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Property for Charities

Charity & Not-for-Profit

Property that belongs to, is sold, purchased or gifted to charities is regulated by the Charities Act 2011. Our charity and not-for-profit experts are here to support and guide you through the necessary processes with regard to ‘dealing’ with property.

Running a charity or not-for-profit can be complex, and Trustees must ensure that they are acting in the charity’s best interests.

Property, freehold, leasehold and licenses

Whether you are buying, selling or leasing property as a charity or you are ‘dealing’ with property that belongs to a charity in any other way for (example granting as easement over charitable land) you must ensure that you comply with the relevant provisions of the Charities Act 2011. If you are buying land for a charity, the Land Registry will require specific wording to be included in the Transfer/Conveyance. Charities often overlook these requirements or are simply unaware of them. A charity trustee who acts in breach of their duty may be personally liable for any loss caused as a result.

Charities Act compliance

In most cases compliance with the Charities Act is normally straight forward. However if your property or other assets count as “permanent endowment” this can be more complex and you will need Charity Commission approval. Whatever your situation we will be able to guide you through the process.

Property gifts

Charities often receive properties as gifts, either in a Will or as a gift during someone’s lifetime. As a charity that is receiving a property, you will need to consider what your charity’s property owning structure is. You will also need to consider whether it falls into the category of ‘restricted funds’ for accounting purposes. If your charity normally holds properties in the names of individual trustees, the gift of an additional property might be an opportune moment to re-evaluate that structure and the structure of your charity as a whole. As a general rule charities should avoid holding properties in the names of individual Trustees.

For further advice, please contact Jeremy Burke or a member of our Charities and Not-for-Profit team based in Canterbury, Ashford and Herne Bay.

Our Experts

Caroline Armitage

Consultant Solicitor
Corporate, Banking & Finance; Commercial Law

Jeremy Burke

Head of Department
Commercial Property

David Morgan

Employment law

Lesley Rushton

Managing Partner
Wills, Tax & Estate Administration

Charlotte Nock

Head of Department
Wills, Tax & Estate Administration

David Redgate

Commercial Property

Sophie Robins

Commercial Property

Usman Miah

Associate Solicitor
Commercial Property

Simon Stempien

Commercial Property

Beth Norman

Associate (FCILEx)
Commercial Property

Nicola Webster

Senior Associate Solicitor
Dispute Resolution

Thomas Picknell

Assistant Solicitor
Commercial Property

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