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The Law Commission recently published its final report on technical issues in charity law. It contains recommendations for changes in charity law which it says will remove unnecessary administrative and financial burdens faced by charities caused by inappropriate regulation and inefficient law.

The report makes a total of 43 recommendations, which include:

  • Giving charities more flexibility to obtain tailored advice when they sell land, and removing unnecessary administrative burdens 
  • Changes to help charities amend their governing documents more easily
  • Increased flexibility to use permanent endowment
  • Giving assurance to trustees that litigation costs in the Charity Tribunal can be paid from charity funds.

For housing associations, specifically those structured as charitable companies, the recommendations on disposals of land will be of interest. Those charities will already be aware of the need to obtain a qualified surveyors' report on a disposal, and why this is not always practical.

The recommendation is that this requirement should be changed to be proportionate to the transaction, which should allow a wider group of people to provide the advice and for the requirement to advertise to be removed. That would be a welcome change.

We now await the Government's response to the report, to see whether any of these recommendations will be taken forward.

To read more about the Law Commission's report on technical issues in charity law, please click here.