The Governance Academy summarises the latest guidance on charity law when buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging, or transferring charity land and property.
You will find the guidance by following this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/charity-land-and-property
Most charities do not need the permission of the Charity Commission to sell or lease land and property. They should comply with the law of the land and the instructions in their governing document.
The article goes on to provide the legal requirements in respect of land sales and leases and then informs of the circumstances in which a charity would need the approval of the Charity Commission.
Most charities do not need the permission of the Charity Commission to buy or rent property. Again, the Charity Commission then details the circumstances in which a charity would need permission to buy or rent.
A charity can take out a mortgage or loan secured against the charity's land without the permission of the Charity Commission as long as the charity gets legal advice in writing and makes sure that the loan is needed and will be used for an activity that fits with the purposes of the charity and has "reasonable and affordable terms and repayments".
Finally, the guidance looks at the "dreaded" Land Registry! The charity land must be registered in someone's name. Now, if the charity is a company or a charitable incorporated organisation the title to the land may be registered in the name of the charity. It is much more complicated for charities that are not companies or charitable incorporated organisations so please read the guidance on this.
So, do be careful if you are buying apparent bargains such as Old Kent Road and be even more careful if you are buying Mayfair. Seriously though, these transactions are not a board game — read the guidance carefully!