Changes to notices in possession cases in Wales from 24 July 2020

Last updated: 29/07/2020

The Welsh Ministers have exercised powers under Schedule 29 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 to alter the minimum period of notice a landlord must now give assured (shorthold) tenants of a property in Wales before possession proceedings can be issued. We summarise the changes and what they mean for housing providers, available here.

Gearing up for the resumption of possession cases - part 2

Last updated: 27/07/2020

CPR PD55C makes temporary rules that will apply between 23/08/2020 and 28/03/2021 for existing possession claims, as well as new claims issued within specific timelines. We consider the position for social housing providers in relation to each category, available here.

Permitted development rights – why it’s important to check your planning history

Last updated: 22/07/2020

On 1 July 2020, the Planning Inspectorate heard an appeal in which it appears to have come to the opposite conclusion of its previous decision on the application of permitted development rights. We examine the outcome details and what this means for RPs, available here.

Gearing up for the resumption of possession cases – part 1

Last updated: 22/07/2020

We review the latest developments to social housing providers preparing for the anticipated lifting of the stay on possession proceedings: the new Practice Direction on dealing with possession cases and the opening of Nightingale Courts, available here.

Permitted development rights – what are new allowances for residential and commercial buildings?

Last updated: 20/07/2020

To address the ongoing issue of the UK’s housing shortage, the government has announced the extension of permitted development rights, speeding up the development process. We explore these initiatives and what they mean for registered providers (RPs), available here.

Is the stay that stayed longer to stay no more?

Last updated: 13/07/2020

In just over six weeks’ time, it is expected that the stay on possession proceedings, initially imposed by CPR PD 51Z until 25 June 2020 and then extended by CPR 55.29 until 23 August 2020, will be lifted. We explain what this means for RPs, available here.

The Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic and the extension on forfeiture 

Last updated: 01/07/2020

The government has extended the regulations protecting commercial tenants from eviction to 30 September, and also produced the Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during COVID-19. We set out what the extension and code mean for RPs, available here

Section 21 Notice and ‘late’ gas safety certificates

Last updated: 25/06/2020

The Court of Appeal gave judgment on whether landlords can recover possession via a notice under s21 of the Housing Act when they had failed to provide the tenant with a gas safety certificate before occupation. We explore what the decision means for RPs, available here.

COVID-19: A review of the sector’s response by the Regulator of Social Housing

Last updated: 02/07/2020

In its latest monthly Coronavirus Operational Survey Reports (COSR), the RSH has been reviewing how well registered providers are coping with challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and looking forwards to what the future may look like for our sector, available here.   

Video: Anti-social behaviour (ASB) after lockdown

Last updated: 25/06/2020

This short video highlights a number of key areas for social housing providers to consider after the ease of the COVID-19 lockdown—exploring case management principles, discussions around risk assessments, tools and powers and preparing for change, available here.

PPN 04/20: Recovery and transition from COVID-19

Last updated: 17/06/2020

A new PPN issued by the Cabinet Office provides further guidance on working in partnership with suppliers to deliver contracts during COVID-19, and also looks forward to transition planning in order to exit from relief in the period July to October, available here.

COVID-19: Permitted development rights and unlawful development

Last updated: 12/06/2020

Due diligence on the planning history of the development site is essential. We explore the appeal to the Planning Inspectorate for the refusal of a Lawful Development Certificate by Mole Valley District Council and what it means for registered providers, available here.

The ‘stay’ that stayed, stays longer: possession cases now stayed until 23 August 2020

Last updated: 08/06/2020

The period of the stay imposed by CPR PD51Z has been extended until 23 August 2020. We have summarised the decision and what it means for housing providers in our insight, available here.

Board and executive teams: Safeguarding responsibilities

Last updated: 08/06/2020

Safeguarding is everyone’s business and this starts with the leadership. Our video insight focuses on providing board members and executive teams with information about legal and regulatory responsibilities—it includes a checklist for board members to gain assurance that the housing provider is protecting vulnerable adults and children from abuse and neglect, available here.

Return to work and risk assessments during COVID-19

Last updated: 04/06/2020

For a successful return to work during COVID-19, employers have a duty to carry out a risk assessment, implement safe systems of work and to keep these under review. Our risk assessment flowchart sets out the key issues for employers to consider, available here.

Risks of abandoning a procurement

Last updated: 28/05/2020

Most procurement teams will have needed to consider abandoning a procurement process at some point and perhaps particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. We examine some of the risks and provide some practical tips when considering abandoning a procurement in our insight, available here.

COVID-19: Court of Appeal decided the stay on possession proceedings imposed by CPR PD51Z also applied to appeals

Last updated: 28/05/2020

The Court of Appeal has decided that the 90-day stay imposed on possession proceedings by CPR PD51Z also extends to appeals made in respect of possession cases bought under CPR Part 55. We summarise what the outcome means for housing providers in our insight, available here.

