Social and environmental impact are at the top of our business agenda. At Browne Jacobson, we’ve always worked across business and society, and this expertise sets us apart. Active in the social housing sector since the 1990s, we’re proud of our heritage acting for housing providers across the country and our work helping to deliver much-needed affordable housing.
Our clients are not only housing associations and registered providers, but also private developers, local authorities, health providers, private equity firms and government agencies such as Homes England. This cross-sector experience benefits all our clients, particularly in an era of increased partnering and joint ventures. We understand who our clients work with and can draw upon that knowledge and experience to find solutions which enable the smooth the delivery of projects.
Many of our housing provider clients are longstanding relationships, and we’ve supported them as they’ve grown and evolved. Our clients include nearly 20% of the registered providers awarded Homes England ‘strategic partner’ status under the AHP 2021-2026 - those organisations alone are tasked with delivering more than 14,000 grant-funded new homes by March 2026.
But it is not only about housing delivery. We support housing providers across a range of areas — joint ventures, securitisation, housing management, planning, environmental issues and employment advice.
"The team are really helpful, very quick and reactive.”
"They always give sound and realistic advice.”
“The growing national practice at Browne Jacobson LLP … works with a wide range of housing associations and local authorities, as well as advising private sector entities delivering affordable housing. [Gabor] Taller has expertise in social housing development and funding, while [Barry] Sully has impressive experience of residential development, regeneration projects and major joint ventures.”
Across the UK, homelessness is an urgent crisis, and one that is set to grow amid the rising cost of living. Local authorities are at the forefront of responding to this crisis, but with a lack of properties that are suitable for social housing across the UK, vulnerable individuals and families are often housed in temporary accommodation.
The Chancellor’s recent mini-budget provided a significant announcement for business as it was confirmed that the off-payroll working rules (known as “IR35”) put in place for public and private sector businesses from 2017 and 2021 will be scrapped from April 2023.
Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator, has partnered with two local authorities, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Association of South Essex Local Authorities, in a new Strategic Place Partnership (SPP) which is designed to align with the government’s levelling up agenda by delivering new homes in the regions.
The new regime introduced by the Act will take shape over the next 18 months, but those who design, build or manage high rise buildings are being urged to get ready for the changes to be introduced through the act.
On 14 February 2022, Secretary of State of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, announced proposals designed to pressure building developers and materials manufacturers to fund the remediation of unsafe properties.
The Government’s much-publicised ‘levelling-up’ programme brings with it a number of changes and challenges for property professionals which, without careful preparation, could see a steep rise in allegations and claims for professional negligence.
Over the last few years, our local authority and housing association clients have reported a significant increase in the number of claims received, usually from one of a specific group of claimant solicitors acting on behalf of tenants alleging a breach of their landlord’s repairing obligations.
What does the National Disability Strategy seek to achieve from a housing perspective, and what will it mean for housing providers?
The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 is due to come into force on 4 May 2021. It’s a snappy title but what exactly is it?
The key legal questions for public bodies to consider before deciding to cease exercising a discretionary power due to limited resources or other reasons.
Public bodies must understand the scope of ‘irrational’ or ‘unreasonable’ challenges so that proactive steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of successful judicial intervention.
The Supreme Court has decided a significant appeal on the Upper Tribunal’s power to discharge or modify restrictive covenants pursuant to section 84(1) of the Law of Property Act (“1925 Act”).
The resolution of disrepair issues will not always be straightforward for landlords in the new world in which we find ourselves. The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has therefore released Guidance for Landlords and Tenants.
A Registered Social Landlord is a hybrid public authority. It is therefore capable of exercising both public and private functions.
The Rent Standard 2020 defines rent increases, aligning regulation of all registered providers of social housing, including councils for the first time.
The Supreme Court decision in Poole Borough Council v GN and another  UKSC 25 addresses key legal principles in relation to duty of care connected with the performance of statutory services by public bodies.
Issues about prescriptive rights of way and drainage arose on the redevelopment of dominant land.
This morning (6 June) the Supreme Court has handed down its decision in Poole Borough Council v GN and another. The court dismissed the appeal and upheld the decision in the lower court that the claim should be struck out. The claim addresses broad issues with the potential to impact on negligence claims against many public bodies including health and education.
Ealing Council have signed an agreement with Peabody to deliver 500 new homes at ‘The Green’ in Southall, West London. Browne Jacobson advised the Council on the project.
This article, the first in a series for public matters looking at housing law issues in a regeneration context, seeks to outline some of the key consultation requirements that should be in a local authorities’ contemplation when they are looking to regenerate, and additional considerations in London.
In a recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust v Millgate Developments Ltd and others  EWCA Civ 2679, developers were given a somewhat unwelcome reminder of the risks of ignoring restrictive covenants during development.