We finally have the Social Housing Green Paper ‘A new deal for social housing’. It’s been a long time coming, so was it worth the wait?
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.
Member of the property team.
In this update we cover topics including: corporate tax evasion offences, the government’s consultation on corporate governance and insolvency, this quarter’s key dates (yes, we do mention GDPR!).
The maximum discount available to tenants exercising their right to buy or preserved right to buy (in England only) is increasing.
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