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Charity Cut Price Sale.

Re: Charity Cut Price Sale.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:54 am

dls wrote:No. The certificate is one that the transferring charity (IF there has been a transfer - you have lost me as to whether there is one) has complied with the Charities Acts...


I'll try again to clarify.
The property was held by the Official Custodian for Charities, on behalf of the original charity. I don't pretend to understand the implications of this, I had understood that this was simply how it was done with charities, but you tell me that is wrong. My understanding is that the charity, to all intents and purposes "own" the property, it is simply kept in the custody of the Official Custodian.

The Charity Commission took that "ownership" from the original charity and gave it to another charity. It remained in the custody of the Official Custodian.
Despite the tread title, this is the issue I am more interested in.

Then the property was sold to a developer. Presumably it was transferred from the Official Custodian to the developer and presumably there is a certificate to say that that transfer complied with the Charities Acts.
It seems likely that that certificate was issued in error because that sale is fundamentally contrary to the trusts on the property.
That is as well as appearing to be under priced, so (despite the thread title) we can step away from that particular argument.
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Re: Charity Cut Price Sale.

Postby dls » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:29 pm

It seems likely that that certificate was issued in error because that sale is fundamentally contrary to the trusts on the property.


I doubt that that is accurate either. All property haled by a charity is held subject to the possibility of a sale unless (unusually) it forms part of the endowment.

If this was, say, a Women's Institute, there would be nothing in the trusts to restrict the trustees deciding, for example, that the charity would be better served by leasing or hiring facilities from time to time rather than holding onto a freehold with the burden of repairs etc. They might therefore sell te property. Whether such a decision is correct may be a question of fact and of judgment by those responsible for the charity. The point here is that they must be free to make such a decision if appropriate and will not therefore be restrained from making it by its constitution. Of course in each case there may be particular circumstances which may make a difference. Such elements may be deep in the documents.
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Re: Charity Cut Price Sale.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:33 pm

The trust was specifically to provide an institute for the women of the village, not a Women's Institute which is a part of an established national organisation.
This was not in any way buried in the paperwork, and the Charity Commission's failure to take note of it at the proper time has been noted in their formal investigation.
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Re: Charity Cut Price Sale.

Postby dls » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:23 pm

The trust was specifically to provide an institute for the women of the village


But that need not mean by way of the ownership of property, and particularly not a particular property.
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Re: Charity Cut Price Sale.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:37 pm

dls wrote:
The trust was specifically to provide an institute for the women of the village


But that need not mean by way of the ownership of property, and particularly not a particular property.

But where there is a particular property, built and established for the task, with a charitable organisation ready and able to manage it for those purposes, then how is the trust best served by selling it to pay off the legal fees that they accrued in their efforts to deny the women of the village their institute?
They may have had enough left over to buy curtains for their clubhouse, but that is fifty miles away.
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Re: Charity Cut Price Sale.

Postby dls » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:31 am

how is the trust best served by selling it to pay off the legal fees that they accrued in their efforts to deny the women of the village their institute?


You or I may not know, but nor do either of us know the elements which went to make up the decision. If the debt has been incurred, it has been incurred. Are you saying the fees should not be paid? If they should be paid and the trust does not have the funds without selling the property, then it must be done.
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Re: Charity Cut Price Sale.

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:07 am

dls wrote:
how is the trust best served by selling it to pay off the legal fees that they accrued in their efforts to deny the women of the village their institute?


You or I may not know, but nor do either of us know the elements which went to make up the decision...

That decision should be minuted should it not?
Do members of the organisation have a right to see those minutes?
As I understand it, the decision of the charity was to follow the decision of the Charity Commission, except that it turned out that the Charity Commission had not made a decision (which might have been appealed), they had only expressed an opinion.
I have not seen the letter from the Charity Commission to the Charity, but by all accounts it seems to have contained a clear instruction that they had to sell the property.
If the matter were to go to court, could they be obliged to show that letter? If so, at what point in the proceedings?
If the debt has been incurred, it has been incurred. Are you saying the fees should not be paid? If they should be paid and the trust does not have the funds without selling the property, then it must be done

That is not far off like saying it is ok for me to steal your car to pay off my gambling debts.
They knew (or ought to have known) that there was a risk involved in that course of action. They took a gamble on it: never gamble more than you can afford to lose.
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Re: Charity Cut Price Sale.

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:26 am

I'm trying to get hold of some of the documentation:
Letter to HMLR wrote:We enclose an application to change the proprietor entry in the registered title number XXXX
<Charity A> has closed and under the various provisions of the constitution of the Women's Institute at both national and county level and in accordance with the advice of the
Charity Commission, the property should now be noted as held by the Official Custodian for Charities on behalf of the <Charity B>.


The question here is of whether the constitution of the county or national body can override the constitution of the village institute.
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Re: Charity Cut Price Sale.

Postby dls » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:26 am

Are you saying the fees should not be paid?
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Re: Charity Cut Price Sale.

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:28 am

dls wrote:Are you saying the fees should not be paid?

I thought it was clear what I was saying:
Hairyloon wrote:They took a gamble on it: never gamble more than you can afford to lose.

If the charity cannot afford the fees, then perhaps the people who took the decision to gamble them should? But I believe the Charity can afford it, give me a moment and I'll check their accounts.

ETA: Turnover in the relevant year in excess of £150k
Included this, which is some distance from the truth:
CWFI-lie.jpg
CWFI-lie.jpg (41.34 KiB) Viewed 51 times
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