Trowers & Hamlins advises Phi Capital Investments Limited on property investment agreement


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International law firm Trowers & Hamlins has advised property investment firm Phi Capital Investments Limited (Phi) on a bespoke agreement with Thurrock Council to acquire properties to meet local housing needs in Thurrock.

The unique arrangement will see Phi identify properties in Thurrock that meet the Council's housing needs. Once approved by Thurrock Council, the properties will be acquired using private equity funding from Topland Group and shall be leased to the Council for immediate occupation by those in need in Thurrock. The Council will then own the properties outright at the end of each lease.

The agreement between Phi and the Council details how using their online portal IRIS, Phi shall identify properties, negotiate and transact on them, renovate them and then report on them to the Council, allowing the Council to control the properties to ensure that they meet the Council's housing needs and standards at affordable rents.

The Council has the option to deploy retained Right to Buy receipts on a property-by-property basis in exchange for reduced on-going rental payments to Phi. Where retained Right to Buy receipts are used, grant funding agreements are put in place.

Trowers advised Phi on all property, grant and corporate aspects of this transaction.

Omar Al-Hasso, Managing Director at Phi said:

"Thurrock Council have taken a proactive approach to resolving their affordable housing supply shortages and we are pleased to be working with them on this project. Using our online portal, IRIS, in the first two months of engagement we have identified and are acquiring over 70 new affordable rented homes for the Council, all of which will be ready for occupation in April."

Cllr Barry Johnson, Cabinet Member for Housing at Thurrock Council said:

"This collaboration will ensure that we continue to provide much-needed affordable housing for our residents in Thurrock. We are committed to investing in housing, and this project will enable us to take another significant step to achieving this goal. More families, households and individuals across our borough should have access to, and be able to benefit from, high-quality housing."

Scott Dorling, a Partner in the Real Estate team at Trowers, added:

"We are delighted to have worked on this project with Phi. This agreement establishes a new way for Thurrock Council to meet its local housing needs and shows how collaboration in this sector can help Councils to secure additional housing provision in a challenging market."

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