Regulatory update: Regulator of Social Housing publishes quarterly survey for Q4 (January - March) 2019/20

Last updated: 21/05/2020

The Regulator for Social Housing published its quarterly survey for Q4 (January - March) of the financial year 2019/20 on 21st May 2020. We highlight some of the key messages in the publication in our insight, available here.

COVID-19: Responsible contracting behaviour

Last updated: 21/05/2020

The Cabinet Office has issued a new guidance note with recommendations for behaviour in performing and enforcing contracts impacted by COVID-19. We summarise the key recommendations and how they might impact on your relationships with contractors in our insight, available here.

Mutual exchanges, lettings and property sales: new relaxations on buying, selling and letting residential property

Last updated: 21/05/2020

Amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 have relaxed restrictions affecting moving home and the buying and selling of property. We explore what has changed and what this means for housing providers in our insight, available here.

COVID-19: The government’s update to registered providers on maintenance and repair works – what does it actually mean?

Last updated: 21/05/2020

On 18 May 2020, the housing minister wrote an open letter to all social housing residents outlining the government’s update to registered providers on maintenance and repair works as landlords. We explore his update and what this means for RPs in our insight, available here.

Video: Anti-social behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic

Last updated: 21/05/2020

Housing providers have been grappling with many challenges over the past months, and dealing with ASB is no exception. Chris Grose explores some of the emerging trends, legal solutions and provides some practical tips to manage ASB cases successfully in our video insight, available here.

Returning to work in the time of COVID-19

Last updated: 14/05/2020

The Government has published guidance to assist those who are returning to work following the announcement this week of the COVID-19 recovery strategy. The guidance is split into eight categories covering separate workplace settings, and it is expected that these will be added to as other sectors gradually reopen.

The documents contain non-statutory guidance to assist both employers and employees in managing the return to work. Learn more about the implications for the housing sector in our insight article, available here.

Video: Safeguarding adults during the COVID-19 pandemic

Last updated: 14/05/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a series of urgent, temporary changes to the rules available to assist you to deal with possession proceedings during this pandemic. On 27 March, the Master of the Rolls and Lord Chancellor issued Practice Direction 51Z (CPR PD51Z) to the Civil Procedure Rules which stayed all possession proceedings for a period of 90 days from 27 March 2020. The Court of Appeal has now dismissed an appeal by which a challenge was bought to the legality of the 90-day stay imposed on possession proceedings by CPR PD51Z. We set out what this now means for housing providers in our insight, available here.

Update: Community Infrastructure Levy in respect of phased planning 

Last updated: 13/05/2020

The Covid-19 pandemic is causing strain on every aspect of society and we are unlikely to revert back to the ‘norm’ in the immediate future. Adapting to this unprecedented time will be key to ensure business runs as smoothly as possible. Our previous insight identified the key struggles the planning world is facing and there has since been an update to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). We explore the key changes and what this means for registered providers in our insight, available here.

The ‘stay’ stays: Court of Appeal confirms legality of CPR PD51Z 

Last updated: 12/05/2020

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by which a challenge was bought to the legality of the 90-day stay imposed on possession proceedings by CPR PD51Z. We explore the outcome and what this means for Housing Providers in our insight, available here.

The Land Registry’s amendments to the Practice Guideline on the virtual execution of documents and deeds

Last updated: 05/05/2020

As from 4 May 2020 the Land Registry has amended Practice Guideline 8 on the execution of documents (new section 12) in relation to the admissibility for registration of deeds and documents executed by virtual means. We summarise the new process, available here.

Guidance for social landlords on essential moves 

Last updated: 01/05/2020

The Government has released guidance for social landlords on essential home moves. Although this is not statutory guidance, it includes helpful tips on what most housing providers should be doing when it comes to residents moving home, and repairs, available here.

Housing management and COVID-19: A selection of FAQs from social housing providers

Last updated: 30/04/20

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a number of challenges and changes to practice in the area of Housing Management. We answered a selection of some of the many questions that Housing Associations have been asking us, available here.

COVID-19: House builders announce phased reopening of development sites

Last updated: 30/04/2020

Last month, a number of major UK house builders announced closure of their construction sites across the UK. The Government has now confirmed that construction sites are permitted to be open as long as the correct Site Operating Procedures can be complied with, available here. 

COVID-19: Inquest FAQs

Last updated: 28/04/2020

We have compiled these FAQs for organisations in the healthcare, social care and emergency services sectors regarding how Coroners are approaching inquests in the current climate and how demands on organisations and their professional witnesses can best be managed, available here.

COVID-19 and possession proceedings: New amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules 

Last updated: 21/04/2020

Amendments to Practice Direction 51Z to the Civil Procedure Rules, which have immediate effect, were announced on the judiciary’s website on 20 April 2020. We highlight the key amendments and what they mean for social housing providers in our insight, available here.  

