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Social housing legal issues – Autumn 2021

Below we outline some of the most common issues where clients have recently asked for our help. If these areas are of concern for you too, then please do get in touch.

Construction

Some clients have had applications to the Building Safety Fund (BSF) rejected, for example for the Waking Watch Relief Fund, on the basis that the appropriate s.20 consultation process has not been followed.

Given the financial implications of such a rejection, it is critically important to take legal advice early on in the process and ensure all requisite steps are taken prior to any BSF application.

The Waking Watch Relief Fund application deadline of 10 December 2021 is fast approaching. Consequently, RPs should urgently consider whether if there is a risk that their applications may be rejected. If so, they should take immediate action to ensure the necessary leaseholder processes are followed.

Property litigation

Given the link between the terms of the underlying residential leases and recoverability via the service charge, the team has been supporting clients in respect of remedial fire safety works ever since the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

In particular, they are advising on:

  • The importance of carefully considering the underlying service charge mechanism when looking at recoverability of service charge costs.
  • Seeking dispensation from the statutory consultation requirements when changing the specification for proposed fire safety remediation works.
  • The interplay between BSF funding terms, the statutory consultation requirements and recovery from third parties.
  • Issues for RPs when considering whether or not to fund works exclusively.

For further information or advice on how these issues may affect your organisation, please get in touch.

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