Property and construction
Our property development, commercial property, planning and environment, construction, property dispute resolution and commercial lawyers have all the necessary combined legal expertise and relevant sector experience to provide you with value for money, commercially focused and clear legal advice on the full range.
In a changing market, our construction and property team can provide you with a reassuring presence. Whether you want light touch advice or strong action, we have the knowledge and experience to help you in the most effective way. We want to build a long standing trusted adviser role with you, in a similar way to having your own in-house counsel, and we will invest our own resources to do so.
Our Development team has all the necessary legal expertise and relevant sector experience to enable them to provide RPs with clear, commercially focused legal advice which represents real value for money and which encompasses all elements of the development process from help in drafting and agreeing heads of terms on acquisition right through to speedy and smooth plot sale transactions.
We advise on:
- site acquisitions and disposals including site assembly and options;
- s106 acquisitions from housebuilders;
- VAT and Golden Brick arrangements;
- site set up including extra care, shared ownership and leasehold schemes for the elderly;
- new build plot sales including extra care, shared ownership and leasehold schemes for the elderly;
- auction transactions;
- acquisitions/disposals of tenanted stock, stock swaps/property rationalisation (including associated TUPE issues);
- statutory, planning and highways agreements and other planning and environment matters;
- development agreements;
- development funding including HCA grant/ loan agreements.
From a construction perspective, cost and time management is just as important as dealing with specific problems in the build process. Our RP clients therefore tend to revert to the JCT type of contracts, because they know they can horse-trade in the final account process and a missed notice can be corrected later.
We have prepared contracts to build housing in tight locations, next to railway lines and rivers, or with sitting tenants, so access is often difficult and contracts often deal with delivery programming, and the associated matter of cost and risk where materials are delivered early and left on site.
RPs must therefore balance planning the job in enough detail to obtain price certainty without leaving it so long that a builder must increase his price, or worse, withdraw. For all types of construction, engineering and maintenance contracts, we have developed standardised lawyer briefing sheets and pro forma questionnaires that RP development managers and in house surveyors can use to brief us effectively and therefore speed up the job commencement process and reduce management time.
Recent experience includes:
- drafting and reviewing building contracts, professional appointments, collateral warranties, bonds, guarantees, escrow arrangements on developments ranging from utility tunnels under railway lines through to infrastructure and site set up works to multiple dwelling full build contracts.
- advising on building contract with HCA approved delivery partner for council owned affordable housing dwellings
- advised on the development of an inner city ex-industrial area requiring several strands of contract negotiations to come together at the same time, including site purchase, development agreement, building contract, together with associated planning and funding agreements, and later, sale agreements and transfers.
"Very good depth of knowledge on construction contract documentation"
- site set up
- sale of dwellings
- tenancy agreements
- Right to Buy (RTB) and Right to Acquire (RTA)
- shared ownership
- boundary disputes and party wall issues
- staircasing transactions
- lease extensions
We have extensive experience acting for RPs and dealing with setting up of shared ownership schemes. Our clients range from national RPs to smaller, regional RPs. Developments on which the firm have been instructed range from sites acquired for “land and build” purposes to accommodate mixed tenure affordable housing units through to pepper potted units acquired under a Section 106 Agreement.
We were one of the few firms of solicitors predominant in the field of LSVTs. We have acted in 50 such transfers in respect of all types of stock, from those in rural areas, large metropolitan boroughs and the Shires. All such transactions involved the transfer of portfolios of property, the smallest being some 700 properties, to the largest 50,000. These were transfers of “undertakings” so involved not just the transfer of properties but the transfer of staff, contracts, arrears and all associated assets linked with the housing.
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