COVID-19 and issuing possession proceedings: Clearing up some uncertainty 

Last updated: 16/04/2020

There has been some confusion and many questions around serving notices and taking possession proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to clarify the position in England and Wales for social housing providers in our insight, available here.

COVID-19 and information law: What does it mean for housing providers? 

Last updated: 16/04/2020

There are many concerns about the disruption and impact on business activity of the COVID-19 outbreak. In light of the changing circumstances, we have set out some key information law considerations and what it might mean for our housing clients in our insight, available here.

COVID-19: The impact on lending 

Last updated: 15/04/2020

The impact and outcome of COVID-19 may result in a technical breach of funding covenants, giving funders extensive powers. We explore the issues organisations could face and provide some top tips for the best results for your business in our insight, available here.

COVID-19 and the new General Permitted Development Order 

Last updated: 09/04/2020

The General Permitted Development Order 2020 came into effect on 9 April, allowing local authorities and certain health service bodies to carry out development for dealing with emergencies. We look at its effect and impact in the current climate in our insight, available here.

Possession proceedings and the new changes to the Civil Procedure Rules 

Last updated: 07/04/2020

With effect from 6 April 2020, the 113th amendment of the Civil Procedure Rules (“CPR”) has made a number of changes. We outline those most important to social housing providers preparing their own documentation for court in our insight, available here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – How does it work in practice? 

Last updated: 07/04/2020

The government seeks to protect employment and avoid redundancies during the COVID-19 crisis by introducing the CJRS. With limited guidance available for this new employment concept, we answered some practical queries concerning housing organisations in our insight, available here.

COVID-19: How to keep a planning permission alive

Last updated: 03/04/2020

COVID-19 may result in planning and construction projects being halted by the authorities. We have identified key struggles housing providers will face when aiming to keep their planning permission, and set out a proactive approach to overcome each issue in our insight, available here.

Repairs, disrepair and despair: Obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic

Last updated: 02/04/2020
The social distancing measures across the UK pose challenges to landlords in continuing to meet their contractual and statutory obligations in relation to repairs and safety inspections. We take a look at the legal position and what this means for registered providers in our insight, available here.

Dealing with anti-social behaviour during COVID-19 lockdown

Last updated: 02/04/2020
It has been widely publicised that anti-social behaviour (ASB) cases are likely to rise during the lockdown period as tensions build and tolerances are pushed to the limit. We discuss what this means for registered providers who still have obligations in tackling ASB in accordance with policy, procedures and indeed regulation in this insight, available here.

Moving House – Government guidelines during COVID-19 

Last updated: 31/03/2020
New Government guidance has been issued on the practicalities of moving home during the current COVID-19 lockdown in the UK. Our Insight takes you through some practical considerations that need to be taken into account, available here.

Dealing with anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic

Last updated: 31/03/2020
The ‘social distancing’ measures across the UK have already seen a surge in anti-social behaviour (ASB) and domestic abuse. We explore the tools available to you to deal with anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse during this pandemic, available here.

Top tips when considering your procurement options for COVID-19 issues

Last updated: 31/03/2020
For housing providers reviewing contracts and their procurement options as a result of COVID-19 issues, we recommend using the Cabinet Office PPN 01/20 as a useful “checklist” of your options. We have also set out some practical tips and guidance that you may wish to consider when working through these options, available here.

COVID-19: The new gas safety guidance – a risk based approach

Last updated: 31/03/2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many social landlords have been seeking to clarify their responsibilities with respect to The Gas Safety Regulations. The new guidance emphasises the need for social landlords to engage with tenants in a “pragmatic, common-sense approach” to meet regulatory requirements. Read our insight to find out what this means for Social Landlords, available here.

COVID-19 FAQs: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and furlough leave

Last updated: 18/12/2020

The Government announced the launch of the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), where employers can “furlough” staff and HMRC will reimburse up to 80% of the employee’s wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. We summarise the FAQs around this topic in our insight, available here.

The impact of COVID-19 on County Court proceedings

Last updated: 27/03/2020
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

Last updated: 27/03/2020
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.

COVID-19 delay clause for property contracts

Last updated: 26/03/2020
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.

Relief for suppliers in light of COVID-19 

Last updated: 25/03/2020
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.

Mutual exchanges in the current climate

Last updated: 25/03/2020 
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.

Fitness for Human Habitation – what does the act say? 

Last updated: 25/03/2020
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.

Procurement guidance: Responding to COVID-19 

Last updated: 24/03/2020
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.

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

Last updated: 23/03/2020
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

COVID-19: Workforce FAQs

Last updated: 22/01/2021
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.

How RPs can meet health and safety obligations

Last updated: 20/03/2020
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.

Safeguarding adults and children – the impact

Last updated: 20/03/2020
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.

The implications of COVID-19 on your building contract

Last updated: 18/03/2020
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. 

Regulator of Social Housing update on Coronavirus

Last updated: 06/03/2020
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.