As charity trustees will be aware, they must be very careful to make sure that they are acting in the best interests of the charity. It is no different when it comes to charity property transactions, and the Charities Act 2011 sets clear guidelines for charities wishing to sell, grant a lease of, or surrender the lease of, their charity premises.
Depending on the circumstances of the transaction, the charity trustees may be required to obtain a report from a surveyor which sets out the surveyor’s professional view on the terms of the transaction, or the charity trustees may be required to obtain a less formal advice from someone properly qualified to advise the charity.
Where a charity is taking a mortgage, there will also be provisions of the Charities Act 2011 which will apply, which require the charity trustees to take certain steps before entering into the transaction. A lender will almost certainly require a charity to obtain legal representation when taking a mortgage in any event.
Whether the property is small or large the provisions of the Charities Act 2011 will apply, and a failure to adhere to the obligations may have serious repercussions for the charity trustees. It is therefore important that you get it right.
Lawson Lewis Blakers can provide specialist advice to charities in relation to property transactions, so do not hesitate to contact us.