Charity land disposal—practical considerations
Charity land disposal—practical considerations

The following Private Client guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Charity land disposal—practical considerations
  • The power to dispose of land
  • Statutory duty
  • Best terms available
  • Do the trustees own the land?

The Charity Commission very helpfully provide a definition/explanatory note as to what, in their opinion, comprises a disposal of land.

Disposal: In this context a disposal occurs when charity land is conveyed, transferred, leased or otherwise disposed of. This will obviously include the granting, transfer or surrender of a lease as well as freehold sales but will also include, for example, granting rights such as fishing rights. Other examples might include granting an easement or granting a right of way over land, or granting a wayleave to allow access to facilities on that land. However, entry into (rather than completion of) a contract or agreement for sale, for example, is not a disposal. It is at the point of the transfer or completion of the transaction that the disposal takes place.

There are a number of reasons why a charity may want to sell its property. If they own an investment property the sale may simply be a sensible decision in order to acquire other more remunerative assets or to limit exposure in uncertain market conditions. Where the charity uses the property for its purposes market conditions may, again, dictate the need for a move or downsizing. Trustees should always be mindful of the diversity of their portfolio and a sale of property may be occasioned by a review of that portfolio.

Whatever the