Posted by Andrew Johnson, Associate
Our top tips for Care Operators embarking on a property development project
Here we give our top tips for Care Operators embarking on a property development project
1. Decide on your priorities – buying a site which already has planning permission has obvious advantages. This will appeal to operators which have a tighter timeframe or a lower appetite for risk and are prepared to accept less control over the design of the building. However, operators extending their existing property or whose design needs are paramount may choose to submit their own planning application instead. Every operator’s requirements are unique and the above factors will influence which approach is right for you
2. Consider appointing an agent – if you are acquiring a new property, it can be beneficial to call on the skills of a specialist agent. They will use their expertise and contacts to monitor the market to find the property which most closely matches your requirements. They will also be able to negotiate on your behalf to get the best terms with the seller.
3. Take tax advice – whether you own a site already or are intending to buy it, you should take early advice from a tax advisor to ensure the transaction is structured as tax efficiently as possible.
4. Find a lender to support your funding needs – different lenders can have very different lending criteria, so it is important to carry out a full review of the market (or ask a broker to do this for you) so that you can borrow the funds you need to acquire and/ or develop your new property as competitively as possible.
5. Carry out your property due diligence before you apply for planning – operators wishing to extend their property within their existing boundary should ask their solicitor to review the property title to ensure that the planning application is fully compatible with this; for example, investigating any boundary discrepancies and checking that the property has sufficient rights and is not subject to any rights or covenants which could hinder development. Any existing title indemnity insurers should also be notified of your plans so that the policies are not invalidated. It may be that such title checks will not reveal anything material, but even if they do, this gives you the chance to address these issues before you apply for planning to avoid additional costs and delays later.
6. Engage specialist construction professionals – designing and building a care home or facility to meet the needs of your residents now and into the future and to comply with the stringent requirements of CQC requires specialist knowledge and expertise. Carry out your due diligence and appoint construction professionals who have a proven track record of delivering successful care related developments so that they are not having to learn on the job.
7. Choose a specialist law firm – there are many stages to delivering a successful development and it’s essential that you put in place robust contracts which protect your position before, during and after the build period. Law firms which specialise in the care sector know what issues to look out for and ways to address any problems when they arise. We are a full service law firm which is experienced in acting for care operators and retirement village developers and would welcome hearing from you if are considering embarking on a development project and would like further information on how we can help you.
If you have any enquiries, please contact our Health and Social Care team on:
0800 182 2492 Email us
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