There are a number of statutory provisions that apply to Charities and the Charity Commission publishes booklets giving advice on specific topics, including instances where Trustees propose to acquire or to dispose of land/property.
Where Trustees propose to acquire land or property there is no specific requirement upon them to obtain professional advice unless such a requirement is specified in the Trust Deed. However, the Charity Commission strongly recommends that they obtain a report from a “qualified surveyor” who is acting solely for the Trustees. A “qualified surveyor” is defined as a “fellow or professional associate/member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)”.
In any purchase of land or property, be it for a charity or other body, there are a number of matters to be considered including the property’s suitability for its intended use, legal and/or planning issues and of course whether or not the price or rent proposed is fair compared to similar properties on the market. In this latter regard advice from a Chartered Valuation Surveyor/RICS Registered Valuer is we believe crucial.
In circumstances where a charity proposes to dispose of an interest in land exceeding a term of 7 years a report must be obtained from a “qualified surveyor” in order to comply with Section 119 of the Charities Act 2011. The chartered surveyor must be reasonably believed by the Trustees of the charity to have ability in, and experience of, the valuation of land of the particular kind and particular area in question.
In addition, the Regulations specify the matters that should be referred to in the report and these include a description of the property, details of any lease, comment on any burdens or benefits/easements etc that the land is subject to or benefits from, information as to any buildings and their standard of repair. Crucially the report also needs to include advice as to what is in the ‘best interests of the charity’, which may include advice on remedial works or other matters requiring attention prior to going to the market, together of course with an opinion as to the value and the best method of sale.
The above is just a summary of the statutory requirements but again as with acquisitions it is crucial for professional advice to be obtained from a ‘qualified surveyor’ who is a member/fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors as well as being an RICS Registered Valuer.
At Carter Geering our RICS Registered Valuer, Lloyd Smale (FRICS) , is also a Fellow of the RICS and has many years of experience in valuing a range of property across Devon and the wider South West, and is available to provide Charities with the required independent advice and is experienced in preparing Charity Act compliant reports. Examples of his work in this area include a barn conversion with approximately 30 acres in South Devon, a 1930s detached dwelling in Exeter, amenity land North Dartmoor, a bungalow in Tavistock, and various Churches/Chapels.
For further information regarding our Charity Act Valuation services in the first instance contact Lloyd Smale FRICS, RICS Registered Valuer at Carter Geering on 01363 773757 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our web site: www.cartergeering.com.