Valuation reports on behalf of Charities

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 Section 117 of the Charities Act 2011 requires trustees of any registered Charity to obtain a written report from an independent surveyor prior to any sale of land or buildings, or to the granting of a lease for more than seven years. Surprisingly, although recommended, there is currently no requirement to obtain professional advice when acquiring property. The surveyor advising the Charity must be a qualified Fellow or Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and have experience of similar valuations in the subject area.
 
A Charities Act valuation, sometimes also referred to as a Qualified Surveyors Report (QSR), should advise the Charity not only on value, but upon matters such as the most appropriate method of sale or letting, how best to advertise the property to the market and whether it would be advisable to carry out works prior to a sale.
 
This requirement can cause some concern: Trustees may worry about the cost of professional advice which they may feel is not necessary whilst buyers, who may not be familiar with the legal requirements for charities, may see the valuation as the trustees being over-cautious, as an attempt to delay matters or just to try to achieve a higher price.
 
Unfortunately, while trustees are usually entitled to an indemnity from the charity for any liabilities they incur in the exercise of their duties, this depends on their having acted properly.  If it is later found that a sale or letting was not the best course of action for the charity, and the trustees failed to comply with the requirements of the Charities Act, then they may be personally liable for any losses the charity suffers as a result.
 
Our long experience in Charities Act valuations ensures that trustees receive the right advice to achieve optimum value for the property, in the best interests of the Charity, and to protect their own positions.

Authored by

Mark Heaton

South Lancashire

07395 793913


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