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Rights of unsuccessful tenderers

Rights of unsuccessful tenderers

The procurement regulations set down the rights and remedies available to unsuccessful tenderers who have suffered or is likely to suffer loss as a result of a breach of those regulations.

Where the aggrieved tenderer can show that a breach has occurred the court can:

  • suspend the process
  • set aside the decision leading to the contract award
  • declare the contract ineffective
  • award damages

However the regulations only apply to works, services and supplies contracts over certain values.

Does this mean that a court action cannot

Should RSL Committee Members be paid?

The suggestion, as part of the current consultation by the Scottish Housing Regulator, that Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) should be allowed to pay committee members (click here for more information) has generated considerable debate. Views have been put forward on both sides of the argument. So should?RSL Committee Members be paid?

The current position is, of course, that such payments are outlawed by Schedule 7 of the 2001 Housing Act. However in April 2012 Schedule 7 will disappear from the scene. In a wholesale reversal

Procurement: When can I exclude a bidder?

So when can I exclude a bidder??According to regulation 23 of the procurement regulations, a public body (including an RSL) carrying out a procurement exercise shall treat as ineligible and disqualify a bidder, if it has actual knowledge that the bidder, its directors (if the bidder is a company) or any other person with powers of representation, decision or control of the bidder has been convicted of certain offences, including:

  • Conspiracy
  • Corruption
  • Bribery
  • Incitement to commit a crime
  • Fraud
  • Taxation offences
  • Money laundering
  • Attempting to

How to Recover Factoring & Common Maintenance Debts

So just how can you recover factoring & common maintenance debts from owner-occupiers? A Notice of Potential Liability for Costs can assist housing associations and factors to recover money due by owner-occupiers for factoring and common maintenance debts. It was introduced in 2004 and can be used in relation to flats or houses. It does not solely relate to costs already incurred and can be lodged in relation to planned works where there is doubt regarding an owner's ability/likelihood of paying their share of the

Using Commercial Court for business disputes

Using Commercial Court for business disputes

In an increasingly litigious society it is important to reflect on all of the options available when considering a court action in relation to business disputes. With the Court of Session becoming significantly busier, the Commercial Court offers a swift and robust procedure in which to raise actions. However, individuals and organisations are not making best use of this alternative court, largely through misunderstanding its use and appreciation that they can in fact use it!

The key features of the commercial court's procedures are set

Changes to Construction Contracts

As of 1 November 2011?the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 comes into force, amending the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996. The changes will affect construction contracts entered into from 1 November 2011.

The main changes are:

  • The 1996 Act now applies to construction contracts even where they are not in writing;
  • An adjudicator now has the ability to make changes to his/her decision, insofar as to correct any typos or other errors. Previously, where an adjudicator?s decision contained a manifest

Site acquisition checklist

Site acquisition checklist

You are buying housing sites and you have found a new site to buy. And agreed a price with the landowner. You now want to submit a formal offer to buy the land but do not want to commit to the purchase until you are sure that a number of other 'things' have been dealt with. What would now be ideal is a site acquisition checklist.

These 'things' are called suspensive conditions and would typically include:-

  • satisfactory site investigation reports you want to be sure

How to find a debtor then raise a court action

How to find a debtor then raise a court action

We are frequently asked to raise court actions against debtors whose whereabouts are unknown; would you know how to find a debtor then raise a court action?

In any court action, a summons needs to be served on a debtor. The whereabouts of a debtor may be unknown because:

  • The debtor may have moved to another address without the creditor's knowledge since the original debt accrued
  • The debtor has not provided an address
  • Or, as is sometime the case, provided an inaccurate address

Many creditors

Procurement Process: Challenging the Final Decision

Under the procurement regulations, an organisation engaged in a procurement exercise should allow a 'standstill period' of 10 days to elapse between notifying the tenderers of the successful party and awarding the contract. If an unsuccessful tenderer raises a legal challenge to the procurement process during the standstill period, the organisation cannot proceed to award the contract without first obtaining an order from the court.

In a recent case from Northern Ireland (Rutledge Recruitment and Training Limited v Department for Employment and Learning)

Feed in Tariff - Are RSLs running out of time?

Although the deadlines for the Feed in Tariff in March 2012 and the Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP) in December 2012 seem a long way away, are RSLs running out of time? Housing Associations would benefit from thinking about it now due to the lengthy lead in time.? This is due to the number of parties currently involved:

  • All systems installed need to be commissioned by approved suppliers
  • The works (and the carbon saving properties) must be completed before these dates -?not merely committed
  • Utility

Evicting Tenants for Antisocial Behaviour

We asked our blog readers whether a conviction for supplying Class A drugs within a social rented house (antisocial behaviour) should be made a mandatory ground for evicting a tenant.? 97% of those who voted were in favour. Is evicting tenants for antisocial behaviour a good thing?

In 2011,?Grant Shapps, Housing Minister in the UK Government launched a consultation document; it asks whether a new mandatory power of eviction should be available not just for drugs offences but for all antisocial behaviour?

We would

Procurement Process and framework agreements

When going through a procurement process how do you ensure you are getting your framework agreements right?

What are?framework agreements?

