Social Housing

Over the last 30 years, Hugh James has established itself as one of the leading social housing law firms.

Hugh James is passionate about social housing. Our specialist Social Housing team has extensive experience and expertise and we are committed to making a contribution to housing regeneration and creating neighbourhoods where people want to live as part of long-lasting communities.


By working in partnership with you our social housing team can help you to make real differences in local communities. We draw on experience and insight gained from advising providers of social housing services for many years.

Our client base includes over 40 housing associations and local authorities. We are therefore able to offer unparalleled strength and depth in our expertise and are able to provide a full legal service to all our social housing clients.  Having watched the sector evolve, we understand the issues housing associations face, the market forces affecting them, challenges involved in regulation and their aspirations for the future.  This ensures our advice takes into account the full picture, aligning with strategies for commercial and social value.

As a trusted business adviser, we facilitate conversations within the sector to assist collaborative working, engage thought leaders and develop innovative solutions.

Our team of social housing lawyers share the sector’s passion for achieving social objectives and frequently work in partnership with clients on projects outside the legal field which have a direct impact on the communities they have helped to build.  Some of our lawyers also act as board members for local housing associations which gives them a unique insight into the governance landscape that influences the decisions our clients must make.  This level of involvement impacts the advice they give, as they are keen to achieve the most successful outcome for all involved – commercially and socially.

Our social housing team spans a wide range of practice areas but they do not work in silos.  Our team is engaged in constant dialogue to ensure their advice is tailored to the needs of each particular client and their ongoing activities in all areas, similar to an in-house team.

The team consider every instruction from the client’s perspective to ensure seamless advice is provided during times of organisational change, risk or growth.


  • Numerous acquisitions of land for development by housing associations, being both affordable housing land under Section 106 Agreements with house builders, and as part of inner city regeneration schemes.
  • Acted on behalf of a housing association in connection with University Student Accommodation project, involving the design, construction, finance and maintenance of facilities over a 30 year period. The private finance project had a Capital Value of £40million.
  • Provided training to all housing staff of a housing association on the legal differences between secure and assured tenancies. Also trained housing staff on their new tenancies.
  • Dealing with volume acquisitions and subsequent site set up for the purpose of onward homebuy sales.
  • We acted on the first acquisition by a welsh housing association of a non-housing association and have subsequently acted on a number of further acquisitions. In all cases we were required to gain the consent of the Welsh Government.
  • We represented a housing association in relation to objections to an application for village green status on land owned by their local County Council to include representation at the inquiry.
  • Acted for a housing association in defending compensation claims brought by private home owners in relation to work carried out as part of the Glyntaff Estate stock transfer.
  • Advised a housing association on legality of bonus schemes for trades operatives and tenant incentive schemes including rent draw systems.
  • Dealing with volume acquisitions and subsequent site set up for the purpose of onward homebuy sales.


We understand that you need to invest in training. It’s an essential part of nurturing your team’s skills, increasing innovation, reducing risk, boosting performance, as well as giving you competitive advantage.  We also find there is no better way of really understanding a client’s culture.

That’s why we offer bespoke training tailored to you and your organisation’s needs. Our expertise across a range of legal disciplines means we can offer targeted training on specific legal topics or give you a more general overview; it’s entirely suited to your needs.

We also host regular training events in the form of conferences and seminars, covering a variety of engaging topics facilitated by leaders in the field. Our training and updates can be focused on a particular issue a team struggles with, and small scale roundtable where thorny issues can be chatted through with an open and informal approach or more general “how to” guides depending on the needs of our clients.  We also provide online webinar training in addition to our face to face delivery at clients’ premises or hosted at our training suite in central Cardiff.  All our training is delivered by qualified lawyers who advise the housing sector on a regular basis, with an approachable style that allows “off script” topics to be explored properly when they are relevant to the group.  A lawyer facilitator means that learning can confidently be applied to the specific circumstances of a client’s own case studies, taking into account the most recent legal developments and options for strategic solutions properly explored.

If you would like to discover more about our training options and how we can work together, please get in touch with Emma Poole.

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Tel: 033 3016 2222

99 Gresham Street
Tel: 033 3016 2222

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