As a charity trustee when do I need a Charities Act Report?
All trustees of a charity should obtain a Charities Act report and professional advice prior to disposing of land and property.
The Charities Act 2011 states that a report should be obtained on disposal of either a freehold or leasehold title of more than seven years to ensure it is in the best interest of the charity and best value is being achieved.
The Charities Act Report varies from a valuation report as it goes beyond the content of a regular report and provides on various matters affecting a sale. The Charities (Qualified Surveyors Reports) Regulations 1992 place further requirements on the surveyor to include the following:
Whether the property should be repaired, or work carried out with estimated costs prior to a sale.
Whether the property should be altered or sub-divided to maximise value on sale.
Whether planning permission should be sought, or other covenants explored to achieve best value.
What the most appropriate method of sale is and what marketing should be carried out.
What is a reasonable marketing period taking into account the specifics of the property and market.
Is a sale in the best interest of the charity and best use for the property.
It is essential to obtain this advice at the outset to set strategy and appointment of the agent. It is often a case that the marketing and bids are then reviewed by the Surveyor to “sign off” that advice has been followed and in the specific circumstances it is in their interest to proceed.
The Charities Act 2022 Changes
The new regulations fundamentally still require trustees to ensure they get the appropriate advice and representation to comply with the regulations. The 2022 changes have extended the list of permitted advisors that can provide a report and advice, BUT it is still essential that trustees consider who is best placed to provide this advice reflecting the specific nature of the transaction, the property type and risks associated. In most cases this will still be an appropriately qualified chartered surveyor who is a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Registered Valuer.
Primmer Olds B.A.S, RICS Registered valuers have the skills, knowledge and experience to deal with a range of property types, including retail property, residential dwellings, land for development, former places of worship, as well as many others. We operate across the South Central region covering the counties of Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Sussex, Surrey and parts of Berkshire. We can work in conjunction with our experienced property agents and building surveyors, architects and other specialists to ensure the trustees are protected and the charity obtains best value from their assets.
For further discussion about the need for a Charities Act Report, Simon Hake, MRICS– Director Professional Services can be contacted as he has experience in providing valuation advice of this nature to a mix of charitable organisations.
Some examples of who we have assisted as firm include Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes, Diocese of Winchester, The Scientific Church, The Royal British Legion as well as many other smaller organisations.