December 8, 2018 Legal

Top property development tips for care operators

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1. Decide on your priorities. Buying a site which already has planning permission 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. 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 make sure the transaction is structured as tax efficiently as possible.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Engage specialist construction professionals. Designing and building a 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.
6. Choose a specialist law firm. 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 how to mitigate the risks.
For advice on any development or any other commercial property law issues for your care business, contact Andrew Johnson, associate in the Health & Social Care team at Royds Withy King on 01225 730 156 or email andrew.johnson@roydswithyking.com

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