We have in-depth knowledge of the particular nature and the complex rules of the social housing sector, and we provide specialist advice all over the country within all legal areas of relevance to the sector and its partners, regardless of whether they operate within social, private or public housing.

Our team includes specialists with many years of experience in project development and construction as well as specialists with a background from the social housing sector and local authorities, which gives us a unique understanding of both the commercial, the legal and the social framework in which social housing organisations navigate. 

When you cooperate with us, you can be sure that you have a responsible adviser who is committed to achieving the best results for your business. Whether you need advice, transaction support or legal expertise, our specialists are always ready to assist you based on their comprehensive knowledge of the social housing sector.

The Social Housing team is placed - organisationally as well as physically - in a group with the Construction team and the Real Property team. It enables us to provide highly specialised and holistic advice with respect to all aspects of social housing across these teams and in collaboration with other relevant Plesner teams. 

Through this structure we ensure the best possible exploitation of the synergies resulting from Plesner's knowledge of regulatory matters, construction, acquisition, sale, operation and disputes relating to social housing for the benefit of our clients.

We advise, among other things, on:

Renovation and conversion

The social housing stock is currently undergoing extensive changes through realisation of development plans and overall plans and through large-scale subsidized and unsubsidised renovation projects. We provide advice in connection with implementation of renovations and significant changes of social housing, including on decommissioning of housing, conversion of facades, roof renovations, procurement of the required permissions, registration and rehousing. 

We also advise on all aspects of the conversion of existing building to social housing.

In close collaboration with our clients we communicate with the various operators, from chartered surveyors, neighbours and utility companies to public authorities, private operators and mortgagees, and we provide holistic and value-creating solutions. 

More housing through densification

In recent years, attention has increasingly been centred on the possibility of creating more housing through densification. It entails, as a consequence, that in matters concerning social housing renovation a "comply or explain"-principle is to be applied when determining whether social housing should be added. Densification may be achieved by building on free areas, adding to existing buildings, utilising top storeys or by demolishing existing buildings and building new, larger buildings. Densification with various types of housing and ownership may contribute to create a mixed neighbourhood. 

We assist our clients in buying and selling housing organisations' sites or top storey areas and cadastral or owner-occupied flat conversion. We also advise on issues relating to planning basis, additional purchase price and easements and encumbrances as well as rules on tenants' participation in relation to densification, including definition of the decision-making competences between the tenants' participation bodies. 

Buying and selling

Buying and selling of sites and areas form a cornerstone of our services, and we take pride in tailoring solution models for the project that is to be completed. 

We have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the conditions and rules governing social housing organisations, including the operational procedures of the supervisory authorities and their approach to social housing and renovations as well as the tenant participation process. This knowledge is valuable regardless of whether we are advising social housing organisations or private operators in relation to new developments and renovation of social housing. 

We assist our clients when social housing organisations are to execute building projects in the form of new building, densification or renovation of existing housing. We negotiate and quality assure price and contract terms in contracts of sale in order that our clients may experience a secure and frictionless transaction from beginning to end. 

We advise, among other things, on:

  • the acquisition of property
  • project development
  • financing, including special subsidy schemes
  • procurement processes
  • applications for funding from the National Building Fund (Danish: skemasager) and regulatory approval   
  • building projects
  • rules governing ancillary activities (Danish: sideaktiviteter) and ancillary activity companies (Danish: sideaktivitetsselskaber), including organisation of divisional structures and operation etc

Collaboration between social housing organisations and private operators

We advise on all issues when social housing organisations and private operators collaborate on the construction of social housing, including in connection with private development projects where local development plans require social housing, and in connection with the development of existing social housing areas. Our clients often use us as the unifying adviser coordinating and communicating the knowledge of all advisers to pave the way for overall solutions. 

We have thorough knowledge of the potential challenges faced by social housing organisations and private operators, and we ensure operational, balanced and aligned bodies of contracts supporting social housing legislation, which at the same time take into consideration the commercial market in which the parties’ agreements are to be applied by means of a project and transaction process. 

Delegated client model

We advise on the building of social housing under the delegated client model (Danish: delegeret bygherremodel), which entails that the private operator guarantees the social housing organisation that building will be realised. We assist our clients in defining interfaces between the building of social housing and private building, and we ensure holistic legal solutions, taking into consideration the special circumstances applying to social housing.

We have extensive experience advising private operators on procurement rules and assisting with the completion of procurement, including defining a procurement strategy, drafting of all relevant  procurement and contractual documents and managing the process up to the signing of a contract and, as a result, ensuring that it proceeds according to the rules, and that the procurement documents otherwise match the realisation of the project.  

Building contracts, building damage and defects

We guide our clients safely through complex building projects. We assist in preparing, negotiating and reviewing construction contracts and assist in ensuring the correct allocation of responsibilities and risk handling in the contractual relationship.

We also advise on the choice of construction type and the choice of procurement model, and we analyse advantages and disadvantages of the various models in relation to the procurement in question. We also assist in defining the procurement strategy and choosing the correct procurement procedure.

In case of building damage and defects, we assist with negotiations on remedies and compensation. We are highly specialised in terms of construction law dispute resolution, and we ensure security through all stages of such dispute solution, including arbitration proceedings and legal proceedings. 

Budget overruns

Building projects can be complex, and budget overruns may have serious consequences for the employer. We assist our clients from the project development stage, through regulatory approvals and filing of Forms A, B and C, and we assist in identifying potential risks and minimising such risks before they affect the budget of the project. 

In case of budget overruns we assist in identifying the possibilities of obtaining financial coverage of such overruns, for example through insurance coverage and exposure of actionable conducts on the part of a contract partner. In the event of disputes we guide our clients safely through the dispute in close collaboration with our recognised Construction team.

Innovation and development

The social housing sector is an active and important operator in society and contributes to support and development of social and housing policy agendas. The social housing sector is subject to strict legislation which must be adapted regularly to keep up with developments in society. As a consequence there is a continuous requirement for evaluating and developing new legislation for the purpose of ensuring that the legislative framework for the social housing sector supports the sector's role in the development of society. 

We assist our clients in identifying any barriers to the development of the social housing sector and, in close collaboration with our clients, we identify new solutions and draft well-prepared proposals for new or additional legislation that may support society's and the sector's demand for sustainability and community, among other things. We proactively use our knowledge of authorities' procedures and our network among social housing organisations, authorities and private operators to assist our clients in driving the development of the social housing sector.

Sustainability and community

The social housing sector plays an important role in creating mixed and socially sustainable cities, for example through the building of affordable housing, so that residents with mixed backgrounds and income levels may live side by side.

When converting existing housing areas and developing new urban areas, sustainability is about creating better environmental, financial and socially sustainable frameworks, among other things, including by integrating sustainability principles and practices across design, construction and operation.

In close collaboration with our Real Estate team we assist our clients in creating the legal framework for sustainability and community in development and renovation projects.

Our specialists

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