Q&As

Would the leasing of a property by a contracting authority to provide temporary accommodation for its residents fall within the scope of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015?

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Produced in partnership with Alfred Artley of Monckton Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 14/09/2020

The following Local Government Q&A produced in partnership with Alfred Artley of Monckton Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Would the leasing of a property by a contracting authority to provide temporary accommodation for its residents fall within the scope of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015?
  • Would the answer be different if the provider, in addition to leasing the property to the local authority for temporary accommodation, is also providing services such as customer services to the residents?

Would the leasing of a property by a contracting authority to provide temporary accommodation for its residents fall within the scope of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015?

The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015), SI 2015/102, reg 10 excludes a number of a specific categories of service contract from the scope of the Regulations. This includes an exemption for land transactions, covering contracts ‘for the acquisition or rental, by whatever financial means, of land, existing buildings or other immovable property, or which concern interests in or rights over any of them’ (see PCR 2015, SI 2015/102, reg 10(1)(a)). For background reading, see Practice Note: Introduction to public contracts procurement.

Where a contracting authority is simply entering into a standard leasing arrangement, the financial consideration provided by the authority relates solely to the acquisition of land, and nothing further is required from the lessor, then arguably the land transactions exclusion ought to apply. However, the situation would be different to the extent that the transaction involved some form of development agreement. Where for example, the lessor agreed to adapt or refurbish the accommodation in accordance with the local authority’s requirements prior to completing the lease, this might be held to be a public works contract, and hence within the scope of the public procurement regime (compare Faraday Development Limited v West Berkshire Council).

For related further reading, see

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