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.
We have been recognised for the work we do
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”
A widespread issue for completing property transactions since the lockdown has been complying with the Land Registry requirement for deeds to be “wet-signed”. A hoped-for announcement of a change in the regulations has not yet been seen.
Over the last few years the meaning of “asset management” has changed from being all about repairs to understanding that assets might not stay in an organisation forever.
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?
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.