Social housing in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP is a leading provider of advised to social housing clients in the Eastern region and it frequently handles affordable housing development, housing management, funding, employment matters, regulatory issues, shared ownership and right to buy sales, as well as open market sales. In 2018, Peter Goddard's group saw an uptick in work for housebuilders in setting up their own for-profit Registered Providers. The multi-disciplinary practice acts for many of the country's leading social housing providers. Senior associate Emily Groom and associate Sarah Fish are recommended as rising stars.

Practice head(s):

Peter Goddard

Other key lawyers:

John Scannell; Emily Groom; Sarah Fish

Key clients

Orbit Group Limited

Flagship Housing Group Limited

Broadland Housing Group Limited

CHP (Chelmer Housing Partnership Limited)

Victory Housing Trust

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

Swan Housing Association Limited

Cambridge Housing Society Limited

Axiom Housing Association Limited

Havebury Housing Partnership

Suffolk Housing Society

YMCA (Essex) Limited

Greenfields Community Housing Limited

Work highlights

  • Land acquisition to develop industrial site to provide affordable housing in the area.
  • Land acquisition and development of former industrial site for the provision of social housing in the area.
  • We acted for this client – the largest regional housebuilder in East Anglia – in connection with establishing its own for-profit Registered Provider.
  • Carrying out due diligence work and full review of housing stock.
  • Acquisition of the 72 unit allocation of affordable housing on a large s106 scheme in South Essex from a National Housebuilder to be completed across 10 phases.

Spire Solicitors LLP

Spire Solicitors LLP has a long-standing reputation as a leader in the social housing sector which it maintains despite the retirement of leading light Kevin Oelrichs. Estelle Corner, whose previous experience includes a stint in the commercial property department of Baker McKenzie, now leads the practice, which focuses on site acquisition, development, planning, infrastructure agreements, property portfolio transfers and securities matters for for social landlords. It also handles corporate transactions, dispute resolution and private client matters for clients in this sector.

Practice head(s):

Estelle Corner

Other key lawyers:

Sally Rackham

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Buckles Solicitors LLP is the leading firm in Peterborough for social housing matters. It acts for a wide range of Registered Providers across East Anglia, the West Midlands, and the East Midlands. Gail Sykes leads a practice that currently acts for more than 65 social housing providers in diverse matters including anti-social behaviour claims and possession disputes in the High Court, as well as planning, construction and property matters.

Practice head(s):

Gail Sykes

Other key lawyers:

James Coppinger; Michael Rabbett

Testimonials

“The Buckles team is very prompt in replying to us and providing exactly what we have asked for. The advice we receive is practical, easy to understand and very knowledgeable.”

Key clients

Cambridge Housing Society

Cross Keys Homes Ltd

Papworth Trust

Hundred Houses Society

Waterloo Housing / The Platform Group

The Longhurst Group

Saffron Housing Trust

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council

Suffolk Housing Society

South Kesteven District Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for this Registered Provider of Social Housing in relation to the enforcement of a warrant for possession, in which the defendant tenant’s legal team have sought to argue procedural irregularities on the part of the housing association.
  • Emergency injunction proceedings against a paedophile who had sexually assaulted a neighbour’s granddaughter.
  • Acting for Papworth Trust, in a case relating to possession proceedings under s21 of the Housing Act 1988 and the requirement to provide a gas safety certificate at the outset of the tenancy in circumstances where the gas boiler serving the property (a flat) subject to the possession proceedings was not situated in the property.
  • Successfully defending this housing provider against a claim of disability discrimination brought against them by one of their tenants regarding the allocation of housing to him and a failure to make reasonable adaptations to the property.
  • Acting for this Local Authority in several closure order cases, in which the properties concerned were associated with serious anti-social behaviour in a specific housing estate within the ownership of the authority and these successful claims have significantly reduced anti-social behaviour issues in the area.

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP has a multi-disciplinary social housing team led by experienced housing management lawyer  Simon Murphy, who draws upon the expertise of property litigator Jamie Kidd, property development partner Michaela Henson and a large pool of conveyancing, planning and construction talent. The firm has strong relationships with all of the East Anglian Registered Providers operating in Cambridge and frequently handles golden brick agreements, development purchases and site assembly matters.

Practice head(s):

Simon Murphy

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Kidd; Michaela Henson; Clare Best; Scott Smith; Helen Stewart; Bill Trow

Key clients

Hundred Houses Society Limited

The Papworth Trust

Flagship Housing Group Limited

East Cambs Trading Company Limited

Luminus Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Hundred Houses Society Limited in taking a long lease of land from Cambridge City Council for redevelopment of the site.
  • Acting on the purchase of a site for new homes to be developed in conjunction with a Community Land Trust.
  • Sale of shared ownership dwellings and staircasing of Shared Ownership dwellings.