Housing sector

We have extensive knowledge of housing sector law. Our specialist legal teams provide advice and support to local authority housing departments, ALMOs and registered social housing providers, as well as private developers with a range of legal services including title due diligence, leases and licences, stock transfers, procurement, contract formation, construction issues, corporate and third sector governance, facilities management, planning law and compulsory purchase, development agreements and s106 agreements.

Our social housing clients consult us on statutory and regulatory requirements and we provide advice on the application of public sector equality duties. We also advise on housing management issues, variation of the terms of tenancy agreements and stock transfers.

As a firm, we have a long history of working with housing providers and the contractors that operate in the market.

We regularly advise on contracts/programmes for improvement work, repair, maintenance, cleansing and grounds maintenance. We are currently acting for a London Council on their major borough-wide new homes scheme. We also deal with and support our housing clients in relation to construction disputes through our SP Adjudication team.

Our Real Estate Team regularly acts for Housing Associations and ALMOs in relation to their property portfolios including disposals and acquisitions, leasehold management and title due diligence.

We regularly advise our clients and act for them in a wide range of disputes involving housing and leasehold issues, including:

  • Possession cases based on anti-social behaviour and nuisance
  • Disputed succession and under-occupation
  • Unauthorised occupation and trespass
  • Possession proceedings
  • Applications for injunctions to prevent ASB and compliance with tenancy conditions
  • Leasehold issues
  • Lessee obligations
  • Service charge disputes in the First Tier Property Tribunal
  • Applications by landlords for dispensation under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985

Our Dispute Resolution team also undertakes a wide range of regulatory housing work for local authorities under the provisions of the Housing Act 2004. This includes:

  • Assisting with appeals against enforcement action taken under Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004 involving the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
  • Prosecuting failures to licence both Houses in Multiple Occupation under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004 and other houses subject to selective licensing under Part 3 of the Act
  • Prosecuting breaches of the HMO Management Regulations or the conditions attached to a Selective Property Licence
  • Assisting with appeals against civil penalties levied by local authorities pursuant to s.249A as an alternative to prosecutions

We can also assist any authorities looking to introduce Additional or Selective Licensing in their Borough and provide advice on proposed schemes, consultation requirements and implementation.

Case highlights

  • Our clients include CityWest Homes, Slough Borough Council, Milton Keynes Council and Your MK, East Thames Housing Association, LB Southwark, Genesis Housing Association, Metropolitan Housing Association, Lewisham Homes.
  • Acting for MHT in negotiating the Lease of their new head office in Hatton Garden.
  • Acting for Lewisham Homes to carry out early due diligence on sites ear-marked for development across the Borough and advising on potential impediments to development.
  • Acting for Redbridge Living to carry out early site due diligence in relation to proposed mixed use schemes across the Borough and advising on potential site issues.
  • Acting for a London Borough on their major borough – wide new homes scheme.

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