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Legal services for supported living providers

Supported living providers deliver personal care to people as part of the support that they need to live in their own homes. The personal care is provided under separate contractual arrangements to those for the person’s housing. It is distinct from extra care housing, which involves purpose-built (or purpose adapted) single household accommodation that is owned or occupied under an occupancy agreement. It also differs from shared lives, where accommodation is lived in under an occupancy agreement, where the premises are owned or tenanted by another person who has been approved as a carer by a ‘shared lives’ scheme that is registered to provide ‘personal care’. Supported living provision falls under services governed by regulations that are also different from other kinds of social housing law in the UK, due to the unique nature of this sector.

Where supported living is concerned, the local authorities do not tend to own, lease or buy the accommodation, which is why social housing law firms don’t always have the necessary specialist knowledge of the legal aspects of supported living that are required to give best practice advice. The legal and statutory requirements for supported living mean that the local council assesses the requirements of individuals and assures that they are accommodated and cared for, typically by registered social landlords and regulated care providers. Such may be governed by nomination agreements entered by the relevant bodies. The governance and ownership of supported living providers makes the legality around this sector a specialist field as the challenges faced are relatively unique, which means that expert supported living lawyers are ideally placed to advise on related legal issues.


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Our expertise in supported housing and the law

Regulations around supported living accommodation can be a complex area of law, as there are so many different factors and variables that can be involved in developing and providing supported housing for those who require some extra assistance to live more independently.

The sector is facing increased scrutiny in terms of regulated and unregulated aspects. Having the in-depth legal advice from those active in the sector is crucial, to ensuring your business can grow by being able to access opportunities for development whilst simultaneously ensuring that you do not face prosecution or fines that can constrict your business. This kind of wide-ranging specialist knowledge isn’t something that most social housing solicitors have, so ensuring you choose supported living lawyers with experience in this area is essential to ensure you have access to accurate advice on every level.

We are widely acknowledged as experts in this sector, having dealt with multimillion pound developments for developers, registered providers and care operators. We are able to assist with a full spectrum of legal services including:

  • Singular and portfolio acquisitions and disposals
  • Financing supported living provision projects
  • Development agreements, planning and works conditionality
  • Construction
  • Leases
  • Investment structuring and restructuring
  • Forward funding agreement
  • Maintenances agreements
  • Nomination agreements
  • Service level agreements
  • Trading business/asset acquisitions and disposals
  • Employment advice

Specialists in care and housing law for supported living

Our public law team has over 15 years’ experience of advising on mental capacity and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS). We act across a full range of adult social services and community care law issues including but not limited to: Court of Protection proceedings involving complex welfare considerations and medical treatment issues, deprivation of liberty and Article 5 compliance issues, access to care services and assessment for the same, mental health and capacity law, Mental Capacity Act 2005, Care Act 2014 and judicial review actions arising from these practice areas. The deprivation of liberty safeguards only apply to hospitals and care homes at present. They do not apply to housing with care services, we can advise you regarding any safeguard that you should have in place as best practice.

Our expertise in this area adds an extra dimension to the legal services that we can offer to supported living providers, as there is often crossover between these fields when it comes to delivering appropriate supported living accommodation that meets all of the necessary guidelines and regulations on every level and at every stage.

Regulation in supported living provision

Our regulatory law department can advise you on the areas of specific regulation for supported living providers. Supported living providers that are not engaged in delivering the regulated activity ‘personal care’ are not now required by law to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The personal care is provided under separate contractual arrangements to those for the person’s housing. In some cases, supported living providers may need to be registered for the regulated activity ‘accommodation for persons requiring nursing or personal care’. The difference will depend upon the contractual arrangements in place for the delivery of the care and of the housing. We are able to advise supported living providers of their obligations in relation to this and assist providers where they are regulated if they are facing investigation or enforcement action prosecution. Our experience in dealing with many legal matters of a similar nature means that we can offer truly specialist advice and support.

Our regulatory team can also provide health & safety and regulatory advice, along with consulting on issues such as fire safety law in supported living accommodation. With this regulatory expertise along with our experience of many years as social housing lawyers with a specialism in supported living provision, we’re ideally placed to provide the dedicated support that you need.