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Our client was an owner of a prominent group of care homes in North London.

Our client was looking to refinance six care homes in their portfolio. They had found a lender and needed legal representation to process their loan application to completion.

As the buildings were used as care homes, numerous stakeholders had an interest in the deal – particularly the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which monitors, inspects and regulates healthcare services in England.

At the time the client instructed us, their existing loan was due to be redeemed in just four weeks – so time was of the essence.

On completing due diligence, we discovered the ‘authorised use’ of some of the buildings (from a planning permission perspective) was unclear. This needed to be resolved before the loan could complete.

Our Healthcare team immediately understood the complexities of such a transaction. Knowing speed was a critical factor – as the client would face financial penalties if they were late repaying their existing loan – we began negotiations with the incoming lender.

We persuaded the bank to turn a number of conditions precedent into conditions subsequent – that is, the conditions they had set out could be dealt with after the contract was agreed instead of before. This saved a lot of time, enabling us to focus instead on ensuring all CQC registrations were in place and clarifying some unclear planning permissions with the local planning authority.

The client was able to complete on the new loan in just four weeks, paying back their original lender on time and avoiding any financial penalties. By working effectively with the numerous stakeholders involved, we ensured the CQC was satisfied which allowed a continuation of service to the care home residents too.