Supporting stock rationalisation in the housing sector

Our team of experienced housing solicitors advise on multi-million-pound tenanted stock rationalisation projects, have advised on over 45 local authority stock transfers, from around the UK, and advised on the first ever mutual stock transfer).

Never has stock rationalisation been such an important tool for Registered Providers (RPs) seeking to deliver cost efficiencies in the changeable social housing sector. RPs with a robust asset-management strategy not only generate additional financial resources but also increase service delivery standards in local communities, increasing customer satisfaction. 

As experts in large portfolio disposals and acquisitions, we have a wealth of experience in acting for social housing providers. In the 2017/18 financial year, we helped housing associations to deliver better value for money by helping them transfer 4,421 homes between different associations to the value of £195million. 

We are innovative in our approach, and acted on a stock acquisition of over 1,100 units, involving a complex funding model.  We also advise on stock swaps. Specifically, we act for a national registered provider on their strategic acquisition and disposal programme. We are equally able to deal with a high volume of small disposals/acquisitions, as large-scale transactions involving 100s or 1000s of units.

We offer a holistic and proactive service, which through our experience we have refined to ensure a streamlining of transactions. We have project teams that work together to cover a range of property, funding, housing management, employment and contracts advice. As well as this, we have a range of standardised documentation to enable us to carry out transactions smoothly and cost-effectively, and different project teams we can employ to ensure we can deal with multiple transactions at any one time.

A few examples of the stock transfers we’ve worked on…
  • Riverside Group Limited
  • Derwent Living
  • Stafford and Rural Homes
  • Watmos Community Homes
  • Gloucester City Council to Gloucester City Homes (ALMO transfer of 4,500 properties)
  • Salford City Council to Salix Homes (ALMO transfer of 8,500 properties)
  • Rochdale Borough Council to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (ALMO transfer of 13,700 properties to a new mutual)
  • South Lakeland DC to South Lakes Housing (ALMO transfer of 3,160 properties)

Our stock rationalisation team has:

  • Worked closely with our client and their appointed agent to manage the challenges of selling 1,800 units across the country through several transactions.
  • Worked with for-profit registered providers to acquire social housing stock.
  • Advised on the disposal of over 1,000 tenanted sheltered housing units across several transactions  
  • Acted on the acquisition of 1,135 tenanted housing units funded by a combination of investments whilst maximising value for our client by assisting with the project from start to finish.
  • Simultaneously completed the acquisition of 214 units in Kent (with TUPE and service contract implications) and the sale of 80 properties in London for one large RP.
  • Advised on over 45 local authority housing stock transfers and obtaining the necessary HCA consents to the transfer (including two of the three most recent transfers and the first tenant-led transfer) and innovative stock acquisitions
  • Advised on both acquisitions and disposals in stock transfers of tenanted and untenanted stock.
  • Designed a streamlined process for due diligence and certificates of title alongside a standard suite of stock rationalisation documents, which can be tailored to any specific transaction.
  • Delivered workshops with our social housing clients to smaller registered providers who were less familiar with stock disposals/acquisitions, the purpose of which was to give comfort about these types of transactions, transparency around their approach and an opportunity for them to ask any questions.

We have a national profile and wealth of experience in large portfolio disposals, and as a specialist firm with a purpose to improve lives, communities and society and serve the community in a way like no other, we have gained the understanding and know-how to successfully manage and organise those RPs who embark on a stock rationalisation.

Stock rationalisation can be daunting to providers, but even more so for residents, which drives us to deliver excellence and encourage transparency working with you to deliver projects quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.


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.

Watmos Community Homes

We acted for Watmos Community Homes on taking an estate transfer of residential properties from the London Borough of Lambeth, and a portfolio of tenanted retail properties.

Read more


Jonathan Cox


Partner in the social housing team