Execution of documents for housing clients

In light of the current COVID-19 outbreak and due to many of our clients now being forced to work from home or self-isolate, we recognise that this can cause issues for our clients in arranging for documents to be executed. To address this issue we have set out a few practical steps that can be taken in our guidance note, available here.

If you would like to discuss any of the options in this note or how we may assist you to implement these, please get in touch with Chimi Shakohoxha.

COVID-19 delay clause for property contracts

An industry standard clause has been proposed to deal with COVID-19 delays. This is currently aimed at residential property sales, but can be adapted for use in other circumstances, including commercial property, auction sales and development transactions. We explore what the clause says and the impact it may have on you and your property contracts in our insight, available here.

The impact of COVID-19 on the use of the seal and authorised signatories

With more officers working from home, housing associations and other businesses may be having difficulties arranging for the execution of documents. Those complications will include any requirement for the application of the association’s common seal to deeds and other documents, and availability of signatories more generally. We provide guidance on the use of the seal and authorised signatories in our insight, available here

How RPs can meet health and safety obligations

With circumstances rapidly changing, registered providers (RPs) need to adapt their policies and procedures to ensure that residents, staff and contractors are safe. We have outlined the steps necessary to keep your staff and residents (among others) safe, when current circumstances have removed many of the means for doing so. Read our guidance for RPs, available here.

The implications of COVID-19 on your building contract

We understand that many of our clients may have concerns about the disruption and impact on business activity as a consequence of the current COVID-19 outbreak. We have considered the position of standard building contracts and provided guidance around the some of the implications that COVID-19 may have from a force majeure perspective, available here.

If you would like to discuss any concerns you may have about your building contract, please get in touch with Chimi Shakohoxha. 

Procurement guidance: Responding to COVID-19 

The Cabinet Office has issued a Procurement Policy Note (PPN 01/20) setting out guidance on public procurement and responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance helpfully details the procurement options which you should consider when responding to the impact of COVID-19. Read our summary of the guidance and what this means in our insight, available here.

Relief for suppliers in light of COVID-19 

In a time of extreme uncertainty for all contracting authorities and suppliers alike, the Cabinet Office has published a PPN with information and guidance for public bodies on the payment of their suppliers, effective immediately until 20 June 2020. We set out actions contracting authorities should take now, other contractual relief and our top tips in our insight, available here.

Fitness for Human Habitation – what does the act say? 

Housing associations have been anticipating the full implementation of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 for some time. Now that it is here, it has been taken over by current COVID-19 events. As of 20 March 2020, all relevant tenancies in England are now subject to the Act, via the amendment it makes to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Read our insight, available here.

Mutual exchanges in the current climate

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, most registered providers (RPs) and local authorities are now looking to focus their reduced services on urgent matters and are looking to see what can be stopped or delayed. We examine the impact on mutual exchanges, assured tenants and what this means for RPs in our insight, available here.

The impact of COVID-19 on County Court proceedings

The Coronavirus Act became law on 25 March 2020 and its provisions in respect of housing are now in force. We explore the housing provisions and your concerns around County Court proceedings in the current climate in our insight, available here.

Government delays implementation of IR35 reforms

In an attempt to protect businesses who are struggling in the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has announced that it is to delay the implementation of the changes to the off-payroll working legislation commonly known as IR35. These changes were due to be introduced on 6 April 2020 and would have extended the regime that was introduced for the public sector in 2017 to medium and large private sector employers, including those in the housing sector. However the changes will not now be implemented until 6 April 2021. Read more in our note, available here.

Safeguarding adults and children – the impact

The Emergency COVID-19 Bill will be easing legislative and regulatory requirements in a number of areas in order to free up resources for essential staff to deal with the pandemic. Whilst these emergency measures are justified, there will no doubt be some unintended consequences which put extra pressures on housing providers’ who have responsibilities for safeguarding children and adults with care and support needs. Read more here.

COVID-19: Workforce FAQs

The coronavirus pandemic poses significant workforce issues for public service organisations regarding the services they provide and the risks to staff. A number of organisations have drafted COVID-19 HR policies and have created a list of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) we have received in relation to these policies and communications with staff generally, available here.

Regulator of Social Housing update on Coronavirus

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has issued an update on its approach in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak. The RSH has reassured registered providers that its approach is proportionate and will take account of the current challenging circumstances. Further information is available here.

Capsticks' response

We know Coronavirus is having a serious impact on the health, social care and housing sectors, increasing operational pressures significantly. We want to let you know of the steps that we are taking to support both your organisation and our employees, at what is a difficult time. More about Capsticks' COVID-19 response and business continuity planning here.