Whether you’re a social landlord, housing association, registered provider or community land trust, you can count on us for expert advice and support for all your legal needs.
Proven expertise and experience in social housing legal matters
With more than 25 years’ experience advising the social housing sector, we know the industry intimately, and are dedicated to successful commercial partnerships. We work closely with our providers as part of their team helping them to deliver the results they need. We have long standing relationships with our client partners both locally and nationally with some individuals having acted for clients for more than 20 years. Our clients range from some of the largest housing providers to smaller rural providers.
Our experience includes advising on refinancing portfolios, acquiring new housing stock, purchasing sites, housing and flat developments, occupancy agreements, shared-ownership leases, site set ups, lease extensions, right to buy, help to buy, disposals of existing stock (including large stock transfers and stock reorganisations) , advising on legislation, charity and governance concerns . We advise on housing management issues including possession and service charge disputes.
We value and contribute to innovation in the legal side of planning for social housing, and have long been at the forefront of developing standard planning obligations, in form of Section 106 agreements, throughout the UK.
In addition to providing insightful and practical legal advice, we actively seek opportunities for extracting more value from your operations and securing your interests. We have successfully demonstrated this by working with clients, as part of their team, to improve their plot sales targets.
We also have a wealth of experienced lawyers that make up the dedicated social housing team who bring together specialisms ranging from property and construction law, planning, employment, data protection, governance, charity and housing management so that all your needs can be managed in one place.
Examples of our recent work include:
Enabling a registered provider to secure funding of more than £10 million.
Working with providers to develop open market arms to cross subsidise the delivery of affordable housing.
Multi million £ stock transfer
Advising on shared ownership leases and drafting to ensure these are acceptable to a greater number of lenders
Working with a client to acquire a site to help military veterans build their own homes
Advising on a partnership arrangement between not-for-profit and for-profit registered providers.
Mastering the margins of social housing planning
In an industry like social housing, where initial investment and eventual rewards can both be high, having a legal partner you can trust, communicate openly with, and is astute with potential commercial opportunities can be crucial.
With Stephens Scown, you get all this and more. We’re praised by Legal 500 for offering the “full attention of a partner on every transaction” (2022), while Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession notes our work with prominent rural housing associations and local government bodies on a range of matters: “They are very easy to work with and they give practical, pragmatic advice.” “All staff members are friendly, professional and very approachable and the advice is always pragmatic and to the timescale” (2022).