Charity land disposals
Charity land disposals

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

  • Charity land disposals
  • Identifying charity land
  • Different types of charity for the purpose of land transactions
  • Trustees
  • What is a 'disposition'?
  • Court or Charity Commission orders and exceptions
  • Dispositions other than the grant of a lease for seven years or less
  • Dispositions involving the grant of a lease for seven years or less
  • Disposals involving options
  • Permanent endowment, in specie land or designated land
  • more

Where land is held on a charitable trust, it can only be disposed of in accordance with Part 7 of the Charities Act 2011 (CA 2011). Failure to comply with the statutory requirements may mean that the transaction is void.

Identifying charity land

Charity land can be held by any person or group of persons. The purpose for which the land is held determines whether or not it is charity land. In many instances land is held by a registered charity. However, it is possible that a company (whether limited by shares or guarantee), a local authority, a body of trustees or an unincorporated association might be holding land on the terms of a charitable trust without necessarily even being aware that it is doing so.

Different types of charity for the purpose of land transactions

There are three types of charity for the purpose of disposal, each of which requires a different procedure:

  1. exempt charities—any charity listed in the CA 2011, Sch 3 is an exempt charity (this includes academies, foundation and voluntary schools, sixth form college corporations and most universities, certain museums and galleries and various charitable societies (eg housing associations)

  2. non-exempt charities—although the term 'non-exempt charity' does not actually feature anywhere in the CA 2011, it is used widely in the property context to differentiate