowsley Housing Trust on an 'extra care' scheme, which comprised the sale of 20 over 55s apartments on a shared ownership basis, with staircasing restricted to 75%. The apartments formed part of the wider extra care development. This scheme wasn't straight forward, as our client agreed to open market sales of two of the apartments partway through the scheme, so we adapted the lease to deal with this point. When drafting the original lease, we ensured that sinking fund provisions were included to take account of the extra care facilities on the wider estate.
This is just one example of where we have supported our clients with shared ownership and staircasing services.
Assisting with reverse staircasing
We have dealt with schemes where we have had to draft provisions to allow for 'reverse staircasing' where leaseholders can reduce their equity share, in return for a care package to that value.
Provisions within the Housing and Planning Act that remove the need for housing associations (“HAs”) to obtain consent from the Regulator to dispose of social housing (as well as to merge or enter new group structures) come into force on 6 April.
Such freedoms will allow HAs greater flexibility over how they use their assets and, potentially, how they structure their businesses. Our expert panel gathered to discuss the possible opportunities the deregulatory measures offer, together with the likely hurdles. Read the outcome of their discussion here.
On 7 September 2021, the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) published its annual consumer review.
The European Court of Justice's standpoint on the Wiener Wohnen landowning developer case, and how the level of influence over the work did not amount to a decisive influence.
The Fire Safety Act received Royal Assent on 29 April 2021. The Fire Safety Act 2021 clarifies and widens the obligations on duty holders under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 but also
Last week, the NHF published its final version of its new Code of Governance and made some important changes from the previous draft that will impact on those housing associations looking to adopt it.
Delayed since Spring 2020 as the Government tackled the Covid-19 crisis, Tuesday 17 November saw the publication of the Social Housing White Paper, setting out the future regulation of the sector
As the UK’s social housing sector recovers from the initial Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown, now is the time to focus on the challenges that may emerge next.
There is no universal approach to regenerating town centres. However, housing must be considered a key part of any regeneration project – providing well-needed new homes and economic growth.
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).
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”
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