A framework agreement is a ?contract? under the procurement regulations, but it is not a contract in the traditional sense. It is an agreement whereby a number of contractors are appointed to the framework, and the client may award specific contracts to any one of those contractors during the lifetime of the framework. However, there is no obligation on the client to do so.


Demise of Lifelong Tenancy Agreements

In 2010?the Coalition government introduced proposals that will mean the demise of lifelong tenancy agreements. These proposals howeveer will not affect Scotland as housing is a devolved issue for the Scottish parliament.

The plans are being debated at Westminster as part of the Localism Bill but current proposals include:
??the creation of a new tenancy in the social sector called the "flexible tenancy".
??a fixed tenancy for a minimum of two years. Tenants would not be guaranteed any extension to that initial period.

The idea

Successful Completion of Second Stage Transfer

On 27 June 2011, ?we successfully completed the last batch of housing stock second stage transfers from Glasgow Housing Association to several of our Registered Social Landlord (RSL) clients, meaning that the properties are now in the ownership of community-controlled housing associations throughout the city. In total, almost 19,000 homes have transferred to the delight of tenants who voted in favour of their new landlords during the consultation period.

Having been involved in bringing the planned transfer programme to fruition for many years, 2009 saw

What are Collateral Warranties? Explaining the Basics

What are Collateral Warranties? Explaining the Basics

What are collateral warranties?
Collateral warranties are contracts which are designed to establish a contractual link between a third party (the beneficiary) and a contractor or consultant who has carried out certain works.

Why are they required?
In the case of a building contract, collateral warranties are a promise from the contractor to the beneficiary that the works have been carried out in accordance with the building contract. If the works have been carried out negligently, the beneficiary has a right of recourse against the

Charities & RSLs Combat Climate Change

Climate change burden
Real burdens? ?Boring?, you may say?. Indeed, often little consideration is given to imposing real burdens or conditions upon the sale of land or property. After the introduction of?legislation in 2010, however, real burdens have become more attractive to charities, housing associations and individuals with an environmental conscience as they can now be used to combat climate change.

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 creates a concept known as a ?climate change burden?, which must have as its purpose the

Shared Equity vs Shared Ownership

The news reports on a fairly regular basis that individuals wanting to get their foot on the property ladder are finding it more and more difficult these days to get their first home. How can shared equity and shared ownership schemes help? Shared Equity vs Shared Ownership, what's best?

Helping First Time Buyers?
Shared Ownership and Shared Equity are two schemes which can assist first time buyers or others on a lower income to get that first foot on the property ladder and achieve home

Welfare Reform and Registered Social Landlords

The Welfare Reform bill which is currently progressing through parliament at Westminster has created much debate amongst Registered Social Landlords.

Much of the debate has involved the proposed introduction of universal credit, a single benefit payment for all claimants. This credit would:

  • replace all existing benefits
  • involve the eventual removal of housing benefit as an individual benefit.
  • remove the current system where housing benefit can be paid directly to a landlord on a tenant?s behalf

Many landlords have rightly expressed concern that the proposed welfare

Home Repairs for the Elderly and Vulnerable

Do you know Someone Whose Home is in Dire Need of Improvement?
Or has the Local Council placed a Statutory Notice on it for major repairs?? Councils are currently tightening their belts and housing funding may no longer be available to assist with home improvements or repairs. Does this also affect home repairs for the elderly and the vulnerable?

So Who will Pay for Home Repairs or Improvements?
If someone is property rich but cash poor and they are working alongside their local authority or

The Bribery Act 2010

The Bribery Act 2010

The Bribery Act 2010 will come into force on 1 July 2011. The Act sets out a range of bribery related offences which could give rise to prosecution for both organisations and individuals.

The offences include:-
1.Giving bribes
2.Receiving bribes
3.Bribery of a foreign Public Official
4.Failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery

The definition of a bribe is a broad one and can include any payment or other benefit which is intended to induce or reward the improper performance of a public function or

Finance Bill 2011 - SDLT Relief on Property Purchases

The Finance Bill 2011 will provide a fairer system of charging SDLT for those buying property in bulk, be this blocks of flats or a number of properties off plan from a Developer.

Historically, on purchases of this type, the SDLT rate would be calculated on the global price paid often resulting in a huge SDLT bill.? For some trading subsidiaries of RSLs this substantial outlay has been off putting.? Once the Finance Bill receives Royal Assent, SDLT for such multiple purchases will be

Procurement Process: Get the Basics Right

Procurement Process: Get the Basics Right

Clients continue to have a lot of questions concerning the procurement process and rightly so. The risk of getting it wrong can be very costly for an organisation. So just how do you get the procurement process right?

A common pitfall under the procurement regulations is a failure to make the distinction between selection and award criteria. Such failures can be costly, leading to a challenge under the regulations. Although it seems that there is little guidance in the area, there are some useful hints

Avoid Contract Confusion

We are?often asked by housing associations to look at a contract for the purchase of land and to explain what it means. Legal contracts are supposed to provide certainty and clarity but the opposite can sometimes be the case. So how do you avoid contract confusion?

We recently looked at a contract for a housing association that had an ?option? to purchase some land for development. Rather than agreeing to buy the land outright the association had instead entered into an agreement where it could

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